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  • Andrea
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  • I am a cancer survivor
  • In November of 2007 my Ob/GYN found HPV during a routine pap. I spent the entire year going every three months for my colposcopy and doing everything she told me to build my immune system to fight off the virus. The cells didn\^t spread so in September she said see you in December for your Well Woman. In December the results came back with mild-dysplasia and a new area appeared on my cervix. This time the report said mild-dysplasia, possible \^glandular enduced\^. The glandular thing worried her. Once again I was scheduled for that fantastic colposcopy for the beginning of the year. When those resuls came back she said things just didn\^t make sense because what she saw on my cervix didn\^t match what the report said. I had a LEEP procedure done on March 30th. On April 16th when the results came back it was discovered that I had cancer. The cancer was within the glands of my uterus and had spread to the cervix. I remember her stating that it was a rare and strange cancer. Now I pride myself on being different and not fitting the norm, so I found it ironic that I end up with some rare cancer.

    The following week I was sent to an awesome oncologist that specializes in cancer of women\^s reproductive system. May 21st I had a radical hysterectomy. I was fortunate that my ovaries were okay and I got to keep those. I was also blessed that all the cancer was removed with the surgery. I am a teacher and dancer. I\^ve been back in the dance studio and busy teaching my 7th graders. The hard part now in healing is the emotional side. I am 35 and was planning on getting pregnant in the next year. Though a surrogate is possible and adoption, I wanted that experience of being pregnant.

    My Ob/GYN cried with me as she told me. She said she did everything to save my womb, but I lost it anyway. However had it not been for her tenacity I may not be here writing this right now. Most people send baby pics to their GYN, but I sent a picture of myself getting my master\^s degree two days before my surgery. A sign of victory because with her help I beat this disease that seems to be affecting women younger and younger.

    I used protection growing up, yet we now suspect that it was also hereditary due to my maternal grandmother having a hysterectomy at the same age. Who knows...I am not a tattoo person, but I have decided to get a tattoo of the ribbon symbolic of cervical cancer and the Egyptian symbol of life (ankh) on my womb. Something to remind me that even though I can\^t carry another life, I have MY life and that in itself is a blessing.

    For everyone out there if you are a survivor, embrace that!!

    Carpe Diem!!
  • 10-06 -2009
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