Abby L’s Story

In October 2019 after a routine screening I received a phone call from my GP that changed my life…forever.

My results showed that I tested positive to HPV 16 and I was referred to a specialist gynaecologist for a colposcopy. It was an anxious wait until my appointment – so many thoughts and worst case scenarios were going through my mind.

After my colposcopy procedure, I was scheduled for an appointment at the hospital where I would undergo some further investigation and a biopsy.  Following the visit I was diagnosed with stage 1b2 cervical cancer. My course of treatment was a radical hysterectomy, including removal of both ovaries.

Words really can’t describe what I felt that day, I was numb and overwhelmed. It felt like a very bad dream. I was scared and the fear of the unknown was frightening. Being told I would never be able to carry a child was truly devastating as it was something both my partner had always hoped for. This broke both of our hearts.

My hysterectomy date was scheduled and the surgery went accordingly. I was in hospital for approximately 10 days for recovery then was at home for the following 6-8 weeks to rest. In addition to my my hysterectomy I am undergoing 28 radiation treatments, which I have nearly completed.

Cancer may have turned my life upside down, but it has taught me to live life like there is no tomorrow and cherish every day.

My tips for Australian women about cervical health

Please ensure your regular cervical screenings are done – don’t be afraid or embarrassed. You have to listen to your bodies, if something doesn’t feel right – get it checked!