Location: California

Cancerversary: April 2020

Age at diagnosis: 52

Diagnosis: Squamous cell carcinoma

Stage of cancer: II

How my story begins: I have a fear of doctors and hadn't seen one in years. I began having abnormal discharge and finally went to the gynecologist in 2018. I was diagnosed with cervicitis and CIN11 after having a LEEP done. The gynecologist kept a close eye on things and I continued to have abnormal paps until finally one came back with cancer in early 2020.

How I felt after diagnosis: I felt numb and fearful of surgery/anesthesia.

Telling my family and friends: Sadly, I tried to reach my brother multiple times only to find out he had died of a heart attack the weekend I got my diagnosis. This took my mind off my problems to say the least. My dad and friends were supportive of me.

My treatment: I had a radical hysterectomy with one month of pelvic radiation and two rounds of internal radiation. I was told that I was not a candidate for chemo as the cancer had not reached the margins and my lymph nodes were all clear. They did say I could undergo chemo if I wanted, as the cancer was close to the margin in one area, but I took a leap of faith and said no.

How I felt after treatment: I was uncomfortable after surgery but bounced back quickly as I was in good physical shape to begin. I was nauseated and gassy after radiation but it wasn't too terrible.

What was most difficult for me: Not being able to live my life and work for awhile was most difficult for me. I am high energy and have a hard time taking it easy.

What I did to help myself: I did not focus on the cancer or feel sorry for myself. I focused on getting back to life and work.

Where I am today: My six month CT scan showed no cancer so I have hope it will not come back. I am still focused on getting my life in order, as it wasn't even before the cancer.

I am dealing with anxiety which has plagued me all my life and I am taking more risks. Before my cancer I would never have gotten on a ferris wheel but I did when I was in Seattle. What an amazing view! It put my fear in perspective.

What I want other women to know: Don't let your fears stop you from living your life the way I have. Life is too precious.