Tuesday, 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!
New Brunswick, Canada
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.