Nymphia

Location: Castries, Saint Lucia

Age at diagnosis: 39

Diagnosis: Squamous cell carcinoma

Stage of cancer: II

How my story begins: It started with severe abdominal pain to the right that just wouldn't go away. After several MD visits, I decided to see my gynecologist. A routine pap smear was done which came back with abnormal cells and it was recommended that I do biopsy and CT Scan.

The biopsy results came back non cancerous but they did find a mass about 5cm on my cervix. Surgery was scheduled to remove the mass but I requested a TAH (Total Abdominal Hysterectomy) since I lost both parents to cancer so I was doing basically preventative surgery. One month after my surgery, my gynecologist called me in to inform me that the mass was retested and I turns out to be cancer. I was diagnosed on the 26th of July, 2022 with Stage IIB Squamous Carcinoma.

Life before my diagnosis: Wife, mom of two girls, ages 23 and 5.

How I felt after diagnosis: I was devastated as it reminded me of losing my mom all over.

Telling my family and friends: It wasn't so difficult to tell my family and friends. I just put it out there honestly.

My treatment: Both chemo and radiotherapy treatment are recommended but I have not started my treatment yet since I have to travel overseas for it. Radiotherapy isn't offered in my country of St. Lucia.

What I did to help myself: I am currently staying positive as much as possible so I can beat this diagnosis.

Where I am today: I am waiting to start my treatment and funding has been a bit difficult for me.

What I want other women to know: It is always important to attend your regular cancer screenings.

How I will try to help others: I hope by sharing my experience when I done with my treatment will help others.