Cancerversary: October 2016

Age at diagnosis: 43

Diagnosis: Squamous cell carcinoma

Stage of cancer: III

How my story begins: My life was normal. I worked and did all my daily activities.

On January 1, 2003, I gave birth to my son. I had placenta previa and my body started to hemorrhage. I was hospitalized for 4 days, given 8 blood transfusions, a D&C, and then I was released.

Four years later, I started bleeding constantly after having sex. It seemed almost like I had a miscarriage. So I contacted my doctor and she said that she couldn't see my cervix. So she gave me a biopsy. I was losing so much blood that I thought I was dying. After leaving the doctor's office, I was involved in a bad car accident. I knew God had a plan for me. Two weeks later my ob/gyn called me to tell me my test results came back and It didn't look good. I had Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Cervix.

After losing my mom a year before from Pancreatic Cancer, I thought I had no hope. Having fear and anxiety and no hope, I cancelled every appointment I had. Each time, I was afraid of everything from Pet scans to CT scans to the point where my doctor was fed up and medicaid was no longer going to pay for the services. My blood levels were very low and I had to have 10 transfusions in all. I had internal and external radiation, but no chemotherapy.

How I felt after diagnosis: I was fearful, scared and angry.

Telling my family and friends: I felt hopeless.

My treatment: I had internal radiation and external brachytherapy.

How I felt after treatment: I was tired and very sick.

What was most difficult for me: I weighed 221 pounds and am now down to 151 pounds.

What I did to help myself: I prayed and talked to God.

My life after cancer: I am overwhelmed but blessed.

Where I am today: Speaking to the public about fear, anxiety and the importance of checkups. I am now a peer support specialist.

What I want other women to know: Please get checked!

How I will try to help others: Educating girls about this horrible disease.

Any additional information you'd like to share: I reached out to people, but people didn't help me. God healed me and let me know I had a second chance in life. I'm cancer free. So many people, even my husband, turned their backs on me. Our voices from cervical cancer never get heard. I've started something to help my teal ladies. Also, after cancer, you still have other things to deal with physically and emotionally, such as fear, anxiety, love, and sex.