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I was 29 and had been married around a year to the man of my dreams. We had decided we wanted to start a family. We tried and tried and nothing happened. During this time I had been having really terrible monthly’s. I just figured it was because I was over weight and just went along with it. I was beginning to have several monthly menstruation that were causing me to become severely weak and drained. I made a appointment with my gynecologist to see why and to also find out why we couldn’t get pregnant. She did the standard pap smear and said she would call me to go over the results when they came in. It was 2 days and the phone rang. They said I needed to come in as soon as I could. I was in the room and she came in and said Mrs. Mattmann we have made you appointment with the Oncologist Gynecologist and you need to go ahead and head over that way now. I didn’t know what was going on.  I went right over and was seen. The Dr came in and told me that something came back and he needed to go in and do a scraping to see what was in there. The next week I went in and did the  scraping. I found out that my  Uterus was full of cancer. The cervix was lined with tumors and I would need a hysterectomy to remove it and try to save my life, the doctor would leave one ovary so I would not go into menopause.  That day I lost my ability to be a mother to have a family. I felt instant disbelief. I worried what my husband would feel when he found out I couldn’t give him a family….I had my hysterectomy March 27th at 29 years old. My tumor weighed 9lbs in my uterus and the cervix tumors combined weighed 5.4 lbs.. After surgery I underwent several treatments of chemo. It was the hardest thing I have ever gone through. I never spoke about it to my family or friends because of the anger and shame I carried with it.  Seven years passed and in February of this year I found out I had cancer in the remaining ovary and vagina. I have gone through several more rounds of chemo. September 9th I had surgery to remove the tumor  and also to remove the ovary. This time around it has been much different. I have felt such depression and a loss of myself. I have made it my mission to be as transparent as I can be this time around. So no other woman will ever have to go through this. So they they can see it is ok to talk about the hard stuff to reach out to a friend or doctor. So they know that its not normal to continue to have rough monthly’s. That early detection can save your life, your dreams.

-Nicole Mattmann, NCCC Arkansas (Roger) Chapter Leader

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