My journey to be cancer free
It all started when I was a 24 year old newlywed. I had a miscarrage and one appointment led to others needing a colposcopy they found that I had mild dysplacia and I was scheduled for a LEEP procedure. A week before the procedure I found out that I was pregnant with my daughter. I waited the 6 weeks after my daughter was born and had another colposcopy. This time I had severe dysplacia on one part of my cervix and mild on another part. I was scheduled for another LEEP or a LOOP I'm really not sure anymore. I went in for my appointment thinking it would be quick and easy and I'd be home soon. My doctor (who had delivered my daughter) said he wanted to take a look because he wasn't too sure I needed the procedure. I should probably add the "doctors" I was seeing before were military doctors here on base where we live. Anyway my dr noticed alot of bleeding on my cervix when he would just touch it and recommended having a cold knife cone or a cervical conization. I want to add that I didn't really have any symptoms of cancer that I can recall except for spotting sometimes during sex. The day I went in for the biopsy was scary for me. My husband was deployed to Afghanistan and I had noone for support. I was told I wouldn't get the results for a couple weeks but 3 days later on a Wednesday I got a call from my dr's nurse asking me to come in. I asked her if my results were in but she couldn't tell me. I knew they were in and I just knew it was bad news. One of my neighbors drove up there with me to watch my kids for me. She sat out in the car with my kids and hers. I remember sitting there waiting for the doctor to come in just like it was yesterday. He said my results came back and it is cancer. I don't think I heard anything after that. I just cried. When I walked out to the parking lot crying my friend knew and she just hugged me. I am so glad that she was able to be there with me, she took my kids for several hours so I could just be alone. June 2009 at 26 years old I had cervical cancer. Two days later my husband was flown home from Afghanistan and we began the never ending appointments. At first I was told that it didn't look "bad" whatever that means. That I'd only need surgery. After being examined by my oncologist found that the tumor on my cervix was large. We discussed chemotherapy and radiation along with surgery. I went in to have a hysterectomy and lymphnode dissection the day after my birthday in August. Only to find that when I woke up my husband told me I didn't have a hysterectomy. I was freaking out to say the least. I just woke up from surgery and had no idea what was going on. The cancer had spread to my pelvic lymphnodes on the right side. I think 15/20 of the tumors he removed were cancerous on the right side. Sometime after I had another scan and the cancer had spread to my pelvic lymphnodes on the left side. November I started chemo and radiation. Driving two hours there and two hours back every single day for 3 months. I was supposed to have 6 rounds of chemo but only had 5 due to how sick it was making me. I was puking every day several times a day and diarreah all day from the radiation to my abdomen. It was awful. I was taking atleast 7 different pills just to keep me from being nauseous. I didn't lose my hair but alot of it was falling out. I remember crying when I would shower seeing my hair everywhere. I didn't burn too bad from the radiation just a little on my lower back. After 40 external radiation treatments I had 5 internal radiation treatments. Everyday I would come home, rip off my clothes and fall asleep on the couch. I was so tired all the time. My husband was home for atleast a year taking care of me and the kids. I have many effects from cancer and treatment. I've been battling lymphadema in my right leg. I have severe abdominal pains, diarreah often and on top of those menopause....so hot flashes, no libido, dryness. From the internal radiation I have to use a dialator 3 times a week to keep my vagina from closing. I worry often that my cancer is going to return to the point where I have panic attacks sometimes and I've been having problems sleeping for a couple months. It has been a really tough couple of years. My husband will be deploying next month and I have another scan in a few weeks but I have been in remission for over a year now and so very happy to be so. I am so thankful that it was detected before it spread even further and I am able to be here with my family. I hope that my story reaches somebody.