“My name is Stephanie Gonzalez and my journey began on April 11, 2017, when I was diagnosed with stage 3b cervical cancer at the age of 35 years old. After many months of not feeling well, I finally decided to see my doctor, who referred me to a specialist. While awaiting my appointment with the specialist, I became very ill and my concerned father drove me to a Fresno, Ca. hospital where my life would soon be changed forever.
“Shortly after arriving at the emergency room, many blood tests, and a total blood volume of only 4, I was admitted to the hospital where I would immediately undergo three blood transfusions. After waking up very early next morning to many unknown doctors surrounding my bed, I was told that I had cervical cancer.
“Three months after completing eight weeks of daily radiation therapy and weekly chemotherapy, followed by a trip to UCLA Hospital for brachytherapy, I was re-scanned to determine if any of the treatments had in fact worked. That day would become the second scariest day of my life! I was informed that not only had my cancer not responded, but it had undoubtedly spread to my blood and distant sites as well, deeming me now Stage 4 and terminally ill.
“I cannot begin to describe the despair and hopelessness I felt at that very moment and all that I could think about was my five precious children and how they would have to grow-up without me. It killed me to think that I would never be there to see my children graduate high school or watch my only daughter get married. I just couldn’t fathom how I was going to tell my beautiful children this very heartbreaking news.
“After my doctors disagreed on my next treatment plan I decided to seek out a second opinion. After searching hundreds of websites and reading even more reviews, I decided to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Ccare in Fresno, California. During my first appointment with Dr. Steven Hagar, I was informed that my cancer had indeed spread, verifying what I was told previously, and that at best I would probably be lucky to live two more years, if that!
“That night I sat down and created a ‘bucket list’—a list of things that were important for me to try and accomplish before the day came and it was my time to go. One of the goals on the top of my very long list was to become a cancer advocate, which I honestly wasn’t very sure that I’d have enough time to accomplish.
“A couple weeks after missing the cutoff date to be a part of a ‘last hope’ clinical trial that was now closed and agreeing with my doctor to basically become a ‘guinea pig,’ I began immunotherapy treatments with an experimental drug that we had very low hopes that I would even respond to. Four treatments in, I was re-scanned and much to my doctors and my amazement, my results showed that I was now in remission!
“You see, I’m not sure exactly what the future holds or how much time I might have left, but no matter what, I will devote the rest of my life to telling my story and spreading awareness in hopes of saving as many women as possible from ever having to go through what I’ve gone through!
“Cervical cancer is very curable with early detection and so I urge you to join me in the fight to spread awareness. Please support me in your thoughts, and if possible, use the donate button above to help build my chapter and help me with the resources to make this happen. I pledge to do the heavy lifting if you will donate any amount to this cause. Also, please share your stories. Your testimonies are so important in spreading awareness in the fight against cancer! Thank you so much for your time, testimonies, and donations!”
—Stephanie Gonzalez (Fresno County Chapter Leader)