Survivors Voices

When women share their personal stories, it is powerful not only for the person telling the story but for those who hear it. The stories on this page are from women who have survived cervical cancer and have decided to share their stories to not only help empower themselves and move past cervical cancer, but educate and empower other women who might be going through similar situations. We want you to know that if you are battling cervical cancer, you ARE NOT ALONE. Even on the darkest days, there can be a ray of sunshine just waiting to burst through. Knowing that women have battled cervical cancer and won the fight can be the inspiration needed to help in your own battle. And if you're a survivor, we want you to share your story with us!

Eileen

I had a smear in may 2010 that came back as high CIN3 severe abnormal cells...had them removed the following week and biopsy in hospital...the biopsy came back as non cancerous....had a follow up appointment for Jan 2011...but was unable to get to it, due to child care, so had a another smear last week...which came back again as Cin3 sereve abnormal cells... I am just wondering could this keep happening every 6 mths, or could it me I am likely to develope cancer at some stages, as I have now had two CIN3....

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Kate-Madonna

The day was Tuesday. My feet were in stirrups and in my mind, I was
another place entirely. It was a routine visit to my gynecologist and
I was routinely annoyed about having to take time away from work to be
here. Naked from the waist down, rolling my eyes I thought, "I'm 26
years old. I'm healthy. It's ridiculous I need to be here." I used to
be someone who thought I was above the noise of cancer. Because I used
to be entirely too involved in my own life to worry about being sick,
or something actually going wrong.

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Rosie

My name is Rosie. I'm also a perfect example of how vaccination and new ACOG pap guidelines are changing HPV/cervical cancer care for the better. I had my first abnormal pap with HPV when I was 19 yrs old and continued to have them until I was 21. I had colposcopies and biopsies every 6 months or so. All came back as low grade lesions, nothing higher than a CIN1. I'm 26 now, so I was really just half a generation away from getting the Gardsil vaccine before becoming sexually active.

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Shawna

Life is never the same after you hear the "C" word. And of course, we all think it will never happen to us. It was July, 2005. I was 31 years old. As the doctor shined the bright lights on my cervix, he noticed something bulging from it.

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Jennifer L.

My Story – Jennifer Lindsey, Glassy Cell Cancer Survivor
Diagnosed on 9/29/08

I have had many defining moments in my life. During college I was robbed at gunpoint. I lost my first pregnancy at 5 ½ months. I met and married the love of my life. Ten years later I also divorced him. I became a mother to the 2 best kids in the world.

I was also diagnosed with cancer.

My name is Jen Lindsey and I am 34 years old.

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Susie

If you would have asked me what HPV

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Joslyn

I thought I was going to start a new chapter in my life...but I wasn't prepared for this chapter...

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Chelle

I was 33 years old, Now 37, mother of a 8 year old daughter whom is my life I hadn’t been in for a pap smear for 4 years prior because I wasn’t feeling any different and hadn’t had any issues. It was In March 2007 right after my daughters 8th birthday when they told me that I my pap smear was abnormal and I was sent to a gynecologist for further tests. A biopsy was done only to come back and inform us I was still high risk of cervical cancer.

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Patricia

 

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Carrie

My name is Carrie, and I am 32 years old. I have been married to my wonderful husband for 9 years and we have 2 beautiful girls. Sierra is 13 and Reagan is 7. I also have 5 beautiful nieces. Needless to say, testosterone is lacking in our family! Let me back up a little bit. My 30th Birthday. I was not looking forward to it at all. I have always been an old soul, yet very young at heart. I love dressing up for Halloween, drinking hot cocoa in the winter and snow ball fights. I still collect Tiggers!

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Lisa H.

My story starts off like this.. I was 29 years old single mother with no history of cancer in my family.
Life has a way of changing, in the blink of any eye. Or in my case it changed with a cervical biopsy.
Imagine sitting at your desk on a Friday afternoon. Just 8 days until Christmas, wondering if you have all your kids presents bought, wrapped and ready for Santa to deliver.
Now imagine the phone rings and a nurse from your physicians office is on the other end. She tells you the doctor wants to see you after hours....

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Joni

It was October of 2005, I was 27 years old. I wasn't aware that the little bit of spotting I was having was actually a warning sign of something much larger. At first I was not concerned. Although it had been ongoing for a couple months, it wasn't often, and just a little pink...no big deal. But as the months went on the spotting became heavier and more frequent. Although it still was not enough that it caused me alarm. It was the holidays and I had been under some stress. I figured it was the stress causing this issue. By February I was spotting rather frequently.

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Jacqueline

I am a 6 year survivor of cervical cancer and am 42 years old. At age 36, I was diagnosed with stage 1B adenocarcinoma of the cervix and my treatment was a radical hysterectomy. I recovered successfully but it was a long process physically and emotionally. I tried to return to work after 3 months recuperation but I could not keep up with my job and help others as a social worker. I was too fragile myself. Since I was a social worker, I looked into all avenues of healing that I would have suggested to clients.

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Belinda

And so then, everything changed...It was December 2008 when I went in for my yearly exam...I also had a singular unusual symptom that had occurred 2 months prior that I was eager to tell my doctor about...little did I know that my life would soon be upside down. The symptom was an outcry of my body...it was trying to expel a 4 cm tumor that had invaded my cervix during a 14 month span. I was 46 yrs old and facing a radical hysterectomy...I was to have my uterus, ovaries, cervix and certain lymph nodes removed.

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Judy

In July of 2008 at the age of 49 I finally admitted to myself that I had to see a doctor. I had been putting off going to see a doctor for nine years mainly because I hated the gynecological exam. But something was very wrong. I was hoping I had an infection and they could give me some antibiotics and I'd be on my way. My PCP didn't say what was wrong, she just said I had to come back that afternoon to see a gynecologist. That was when I started to worry.

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Jennifer

The beginning of 2009 was so great! How could everything go so horribly wrong? I found out I was pregnant with our second child at the end of March. I was so happy! At my second month check up I was told that I tested positive for HPV and that my pap was abnormal, but not to worry because every woman at some point in their life will test positive for HPV and they see abnormal paps all the time. I then started to panic. The nurse reassured me that they were not worried, that it was not the big “C”.

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Vanessa

Where should I start??... OK! Let’s start with I’m a cervical cancer survivor!!! In my 4 year journey with this disease I have found out that without God and the support of my family I would have not been able to endure it. People that know me, see me as a strong independent woman. I had my daughter at age 20 and raised her as a single parent. I bought my house at age 21, I finished my BA by the age of 25, I had a great job and I had just met a great man (which became the love of my life)...To sum it all up, I felt I was on top of the world!! Until the call came!!

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Audrey

hi guys, my story begins when i went for my regular pap smear november 2009, my results quickly showed severe dysplasia which mean pre-cancerous cells CIN3, (this isnt cancer!) these are cells that lie on the surface if the cervix but are not invasive cancer! i feel the need to say this because i was so confused by it all at the start! they arranged and appointment for these cells to be treated but in the meantime i fell pregant with my second son, so at 7 weeks pregnant letz was not an option... A biopsy was taken again at 28 weeks pregnant and the cancer had turned invasive.

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Carol

My name is Carol. I work for the State of New York, Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. I am a member of CSEA Local 447. I am a Stage III Cervical Cancer Survivor.

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Angela

One word that I often use to describe my journey is "fast". Everything happened so fast and my life changed so fast. I am just now....4 months post treatment, 7 months post diagnosis, 9 months post receiving the first call that something was not normal.....able to sit back and say, "wow did that really just happen to me?!?!?" I went in for my routine physical and Pap test on September 11, 2009. I received the call on September 18 that something was not normal.

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Cindy

I received the first of far too many phone calls that started with “are you someplace you can talk?” when I was 28. And, to be perfectly honest, I have grown to hate phone calls that start out like that. The nurse practitioner who had done my Pap a couple of weeks earlier was calling with my results. Abnormal. At first I was thinking – Okay, this isn’t so bad. All of my friends have abnormal Paps all the time and it’s no big deal, right? Well, as the conversation continued my heart sunk as I was told that I had HPV. I’m not one of those girls.

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Colleen

I guess I'm different in that I always had a nagging feeling I would develop cancer. There were many people in my family that had cancer...some had survived and others had not. By the time I was 30 all the women older than me in the family had one form of female cancer or another. I was sure my turn was just around the corner.

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Patti

Life was going so well and about to get better, so I thought. In August of 2008, after working with the NYC Police Department for more than 20 years as a Police Officer I was retiring and joining my already retired husband. We had so many plans, we were going to travel, stop to smell the roses and just plain enjoy life. Not too many people are able to retire in their early 40's. We had worked hard and our time was here to enjoy. After enjoying retirement life for like a minute or two, we get hit with a shocking news and our world as we knew it STOPPED. This was not happening.

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Doreen

In 2004, at the age of 47, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I had heard of this type of cancer before, but I didn't have a lot of information about it. My knowledge was vague -who gets it and how? I never thought it could be me. I never really thought about it at all. At that time, not a lot of information was available and there were no commercials or magazine ads like there are today about HPV and cervical cancer. There were no patient or survivor stories either. It was a very scary time for me.

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Lisa G.

How does a young person describe their journey of fighting cancer? This is not supposed to happen to someone our age! Age is on our side- we are immune! Well, I hate to break the news, but this isn’t the case. I unfortunately had to learn the hard way.

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Nancy

Life was good. Now I know it still is but it took me awhile to believe it. There are those days I still struggle with it but with a wonderful and terrific husband and an awesome family I get through those days. Cancer, really? My story is similar I am sure to many of the survivors out there. I was 34, newly married and ready to begin a family.

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Paige

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Amanda

I had to lose my Faith. Lose my Faith in God, myself and my fellow humans to realize the message. We are not alone. We are all one and must journey together. Journey together to uplift, inspire and support one another. At the time of my surreal cervical cancer diagnosis I was going through a separation that added an even bigger emotional burden to my nightmare landscape. I felt so scared, alone and embarrassed every time I had to strip down for the cold, emotionless medical examinations and like I was always being judged.

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Jessica

I was just 26 years old and the mother of two small children, 2 and 4 years old, when I received the news on September 29, 2008. While the news was horrific, it could have been worse. My cancer was not yet invasive and could be resolved with a hysterectomy which was viewed as a major surgery especially at such a young age. I had had 2 abnormal paps, a bad biopsy and the final results came from a LEEP procedure I had in August of 2009.

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Shannon

    In 2005 after what I thought would be a routine visit to the OBGYN for a prenatal exam my life would change drastically and very permanently!! My doctor apparently saw something on my cervix and said that he wanted to do just a tiny little biopsy to get a closer look and assured me that it would not harm the baby was carrying.

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Jennifer P.

This is me.... My name is Jennifer (Jenni).

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ANN

Nairobi, Kenya

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Pamela

My name is Pamela and I would consider myself a fortunate individual that has had several successes in life and many memories of fun times throughout the years. I have had my share of sorrows too, but none that affected me for too long. I was always able to be resilient…able to bounce back. That was until I was faced with my own personal battle with the big “C’” aka cancer. Today, I am a cervical cancer survivor trying to keep cancer at bay and live life to the fullest, because you just never know what tomorrow might bring.

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Roxie

My name is Roxie. In 2008, my life took a turn in which I was not prepared for. When I turned 13 my cycle stopped; exactly 1 year after it started. The doctor told me my body wasn’t producing hormones, so I started taking hormone pills since the age of 13. I have been getting my annual pap smears since I was 16. In 2000 my test came back abnormal.

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Alissa

My name is Alissa, and I am proud to be a 32-year-old cervical cancer survivor.

My journey with cancer began about four years ago when I had an abnormal pap smear and colposcopy that showed pre-cancerous lesions. At the time, I was in my late 20s, and I was married and hoping to start a family. All I could think was whether this pre-cancer would rob me of my chance to have children. At the time my doctor,

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Kelly

It’s amazing how much life can change in one year. Going back to Christmas of 2004, I can easily remember how excited I was about my life and the year to come. At the age of 34, I felt blessed to be healthy and happy, and to have a promising new job ahead of me. Moreover, my fiancée and I were talking about marriage plans and the possibility of children. Everything seemed to be falling into place. But over the following months, I started to feel sick and experienced strange symptoms. I couldn’t explain it; I just didn’t feel right.

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Tara

My heartfelt story of cervical cancer Post manipulation of my scar by my healer/acupuncturist, six and a half years after surgery. I experienced an incredible release of emotions. What did I feel?

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Katharine

If there's one quality I strongly posses, it's endurance - the act, quality, or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships or stress; the ability or strength to continue to last. At the tender age of 12, my father had committed suicide. Eight years later, my mother passed away. At the age of 20, my life had fallen apart and I had lost the two most important people in my life. How does one move on after that? I had no choice but to pick up the broken pieces of my life and finish school. It was the hardest thing I have ever done.......until now.

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Navita

I am a mother and a poet, and in 1999, I was diagnosed with stage II cervical cancer. The news was devastating.

My treatment included 28 days of intense radiation and a procedure where doctors placed a cancer fighting implant inside my cervix. This procedure was done twice, and each time, I had to lie on my back for three days without moving.

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Lisa

In late July 2001, after 11 years of marriage, at the age of 34, I got pregnant by accident. I say "by accident" because we were "waiting to be financially secure". In hindsight I now realize unless you hit the lottery most normal folks are never really financially secure!

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Tricia

It seemed as if life was moving along just as it should be, and then one day, it all changed. I am 33 years old, have a terrific husband, 2 beautiful children and nieces and nephews that light up my world, except now, I had cervical cancer. I am healthy, fit, had two easy pregnancies and never a gynecological issue. How could this be?

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Maribeth

I was first diagnosed with adeno carcinoma in situ of the cervix in 1991, at the age of 29. My cancer was detected by an annual pap smear with no prior history of abnormalities. I underwent a series of cone biopsies (5 in total) to remove the recurring cancerous cells before having a modified radical hysterectomy in 2002.

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Stephanie

The year was 1987, and I was 15. I’d decided to live with my grandmother in SC while my mother relocated to Virginia. My mother mandated that if I was to remain in SC with my grandmother, I would start taking the pill. This was her way of keeping me out of the teenage pregnancy stats. After a year of taking the Pill, I decided to stop because I wasn’t having sex. My grandmother agreed, but insisted that I still visit the gynecologist for an annual pap smear since I was becoming a young woman.

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Michelle

I never thought I’d be ‘That Girl’—the one with an STD or worse—cancer…little did I know.

My true nightmare as I knew it began in late 2001. I was twenty-six eagerly climbing the corporate ladder, giving no thought to motherhood. Like most women I hated the annual visit to the GYN for my yearly Pap smear but I never missed one.

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Meaghan

I am a Stage 3B Cervical Cancer Survivor. I created a blog in an effort to raise Cervical Cancer Awareness (www.cancerlost.blogspot.com). I was 28 when I was diagnosed with advanced Cervical Cancer and my story is a long, painful & inspiring one. Cervical Cancer is not talked about but it touches the lives of every single woman out there. We need to start talking about this cancer because it is not rare and it does kill.

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Allison

At the age of 29, I was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer. I had regular medical care, but an irregular pap went undetected and by the time I began showing symptoms the cancer had progressed considerably. To say that my diagnosis came as a complete surprise, would be an understatement. On that day, my life was completely disrupted and irrevocably changed.

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Catherine

I'm not sure why I never knew or heard of HPV growing up and I'm not sure if it never happened to me if I'd care as much as I do now. I was in my early 20's when I learned I had HPV and that I would need to undergo a partial hysterectomy. The Doctor treating me acted like the virus was common and my life would go unchanged, but all I knew was that I was dying.

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Micheline

When my doctor asked me if I would consent to an HPV test as part of my routine annual exam, I thought, “sure, why not, I have nothing to worry about. I’ve been with my husband for 11 years and never had any signs or symptoms of any STD.” I assumed the test would come back normal. My doctor explained that he was doing a lot reading on the correlation between HPV and cervical cancer and believed the Pap test alone was no longer enough to detect cancer. Thank Goodness I listened to him.

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Christine

It happened to me.
I never thought it would. But then I went for my pap - like I did every year - but this time it was different... they had me come back, then had some more pieces looked at, and then I got the phone call...

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