How my story begins: My story began after losing my marriage because of the abnormal discharge. I suffered extremely heavy cycles but since it was not painful at the start, I decided to keep it to myself because by then in my community, women were not allowed to speak about anything below the belt; it was taboo.
I suffered for five years having heavy cycles, abnormal smelly discharge, back pain and pelvic pain. One day I saw a lady on our national television sharing her cervical cancer story and the same signs and symptoms she shared were the same thing that I was going through.
I decided to open up to my current boss; I was a house girl and she pushed me to go to the hospital. At the first hospital I was told I'm too young to have cervical cancer and its infection. But something in me was telling me its not right. I was given some antibiotics and went home. Two weeks later I went to another facility and insisted to give me the cervical cancer screening after waiting for along time. Not even one minute into the exam the blood was all over and she stopped and told me, "Milicent we are very sorry but you have aggressive cervical cancer."
Life before my diagnosis: I was a happy strong mom who wants the best for her children.
How I felt after diagnosis: Devastated. Crushed. I felt like I'm cursed and it's the end of the world for me. I thought of my babies everyday. I cried. I was raised up by my step-mother and life was not easy for me and I knew I'm going to die and leave my children to be taken care of. I cried everyday and at one point I became suicidal.
Telling my family and friends: It wasn't easy for me at first because of so many beliefs but I finally told my family one after the other.
My treatment: I was given 25 radiation, three rounds of chemotherapy and three rounds of brachytherapy.
How I felt after treatment: Pain.
What was most difficult for me: Trying to find my normal me.
What I did to help myself: Crying was my therapy and my children gave me strength to keep on going.
My life after cancer: I am still battling but the battle has given me strength to be vocal.
Where I am today: I am taking it one day at a time.
What I want other women to know: Ignorance can take you to an early grave. Get your pap, make sure your daughter is vaccinated and know your body very well. If anything is not normal, it's your body crying for help.
How I will try to help others: Going through cervical cancer, I will not keep quiet until every 10-year girl in my country is vaccinated with the HPV vaccine and that every woman knows the importance of screening. Also, there is no stigma to women with cervical cancer.
Any additional information you'd like to share: Through sharing my story from hospitals to hospitals, from churches to schools, I am creating awareness. My daughter was the first one to be vaccinated in Kenya!