I was 25 years old with a 5-year-old son, a 2-year-old daughter and I just had given birth to a baby girl 5 weeks ago. I was healing from a C-section and was still in a tremendous amount of pain. Being my first C-section, I thought this was normal. Little did I know just a week later (May 30, 2003) I would be diagnosed with cervical cancer.
After having 4 different types of surgical procedures to ‘get rid of the cancer’ it was discovered that it had spread. I was trying to avoid chemotherapy, as was my doctor. I was extremely young and vain and did NOT want to lose my hair. Once this discovery was made, chemotherapy was essential.
I had a full hysterectomy and chemotherapy for 6 months. It was awful. I had every side effect possible from the chemotherapy. I was extremely grateful to friends and family for their help during this time. On May 11, 2005, I received the cancer free visit and went on with my life…….or so I thought.
Years later, after yearly mammograms because of my history and my family’s cancer history, I found a lump on October 11, 2010. I called my doctor and was asked to come in right away. After another mammogram, ultrasound and MRI, they discovered a lump close to my chest wall in my right breast. The lump I felt was just a cyst but there was something there.
The technician came out and said the surgeon wanted to see me right away. I walked from the hospital to the surgeon’s office and heard the words “you have cancer” once again. By this time, I was now a mom of 6 ranging in ages 5 to 13. I didn’t know if I could do this again.
I went in for surgery 3 days later and started radiation about 2 weeks later. Since it was an early stage of the breast cancer, my oncologist believed that chemotherapy was not necessary. I was relieved but scared. In December of 2010, I got the all clear.
I still go for yearly checks at this point and am scared every time. I have had 4 biopsies since that last diagnosis and every time I feel like I’m spiraling. As I come up on my 10-year cancer-versary, I am once again scheduled for scans and am starting to panic. I know I’m stronger than ever and I know I have a strong support system in my corner. Fight on lovely ladies. We’ve got this!
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.