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.
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.