Cancerversary: May 2017

Age at diagnosis: 32

Diagnosis: Squamous cell carcinoma

Stage of cancer: I

How my story begins: I am a divorced mother of three children. I was working full-time as a nurse and going to school to further my nursing degree.

In January 2017, I had an abnormal Pap test. I had a colposcopy performed with abnormal results. My doctor then performed a LEEP at the end of March 2017, which ultimately ended up in a diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix. I then had a cone biopsy done in April to check margins and was referred to a gynecological oncologist who diagnosed me with stage 1a invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix.

How I felt after diagnosis: I was scared. As a single mother, I just couldn't fathom not being around for my children. I was thankful it was caught in stage 1.

Telling my family and friends: The first person I told was my boyfriend. He and my mom were the first to know and have been there for me every step of the way.

My treatment: I had a total hysterectomy in May 2017 leaving my ovaries intact because I was so young. My uterus, cervix and Fallopian tubes were all removed.

How I felt after treatment: I felt relieved, but sad as well. I was upset I could never have more children, but thankful I was given the gift of children before all this happened.

What was most difficult for me: Telling my children.

What I did to help myself: I talked with others, read blogs and expressed my feelings with loved ones.

My life after cancer: I constantly have the fear it will reoccur, but thankful I am cancer free now.

Where I am today: I'm back at work. I will visit my oncologist every six months to receive a Pap test, ultrasound of my ovaries and a chest x-ray.

How I will try to help others: By getting my story out. There's nothing to be embarrassed about.