Age at diagnosis: 50

Diagnosis: CIN

Stage of cancer: No stage specified

How my story begins: I am a single mother raising a son with autism. After many years of being a stay-at-home mom, I wanted something more with my life. So I went back to school and received a college diploma as a Developmental Service Worker. Immediately after, I got a job at the college working with students with a disability as an educational assistant and tutor. Life couldn't get any better, that is until my diagnosis.

My diagnosis started so innocently...A week prior to going to my family doctor, I was experiencing weakness from not eating due to stress as I have severe anxiety. As a result, I went to the hospital thinking it was my sugar to get my blood tested. A blood test was taken and they told me it was fine, but to follow up with my family doctor.

A week later, I went to my family doctor, and he did a routine blood test, including a blood test for hormones as I am a 50 year old woman. He also did a heart test as I have heart palpitations due to my anxiety. My blood pressure was high so he put me on blood pressure medicine and said come back in two weeks and we'll check it again. At this time, I was more scared about the heart test, thinking "What if it's my heart and not anxiety?" I didn't worry about anything else because my blood test at the hospital was normal, right? WRONG...I never realized until then that the hospital never gave me the paper of my blood test results that day. My family doctor confirmed I had low blood pressure and I was severely anemic. He said, "You are bleeding from somewhere. How are your periods?" I said they are heavy but I have fibroids. He assured me that was probably the cause. He sent me to a gynecologist and when I went to her, she did the regular pelvic test, Pap test and biopsy on my uterus for a precaution. And ultrasounds were ordered. At first, I was more scared of the biopsy or ultrasounds. I haven't been sexually active in over 15 years, so I figured there was no way my Pap will turn out abnormal.

December 17, 2018 is a day I'll never forget. I got a call that I had severely high grade abnormal cells and a colposcopy and biopsy was scheduled for January 11, 2019. I went for that and at the end of January, I got a call to go in for a LEEP for February 8. On February 8th, after doing another colposcopy, my doctor made a decision not to do the LEEP because the cells were more damaged. So she took another biopsy. She verified I had severe high grade precancerous cells, and at this time, I am waiting to do the cone biopsy and for the results.

How I felt after diagnosis: I was terrified. I lost a mother to cervical cancer and the thought of dying the way she did haunted me. I was by her side every minute and witnessed her sickness. I couldn't go through with that. At the time of my diagnosis, my first thought was I didn't want to die the way she went, so at that point, I felt like I wanted to end my life. This happened for the first night as my whole body was shaking, but I just kept telling myself it could be nothing. Thoughts went to my son on leaving him at this point and I thought, no way, I will fight and face whatever comes my way. For many years after losing my mother, the word cancer has haunted me. I always worried about this, so to now face it had scared me so much that I couldn't handle it.

Telling my family and friends: Telling my friends and family was difficult, but they were the ones to assure me that everything will be okay. I have a great support system. Their support has kept my strong and thinking positive. I don't think I could be as strong without them.

My treatment: My treatment will consist of a cone biopsy treatment.

Where I am today: I am scared of what the final outcome will be.