Location: California

Age at diagnosis: 34

Diagnosis: Metastatic squamous cell carcinoma

Stage of cancer: III

How my story begins: My journey started off 10 years before my diagnosis with an abnormal pap back in 2009 when HPV was confirmed. I continued getting my routine check ups after that and eventually the HPV turned into CIN 2, 3, and abnormal cells years later and pre cancerous cells. I underwent treatment for the pre cancerous cells starting out with a colposcopy, then a biopsy which confirmed pre cancer. I then underwent a cryo of the cervix . Unfortunately that didn't didn't get rid of all the pre cancerous cells so I then had a cone biopsy and conization of the cervix to cut off the area of the cervix with the cancer cells. Unfortunately that didn't take care of it and I was diagnosed with stage 3c cervical carcinoma that had spread to the lymph nodes in July 2019.

Life before my diagnosis: Single working mom of 3, college student recently divorced.

How I felt after diagnosis: I was devastated, confused, and scared. I sat in my car and sobbed for hours.

Telling my family and friends: It was hard. I tried to keep it from friends and family for a while. I felt a sense of shame.

My treatment: I underwent 7 rounds of chemo and 33 rounds of radiation in January 2020. I also got brachy therapy( internal radiation).

How I felt after treatment: I was in a lot of pain, weakness, nausea, depression. My body was forced into early menopause after the radiation to my pelvis at 34 yrs of age.

What was most difficult for me: The thought of losing my life to cancer and leaving my children motherless.

What I did to help myself: I completed all my treatment and rested as much as possible while at the same time staying active when I felt better.

My life after cancer: I was changed forever. I have side effects from the radiation and chemo. They affected my kidneys and bladder. I have radiation proctitis and cystitis. The cancer metastasized 8 months later to the lymph nodes on the left lung. I underwent a more aggressive chemo for the second time in April 2021. After I completed my treatment I started on Immunotherapy (Keytruda) infusion every 3 weeks for the next 3 years. My scans showed improvement of disease and almost no signs of cancer until July 2023.

Where I am today: On my next follow up PET scan in January 2024, 2 lymph nodes in the groin area closer to the right tigh showed up suspicious. I got a biopsy of one of the lymph nodes in March 2024 and it was confirmed that the cancer had metastasized once again. (Third time) The pathology result showed metastatic carcinoma to the right inguinal lymph nodes consistent with my history of cervical squamous cell carcinoma.

What I want other women to know: It is not your fault, don't feel guilty and ashamed, and look for support in organizations like Cervivor to bring awareness. Keep fighting.

How I will try to help others: By sharing my story and helping bring awareness of cervical cancer and HPV. And promote HPV vaccination to prevent this horrible cancer.

Any additional information you'd like to share: I'm starting a new treatment with a new chemo drug named Tivdak. My infusion will be every 3 weeks, and possible radiation to the lymph nodes.