Cancerversary: February Year

Age at diagnosis: 35

Diagnosis: Cervical cancer (unspecified)

Stage of cancer: II

How my story begins: Before my diagnosis, I was so happy. I had my son and daughter. I was getting back with my childhood sweetheart. Life was looking good.

My story began when I noticed a vile smelling discharge. I was diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis about 4 times. Then I started bleeding after sex. I knew something wasn't right. So I called my doctor and spoke to the nurse. She told me that sometimes it's normal, which I thought was odd. In the end, I booked an appointment to see the doctor who sent me to a gynecologist where she found a lump on my cervix. I knew as soon as she said we need a biopsy.

How I felt after diagnosis: I will always remember the date I was told - 16th August - 4 days before my 36th birthday. When she was telling me, it felt like it wasn't me she was telling but someone else. I had stage 2 cervical cancer and the tumour was 4cm. I got home and it hadn't sunk in. Then the next day, it was there - the fear that I'm gonna die, I'm never gonna see my daughter grow up, and I'm not gonna see my son get married.

Telling my family and friends: My mom, brother and sister-in-law was in the room when I was told. They all cried. My mom wouldn't stop saying sorry to me. Then I had to tell the rest of them. But again, it felt like I was telling them someone else had it. They were devastated.

My treatment: My treatment plan was set up - 5 lots of cisplatin and 25 lots of radiotherapy over 5 weeks.

The day of my first chemo, I was terrified. I went alone and as I sat in the chair, I knew this couldn't beat me. I had my babies and my family. I had to fight with everything I had.

How I felt after treatment: I had a week where I cried because of the radiation. The chemo never really affected me. It was the radiation that messed me up. I screamed when using the toilet. Now my bowels have been severely affected from the radiation and I medicate myself before leaving the house.

What was most difficult for me: Seeing everyone around me so sad. I hated it. I hated that this was a part of my life and that it felt like everyone that knew me as a strong independent person now looked at me with pity.

What I did to help myself: I stuck to all the rules the doctor told me. I researched foods and drinks and started to take hemp oil. I had cancer, it never had me.

My life after cancer: It's hard. Daily, my 4 year old asks if I'm gonna be going for medicine for my belly again. My son constantly asks, "Are you OK, mom?" But I was putting it back together. I had counseling, which I quit going to as she told me to slap some makeup on and feel good about myself.

Where I am today: I'm engaged. I look forward to my future. I know one day it might reappear, but I will be ready when it does.

What I want other women to know: If I can fight and win, then you can. Don't let the darkness take over you. Be brave.

How I will try to help others: I tell my family, friends, anyone that will listen. You don't always get the symptoms. You need to listen to yourself and your body. Unfortunately, in England, you are not allowed a smear (Pap test) until age 25, which is wrong, so wrong.

Any additional information you'd like to share: I lost all fertility and have been going through menopause since December. And the hot flashes are horrible!