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Liette’s Story (Cervical Cancer)

liettes-story-cervical-cancerThe beginning of this year, my family and I received the worst news anyone could hear. I was one day shy of my 20th birthday when I was told I had cervical cancer.

I’m very lucky I pushed and pushed to go to the hospital, because the doctor I was going to for birth control would just keep changing my type of birth control, no matter how heavy or how long I had my period. In January, it got so bad, I didn’t have a day where I wasn’t bleeding, and at this point, I had blood clots bigger then my hand at times. That’s when we loaded up and headed to our local hospital. Thankfully, the doctor knew exactly what she was looking at and set me up with Christiana at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center within less than a week. From there, we discussed with the doctor the plan of action I would have to take. I was at stage 3 at this point with a very rare and aggressive type of cervical cancer–glassy cell carcinoma. I was the youngest person to ever develop this type of cancer, at basically 20 years old. Their main focus was to just save my life.

We started chemotherapy and radiation immediately, and that’s what honestly made me feel the worst. I was always so tired and so drained and always throwing up. Hospitals became my second home. Every week, I was basically in there for seven days and would then be sent home for a UTI, until they realized both my kidneys were shutting down. I had to have a stent placed in my right kidney and a nephrostomy tube in the left. Let me tell you, a nephrostomy tube is hell. This tube definitely stops you dead in your tracks. You have to watch where you are and always make sure your tube doesn’t get caught on something. You’re never comfortable.

We find out this month, October, what my new PET scan will show, and hopefully by the grace of God, I will be cancer free. Even though, with my family’s genes, my doctor said I will have to be proactive for the rest of my life and get checks basically every three months.

I’ll be happy to say I beat cervical cancer. I’ve definitely had my fair share of pain. At times, I couldn’t even explain how bad the surgery was or the pain I was going through. Plenty of times, I was well over a 10.

Throughout my chemo treatments, I’ve met very special people I will always hold close to my heart, and at the end of the day, I’ll be right there to fight with them until we can all say we are cancer free. Until then, I will just “Fight like a Girl.” Thanks for reading my story!!!

Submitted 10/08/2016

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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  1. Ash

    Thank you so much for sharing prayers to you and your family! I am searching cervical cancer because 3 years ago I was diagnosed with HPV and those next 2 years my paps came back normal.. This July I had another pap and was told I have hpv-16 which account for 70% of cervical cancer.. It has been 3 months and I haven’t had any tests done because I lost my insurance.. Its October and I’m going to pay out of pocket for my colposcopy .. I’m very scared and nervous because I have been having pain since July & my aunt was diagnosed with ovarian cancer which km not sure is hereditary.. Thank you for listening

    • Letter Gillespie

      I wish you the best with all surgeries and test I know waiting for those test can have you on your toes all the time have you been tested for the BRCA? It’s a test to show if you and your family have cancer. We didn’t really worry about that test because my grandmother and all my cousins have had either breastfeeding cervical or ovarian so we knew it was in the genes. I wish you best and hope you will overcome any illness that comes your way!

  2. Jennifer

    I’m so proud of you for sharing your story even though it makes me cry every time I read it. I can’t wait for the day when you can finally say you kicked cancers butt! I pray for you every day just like I have from day one. I pray that God gives you strength, your family strength, & that this horrible journey will be over for your very soon. Ryver & I love you so very much. Stay strong & fight like a girl 😉

  3. Bonnie Gillespie

    Liette, you left out that you also had Internal Radiation without the sleeve, so a lot of internal organs were damaged from direct contact, Yes, you have received more than average. You have pushed right thru all of it . I am so proud of you and your attitude. Most young women always complain,why me? But you never dwell on those things, you find ways to overcome it. You are so inspiring and courageous. You have definitely “Fought Like A Girl” this whole year . You are soon going to live a wonderful life. You deserve it. I Love you, daughter and always Fight Like A Girl!!!

  4. Sarah Keen

    My name is Sarah and though we have never met, i know you and your story through your cousin Jen, who is my best friend. I have prayed with her for you and will continue to do so through your journey. Your strength can not be measured and is highly admired. Sharing your story takes a lot and so does the battle you’re fighting. I just wanna say, youre doing a fantastic job!!! Im looking forward to the day we meet and i can look into the eyes of such an inspiring soul. Keep up the good work. You make #fightinglikeagirl #seemeasy.
    Thanks for sharing,

    • Liette

      Thank you so much! I’m sorry I’m just now seeing this comment I was trying to find a way to update since I’ve been in kidney failure 4 times now and now have 2 nuphostomy tubes on both sides and has to begin dialysis thank you for the continued prayers ❤️

  5. Cheyanne

    You are beautiful! And I hope that when you find out this month you are cancer free! Keep fighting girl you ade a inspiration to all the girls going threw what your going threw. Cancer is absolutely terrible! You are doing a wonderful, keep your head held high the good Lord is with you! Prayers are sent your way family and i! Don’t EVER forget how beautiful and strong you are!!!!

  6. Letter Gillespie

    Thank you everyone for your kind words you guys are all truly what keep me going day in and day out remember my email is always open for those of you or have any questions about anything I just hope at the end of this it will truly help at least 1 person and hopefully soon we can all live in a world that is cancer free!♡
    My email is for anyone with anymore questions no matter what if it is about cancer chemo radiation or just warning signs I look forward to helping anyone out!

  7. Liette

    To update everyone, I m still not cancer free unfortunately but it has shrunk which is great unfortunately from the internal radiation it has damaged a lot of my organs I’ve been in kidney failure both kidneys about 5 times now and even had to take a few rounds of dialysis . Also the oncologist had to put 2 nuphostomy tubes in each kidney so instead of a stent and one bag I have a bag on each leg to drain my kidneys and from switching doctors I feel as though my new doctor did so much better somehow I have NO back pain, but I have a ton of abdominal pain every single night so I’m seeing a colon Doctor so he can give me a special diet that won’t interrupt all my organs there except it’s a very bland diet, I was wishing by now I could say I beat cancer but hopefully by the end of this year I’ll be in the clear! I will update you all again when I get more test! Until then thank you for all the prayers!!

  8. Sarah Larson

    Hello! My name is sarah and I just read your story and it moved me in ways I can’t explain. I want you to know you are brave and strong! I’m glad you fought so hard! I can’t imagine what you went through!
    Today I came on here because I got my results back from my last Pap smear and it was abnormal. The doctor said she saw a white ring around my cervix but she said sometimes that happens, it’s not always a sign of cancer. But I’m getting more concerned as the days go by. I have to go back in to get another follow up Pap smear. But I am also having some worrying symptoms. I’ve been spotting in between periods , bleeding after intercourse, weird vaginal discharge, having very heavy and painful periods. I’ve had to change my tampon in less than an hour most times and I’ve also had blood clots that are massive during my period. I’ve gotten tested for STD and I’m clean. I am very worried and I guess I’m looking for some input on the subject from someone is knows it first handedly. If you have an info that you would like to share I would love to hear it. Thank you for your time and again such a moving story and such an inspiration to keep moving forward.


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