Cervical Cancer Survivor Stories

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“Don’t fear the smear”, says Cervical CIN Survivor

cervical cancer fighter Favorite Quote

“Don’t fear the smear”

Kimmi Vincent was diagnosed with cervical CIN 2 & 3 after she noticed something was not going right in her body. As per her experience, she now recommends every woman to go out for the smear test if they notice something abnormal in their body.

The Diagnosis

“I was diagnosed with cervical CIN 2 &3 in the summer of 2018. I was notified by letter from the hospital”.

The Journey cervical cancer fighter's journey “I started to bleed (down there) when I wasn’t even due on my period. I Thought it could have just been stress. But the bleeding wouldn’t let up and lasted 19 days long. I also noticed the blood was very dark and was I passing blood clots, some the size of a penny. At the same time my left armpit became very sore and all I wanted to do was sleep. My body was aching and I had no energy. I knew something was wrong and made an emergency appointment with my doctor. He rushed me for an array of tests the very next day, including bloods and 2 smear tests a week apart from each other. My blood results came back a week later which showed there was a virus attacking my body, but the other blood results didn’t say what kind of virus it was. My doctor told me to wait for my smear results before discussing anything further. 2 weeks later a letter from the hospital arrived and my heart sank as I read it. It told me to make an appointment with my doctor immediately to discuss my results as the smear had found pre-cancerous cells. I started to cry with overwhelming fear. I kept saying ‘I don’t want to die’. My doctor saw me sharpish and I was referred for a cervical biopsy for a more accurate diagnosis. The biopsy was performed without any pain relief, and I was so scared. Having chunks of your cervix cut off whilst awake and no numbing is not a pleasant experience. I would take a smear test over that any day! About another week or 2 later I received another hospital letter in the post. I was diagnosed with CIN 2&3 and a referral had been made for surgery to remove the affected area. I had to wait roughly 6 weeks to have the op and the waiting was overwhelming. Every day you wake up you feel like the cancer has spread and got worse! Surgery day arrived and I was so eager to get it over with because I wanted this awful disease out of me. I was nervous but actually more excited. I could be free of these nasty cells by the time i go to bed! I welcomed the surgery but the day seemed to drag as I watched the clock for my surgery time. When I came around after the op the surgeons said all went well, and that the affected area was very widespread and they had to take the whole bottom part of my cervix away, but were pretty confident that they removed it all. I felt so relieved. I had to wait 6-12 weeks for a check up to see if indeed it was all removed, so again the waiting game was on. On checkup I received great news that all of the cells had indeed been removed. I was so relieved and felt like a huge dark cloud had been blown away from over me. I wanted to tell the world I was cancer free! But I was warned that I am now very high risk (of cervical cancer) and I now have to have smear tests every 3-6 months for the next 5 years. I now welcome the smear exam as the alternative is so much worse. The doctor congratulated me for listening to my body and getting checked when I did, and said if I hadn’t then I could have been looking at a much more serious stage of cervical cancer and would be undergoing radiation, chemo and hysterectomy. I now want to shout at every woman to go get checked if something is out of the ordinary! If a woman randomly bleeds and it lasts longer than it should, then get to your doctor immediately! It could literally save your life!”

Biggest Hindrance

“The waiting for results after each test and treatment. The anticipation can almost be unbearable and your mind goes to dark places. ‘has the cancer spread?’ ‘has the cancer evolved to a riskier stage?’ ‘did they remove it all this time?’. These questions can swirl around your thoughts as you wait for answers. I wish test results were immediate, but they are not.”

Motivation to fight cancer

“My kids. I am lucky to have 3 of them, and they are my reason for living and breathing. My youngest is 4 and autistic, and he shows me how to enjoy life despite of a disability. As long as my kids are around, I intend to be around too.”

Message to other Fighters

message for cancer patients “It’s OK to cry – it’s not weakness. Once you let the tears out, put that smile back on, look in the mirror and tell yourself ‘you got this’ 💪”

Cervical Cancer Survivor Says Never Give Up

Zhenia Rubi Cardona - Cervical Cancer Survivor

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” – Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)

Zhenia Rubi Cardona was diagnosed with cervical cancer in November 2016. She has successfully defeated her disease. She likes makeup and tattoos.

The Diagnosis

“After two months of being hospitalized with excruciating abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, and throwing up! Being told time after time that there was nothing wrong with me, that it was all in my mind yet I was being pumped every two hours with morphine by IV and every 4 hours I was given Oxy just to calm my pain and bring my vitals back to normal. One of the doctors actually pulled my dad aside and told him that I might just be seeking drugs. It was not until one doctor took the time and told me to see him as soon as I got out of the hospital, that doctor had me take test after test and on November 01, 2016 I was diagnosed with a rare aggressive form of Cervical Cancer called Glassy cell carcinoma. By the time I saw my Oncologist it had spread throughout my whole reproductive system and spread to my chest. On November 9th I had my port put in and November 10th was my first chemotherapy treatment.”

The Journey

cervical cancer survivor shares her journey

“My cancer journey was such a horrible experience for me. I was so sick, I had chemotherapy every 21 days and out of the month I only had one week that I felt well enough to actually get out of the house. I had to stop working, move in with my parents and get used to having someone help me with everything from walking to eating, but through it all I had the support of my family and my boyfriend who helped me cope and get through everything and of course my number one supporter God, my faith and family helped me get through the nightmare I called Cancer.”

Cervical Cancer Fighter Says Don’t Think Too Far

cervical cancer fighter

“Don’t worry about tomorrow as it only ruins today.”

Cara was diagnosed with cervical cancer in April 2015. She is fighting her disease.

The Diagnosis

“I was first diagnosed April 2015 when I was 25 weeks pregnant with my first child. After an MRI scan and a meeting with the surgeon I decided to have a caesarean followed by a hysterectomy at 32 weeks. Luckily my baby girl did amazingly well for being so early. I had further treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy as cancer was found in two of the lymph nodes that had been removed. The cancer returned in May 2016 and I was offered major surgery to remove many of my non vital organs to try to remove the cancer. It was a long, hard recovery but it was worth it for a chance of a cure. Unfortunately my cancer returned in my lymph nodes a year later and I learned that it was incurable. I had 10 cycles of chemotherapy, lost my hair, gained some weight but it was worth it as the lymph nodes had shrunk apart from one, which remained stable. It eventually grew and I pushed for surgery to remove it. Luckily I got my wish. Now it’s just a waiting game to see when the cancer returns.”

The Journey

cervical cancer fighter journey
“It’s been awful at times and the thought of not being there to see my daughter grow up breaks my heart. I do try to keep those thoughts to a minimum. It’s not been all bad though – we’ve made a real effort as a family to get away to various cities and spend some quality time together. I don’t think a month went past when we didn’t go away! I also try to spend time with my friends, enjoying good food and I love shopping.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My daughter.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“There not being enough treatments available for metastatic cancer.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
 
“Keep going! Don’t think too far ahead, take it day by day.”

Cervical Cancer Survivor Shares Her Amazing Journey

cervical cancer survivor

“Strength grows in the moments when you think you can’t go on but you keep going anyway.”

Crystal was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2017. She has now successfully defeated her disease and now lives a happy & healthy life with her family.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“March 21st, 2017. In the hospital, four days after giving birth to my second child. My OBGYN, whom I am very close with, gave me the news. I was alone in the room when she walked in, I knew the moment she told me she received my biopsy results, even though I hadn’t even considered it when they requested to take one. She sat on the bed next to me, and we sobbed together. When my husband returned to the room we had to give him the news. It was the most heartbreaking moment of my life, for myself and for him.”
 
The Journey
 
cervical cancer survivor journey
“I have diagnosed with stage 2B Cervical Cancer at the age of 29, with a brand-new baby boy and a 2-year-old baby girl. They found the tumor during the delivery of my son, as I was unable to dilate because of the mass. They biopsied the tumor in my c-section and I received the results four days later. I was terrified, and I only use that word because I don’t know anything worse. I have never been so scared in my entire life. I was devastated and spent the next several days in tears. I remember the night that I received the news, I woke up in the middle of the night and my entire body was shaking uncontrollably because of the fear. It was as if someone sucked all of the air out of my lungs, I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t know how to comprehend what was happening. I spent the new few weeks healing from my c-section and living in the moment with my babies and my family. The day of my scan, six weeks later, I was very positive, I thought, this can’t be that bad! I didn’t have any real symptoms, I will just get a hysterectomy and be on my way. I was wrong. The day I received my official diagnosis they told me that cancer has spread to my pelvic lymph nodes and that I had to do chemotherapy combined with external radiation, followed by several treatments of internal radiation. I was numb. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I remember my eyes went out of focus and all of a sudden, I couldn’t hear anything, just like in the movies. I remember having to snap myself out of it because it was important to hear what they were telling me. I felt defeated, but I knew it was ready to fight. I have an incredibly amazing support team of friends and family and they all assured me that I AM strong and I CAN do this. And I did. My journey started with surgery for a biopsy of my aortic lymph nodes and an oophoropexy, or the movement of my ovaries out of the radiation zone as to preserve them and prevent premature menopause. The lymph nodes came back negative for cancer, the oophoropexy, on the other hand, was not successful. It was a 50/50 shot, to give them credit. The surgery was a difficult recovery and I began my chemo-radiation therapy just two weeks later. This is when the REAL fun began! It was a hard 6 weeks of weekly chemo and five days a week radiation, the medication made me jittery and uncomfortable yet without them I was vomiting. I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t eat. I lost a LOT of weight and it was everything to just get a protein shake down. Not to mention that when you radiate your lower half you, um, have to deal with the unfortunate damage that happens to your digestive tract (thank god most of it was temporary!). It was, by far, one of the most miserable and trying parts of my journey. At the end of my chemo, I was spent, I could barely do anything physical and certainly not be the involved mom I had always been. And then, it got worse. I began my first set of four internal radiation treatments that left me severely anemic, to the point of having to get two blood transfusions. I could have used two more! I was so weak I couldn’t stand for more than a few minutes at a time. I didn’t even have the energy to be myself. My personality was gone, my light was gone. It was as if it had been slowly dimming until it finally went out. I remember thinking that the person I once was gone forever, that I would never be that smiling, energetic and happy person ever again. It was really scary and really sad. My husband described it perfectly in a song, True Colors by Cyndi Lauper (but the Trolls version if you’re a mom, because, well toddlers). Once I was completely done with treatment, left as a shell of my former self, it took me four months to gain my strength, stamina, and light once again. Something that I don’t believe will ever be totally restored, but this is the new me, as they say. I began walking and stretching and eating healthy again and my body is back and better than ever. My mind and my heart, on the other hand, still has a lot of healing to do. They think once you’re done with treatment, you’re done with cancer, but that isn’t true at all. It forever haunts me, day in and day out. I have learned so much from my journey and plan to do great things to help others in the future, I already am, but parts of me will forever remain broken.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My kids. They need their mother. I simply can’t bear the thought of them having to grow up without me by their side. I refuse to leave them.”
 
The biggest hindrance
 
“Insomnia. Anemia. And my loss of appetite. I dreamt of juicing celery and eating bowls of fresh kale and quinoa, but it was anything to just get food in my stomach. My body was weak and I wasn’t even given the right opportunity to feed it to fight.”
 
Message to other fighters
 
Message for other fighters

“Keep pushing through each day and one day you will look back and wonder how you got through. We are so much braver than we give ourselves credit for. Find a little bit of good in every day, but also give yourself permission to cry, to yell, to feel sorry for yourself. Because cancer does suck, A LOT, and you shouldn’t feel obligated to always “be strong and be positive” it’s okay to be human!

Cervical Cancer Survivor Becomes An Entrepreneur

Cervical Cancer Survivor An Entrepreneur

“I have my own saying… Spare no day, no minute, no second. Time isn’t promised, but it is permitted. (Jamilah Lawry)”

Jamilah Lawry was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1996 when she was 18 years old. She has now successfully kicked cancer and made her way to become an entrepreneur. She owns Small Biz Boutique, a tech firm (My Biz Consulting LLC), and Indastreets radio. Also, she is an actress, artist, and author.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“The 1st time when I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1996, I was only 18 years old.”
 
The Journey
 
cervical cancer survivor journey
“I went through a massive bout of biopsies, freezing of the cervix and scrapings. I refused a hysterectomy as I still remained optimistic about having more children, someday. After those processes were successful, I was cancer free and only had to go in for yearly visits for check-ups. I went on to live my dream as a rap artist, go on tour get married, and although it was difficult, a second child. In 2008 after being hospitalized during a video shoot, I spent a few days in the hospital after losing consciousness, only to receive the news that I had a cancerous lymph node near my liver. I immediately did research that resulted in me being depressed. I quit my job. I was a single mom at the time and I prepared my children for the worst. My father began to teach me about healthy eating, the healing remedies of the earth, and I reluctantly began to take his advice. I avoided dangerous treatments and changed my diet, my way of life, and my thinking. It’s been 10 years, and each time I visit the doctors, the lymph node near my liver still remains the same size as a quarter. Although I feel afraid and uneasy about receiving any additional treatments other than natural remedies, I currently like my traditional 2 cups of soursop tea a week, my tongue dose of Graviola and constant prayer assisted by my vegan diet. I feel great and motivated to live. In the past few years, I’ve watched 5 of my aunts and uncles and both maternal and paternal grandmothers lose their fight to cancer. Today I sit and watch my uncle currently battle his last days and it hurts my heart. I wish everyone should simply understand how to change their lifestyle to extend their time.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My motivation to fight was for my children. I first wanted to stay alive at least until my oldest was 18 and could care for her sister. Then I realized I had to build a business so that I could leave a legacy, generational wealth.”
 
The biggest hindrance
 
“Medical care. Having a pre-existing condition and trying to be gainfully employed relying on the health care providers, was impossible.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
 
Message for cancer patients
“Maintain your mental health, change your diet, exercise and smile often.”

Cervical Cancer Survivor Runs A Video Blog Of Her Inspiring Journey

Cervical Cancer Survivor Runs A Video Blog
Melissa Kirkendall was diagnosed with stage 1 cervical cancer on Feb 2, 2018. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is motivating others and helping them in their journey. She also runs a video blog.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“She was diagnosed on Feb 2, 2018, in Austin TX with cervical cancer.
 
The Journey
cervical cancer survivor journey
“I went in to get a women’s wellness check-up in Nov of 2017 and discovered I wasn’t well… after a couple more doctor visits and a surgical biopsy it was determined that I had aggressive stage 1 cervical cancer that was headed towards my lymph nodes so it was important to act quickly to hopefully get it before it got me. 2 months later I had a radical hysterectomy at MD Anderson in Houston on April 11th and a few days after that I was given the news that I was now cancer free. The surgery was successful! Even though my journey was short, it was quite stressful as I was underinsured when the journey began and my original cancer doctor in Austin wasn’t compassionate. With determination, stubbornness, strong support from my friends and family and a little bit of cosmic luck, I managed to find a way to secure better insurance which allowed me to go to a much better compassionate doctor at one of the best cancer facilities in the world to get the treatment I needed.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“Not Dying “
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“Money. Bad insurance… but again, I stayed strong in my conviction to find a solution. Giving up just wasn’t an option. I have a philosophy that all problems and just orange cones in various sizes… but all orange cones can be removed or moved around – you just can’t give up finding the solution. I never gave up, and I was able to go with my 1st choice solution. I had back up plans, but my focus was on my 1st choice of going to MD Anderson for treatment… even my doctor at MD Anderson was delighted and surprised I figured it out!!”
 
Message to other cancer patients
 
Message for cancer patients
“Things that I did that I feel strongly were part of why it all worked out for me that might be helpful to others who have found themselves diagnosed with cancer are:
  1. I never claimed cancer. What I mean by this, is I decided to treat cancer as an unwanted visitor in my body that I had to figure out how to run off. I rarely said, “I have cancer”… Instead, I would say something like “cancer is visiting my body right now.” The whole 2 months I dealt with this, I had this deep thread of denial about it almost as if when I were speaking about myself having cancer that it was someone else’s cancer, not mine. I, of course, didn’t let this keep me from getting all the tests and ultimately surgery, but I think it kept me from thinking about the possibility of it getting worse. I just knew deep in me in every way that I was going to evict cancer from my body. I simply wouldn’t accept any other outcome in my mind and in my heart. This attitude kept me strong even when I was fighting with the monetary obstacles of trying to afford treatment.
  2. While I was struggling with where I could afford treatment I asked myself that if money were not an issue, where would I go? Without hesitation, I knew it was MD Anderson. Once I had that conversation with myself, I put all my energy into believing that was what was going to happen… and so it did. I didn’t drop my back up plan, but I moved forward with MD Anderson with a strong confidence and belief that somehow and some way it was going to work out the way I wanted. The end result was even better than I had hoped for myself!!
In short. Stay positive. Think about what your best outcome could be if there were no limitations or obstacles and focus on that. Don’t claim cancer as yours… it is a foreign visitor in your body that you did not invite in and now you simply have to figure out how to get it to leave because you deserve a healthy body. You are more powerful than cancer.”

Cervical Cancer Survivor Teaching Others To Practice Yoga Daily

crvical cancer survivor is a certified yoga instructor.
“Stay persistent.”
 
Cam, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in September 2016. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is the founder of CorpYoga and a certified yoga instructor.
 
The Diagnosis
 
Cervical cancer survivor teaching and inspiring everyone to incorporate yoga as a daily practice.
 
The Journey
cervical cancer survivor's journey
“I was diagnosed with early-stage cancer in late 2016. It was one of the darkest times in my life but having a lifestyle to routinely practice yoga daily really kept me strong.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“I love life. I’ve always been one of the healthiest and fittest people out of my friends. I can’t accept to live a life in the shadow of cancer.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
 
Message for cancer patients
“Stay persistent to fight this journey. It’s ok to experience defeat and to suddenly break down emotionally. Let yourself feel sad. Then remind yourself how strong you are and how much you want to live for a purpose (whatever it may be) in your life.”

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