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Courtenay’s Story (Cervical Cancer)

Courtneys Story Cervical CancerTuesday, April 1st, 2014, less than 2 months after my fairy-tale wedding, I received the news. I had cervical cancer. “I’m a healthy, newlywed, 25-year-old student. 25 year olds don’t get cancer!” But reality quickly set in after countless referrals, tests and scans. This was really happening.

My doctors all agreed that although I was “only” Stage 1, my tumour was too far advanced and too big to be removed with surgery, and after speaking with my 2 treating physicians about treatment details & side effects, I started chemotherapy and external beam radiation immediately.

Radiation seemed to consume my entire life. It was every single day for 5 weeks straight. I left school everyday at lunch, drove to treatment and back to school after my 10 minute scan. Chemotherapy was a whole different story. Chemo was every Monday, all day, for 5 weeks. It made me sick, tired and useless for days.

My doctors pleaded with me to take time off from school. I’d like to say that through this entire journey I was optimistic and that’s what kept me going, but truthfully I was angry. I was angry all the time, and I was too stubborn to let anyone tell me that I couldn’t do something, whether it was beat cancer or finish this year of school.

After 2½ weeks of what I thought was the worst thing I could ever be going through, I started my brachytherapy. This is the procedure that would not only leave me unable to have children, but it caused me fall into menopause… at 25 years old.

June 10th was my last day of treatment. Unlike most, I had no desire to celebrate. This wasn’t over yet. I was still fighting. I was fighting through anger, nausea and exhaustion just to find myself again.

But today, September 2nd, 2014, with the help and support of amazing friends and family, 5 months after being diagnosed, 2½ months after finishing treatment and a week before heading back to school, I am officially cancer free and can start my journey into remission. Today, I can celebrate! I fought like a girl and kicked cancer right in the cervix!

Courtenay
New Brunswick, Canada
Submitted 09/03/2014

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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6 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this! Were in the same community and I, like you, got diagnosed with cancer far too young. I was 20 when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I was in school too and also too stubborn to quit. I was also angry a lot of the time.
    I really identify with how you’re trying to find yourself again, I’ve spent the last nearly a year after being “cancer free” trying to make peace with the cancer demons, and I always thought I was the only one. Everyone always talks about the main fight, but not the fight that is cancer free, mainly that you have to call yourself that in your 20’s!
    Thank you for giving me more hope and brightening my day!
    -Courtney Daye

    • Courtney, I’m so glad that you can identify with how I’m feeling. So many people talk about the fight of treatment but many forget about healing. I am 5 months into remission and still fighting every single day. The side effects of radiation are still with me and might, unfortunately, be with me for years to come. It’s a struggle but it does get better every day!

      So glad my story was able to give you some hope! Keep fighting like a girl! xxo

  2. Such an amazing story, Courtenay. I’m so incredibly proud of you and your fight!

    Much Love,
    Vanessa

  3. You and I share the same boat. I am two weeks into my treatment and starting to feel like you described. They found mine during pregnancy and I am blessed with a beautiful daughter, but a hysterectomy ended all my family planning. I did the right thing, found the right man, got married, and bam no more choices. I am so happy to have my daughter but anger consumes my life other than her. My husband wants more kids and he is grieving with me. Sometimes fighting like a girl is too hard, and then you just want to cry like a baby. Anger is the worst part…thank you for your story. Mine is still being written.

  4. Awesome story i went through about the same thing. And it felt so good when the doc. Told me i was cancer free

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