Survivors

Survivors
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  • Doria
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  • I am a cancer survivor
  • It’s been almost a year ago at the age of 40, that I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Just 3 months prior, I had my annual pap smear was clean although, my doctor informed me that the missed periods and heavy periods when they came were due to being “pre-menopausal”. It was also during that visit that we discovered I was anemic—some thing that probably ended up saving my life. The next time I had my period, it was heavier than it had ever been and I became weak and passed out. At the point, I decided it was time to see the doctor again. He did another pap smear and said “Some thing doesn’t look right”. In my heart, I knew it was cancer. Two days later, the words that would change my life forever rang true, “You have Stage 1 Cervical Cancer”. I remember him recommending a GYN-Oncologist and thinking to myself, I have never heard of such a doctor but boy, was I glad that he recommended this particular one. From the minute I walked in to the GYN-Oncologist office, I felt like I was his only patient. He took the time to explain every detail to me. He originally thought that a radical hysterectomy would remove the all the cancer without any other form of treatment required, so we scheduled it as soon as possible. The day of surgery came and I remember thinking to myself, when I wake up, my life will forever be changed again—going from a cancer patient to being a cancer survivor. However, that would not be the case. I recall as I lay in the hospital room shortly after waking up and seeing my boyfriend and daughter there. My friends and family began to call yet my boyfriend would not tell them how I was doing. It was not until the next morning would I learn from the intern that the surgery had to be aborted after removing my ovaries and several lymp nodes because some thing “was suspicious”. It was 5:52 in the morning and the intern had left and I was all alone when I realized my cancer had spread. I thought to myself, I’m going to die. The first words out of my mouth when the doctor came in 45 minutes later were, “Did you sew me up to die”. His response was “absolutely not, we just have a different plan of action”. I remember going to his office the next week to discuss this “Plan of Action”. It was chemo, radiation and a radiation implant. I participated in a research study partly for the sake of future cancer patients and partly so I could find some purpose for my battle with this dreaded disease. Nothing can quite prepare you for chemo and radiation. There were days that I wondered if it was all worth it and when those days came, my daughter would call or come to see and then I knew it was worth the fight. I have now been cancer free for 6 months and it has been the best 6 months of my life. I now live for the day and the moment and not for tomorrow. I have come to appreciate life, family and friends a lot more than before. While it wasn’t the easiest 16 weeks of my life, I must say I am thankful that I still have my life. My thoughts and prayers are with anyone that is going through this. May God Bless You!!!
  • 05-29 -2008
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