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Charlotte’s Story (Cervical Cancer)

Cervical Cancer Ribbon For three years now, I am a 2 time survivor of cervical cancer. Let me start my story by saying that I probably had cancer long before we found out. I was too stubborn to go to the doctor. I have always had painful, heavy periods. At the  age 13, I had to be put on birth control in order to try to make them better. Later I started having cysts on my pelvic bone, but my gyno didn’t seem too worried (mind you my mom had ovarian cancer).  Life went on, and my periods & cramps just got worse. It started getting to where I couldn’t have bowel movements, which doubled my cramping pain.

It wasn’t until after my youngest was born that it became a real problem. I am not one who likes to go to the doctor, so I let this go on for 9 years after my son was born. I was finally forced to go in after I had a period where I went through 3 packages of pads, and had cramps so bad that I cried. I can take more pain then anyone should be able to. My husband made me go to the doctor because we couldn’t even have sex anymore because of the pain & blood. The gyno told me I had endometriosis, but he had also seen something else. The doctor did a biopsy & blood-work in the same visit. We went back & on top of endometriosis, I had HPV. I was confused, but I was okay. Then we did surgery and they sent a bigger sample off to be tested. I found out that I had cervical cancer and I needed to go see an oncologist.

I didn’t want chemo or radiation or for that matter, any surgery.  I told him, my husband, dad and step-mom that, and they all “attacked” me. I kept thinking, I wasn’t sick & could deal with pain better than anyone . The doctor told me that, yes, I looked healthy, especially for someone with stage 3b, but it would catch up to me. We went home & my family “attacked” me some more until I agreed to have surgery. I had one good ovary which they tied up behind my hip, and I decided on radiation treatment. Surgery went well but the cancer had spread to my lymph-nodes already & he had to take about 50 of them.

While in the hospital I told them something wasn’t right. My family believed me but the doctor said everything was normal. I kept having pain & burning in my leg well after my surgery, but the doctor kept saying it was normal. I was 8 month’s cancer free & still feeling like I wasn’t right. I was having an intimate moment with my hubby & he tells me that I look like I’m pregnant on my side. I did look that way, so I went back to doctor. Not my oncologist, my gyno. I told him what had been happening and he did an ultrasound, I had a huge problem. My cancer was back. I had him find me a new oncologist & they confirmed it. The ovary that was left was infected and the size of a large grapefruit. I had 7 surgeries in a year and a half . I  have been cancer free for 3 years now.

It isn’t easy because I have had so many other things pop up. I have nerve damage in my left leg, I have developed RA, and now I have fibromyalgia. It has been a long tough road but I am going day by day. I never really had time for all of this to sink in because the day we found out I had cancer my husbands grandpa died. Then 3 months later his grandma dies,  and for the next 4 months he had a total of 8 deaths in his family. I put my feelings f cancer on hold to be strong for him. I just started to cope with everything.  It has been hard because I blame my hubby &  parents for me not having full movement of my leg. I was an athlete, very active & now I can’t run, bend my leg, or sit “Indian” style. Even walking up & down stairs is a huge challenge. I gained weight and lost my sex drive, I just feel ugly all around. I feel guilty for feeling like this because there are children with cancer & people worse off than I am. I try my best to stay strong with everything going on & the pain I have everyday. I don’t let it live my life for me. I chose to live my life. Live every day to the fullest, and over come the challenges it throws your way.

Charlotte
Oklahoma
Submitted 9-16-2012

The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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3 comments

  1. I to had cervical cancer. I understand the difficulty you went through. I had 6 surgeries in less than 3 months. 33 radiation treatments, internal and external, and 6 months of chemotherapy. I think your story is an inspiration because not everyone can deal with cancer and everything else you have been through. Keep your head up. Your not alone!

  2. You are not alone, I too had cervical cancer and still waiting to see if its all gone,you are in my prayers

  3. Your stories inspiring! I was diagnosed with cervical cancer 3 months ago and have been undergoing chemo for 2. I am only 19 so surgery is not an option at this point. It has been a real struggle, especially taking care of my daughter. So I understand where your coming from. Just stay positive and keep your head up! And thank you for sharing your story, I’m unbelievably scared and this will help me cope with that fear.

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