I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in October 2013 at the age of 24. I had always had my regular Paps from the age of 17 and they were always normal. I fell pregnant with my daughter around January 2012. During the pregnancy I was so unwell and tired, I looked like I felt like shit! My daughter was born in October and from then on started a year of constantly feeling horrible and picking up every sickness one could get. I was having irregular bleeding and periods and bleeding post sex. I don’t know how many doctors I saw or how many times I presented at emergency but all reassured me I was well. My Paps were normal and my feeling lousy was due to a glandular fever diagnosis.
I decided to make an appointment with a gynaecologist due to the bleeding post sex. I waited over a month for that appointment as I wasn’t considered urgent due to my normal Paps. I only had one a week before making the appointment which was once again normal. I saw the doctor on the 14th October 2013 where he performed a colposcopy and biopsy. This confirmed it was cervical cancer. From that moment it was tests and oncologists and just one big nightmare. I was stage 1b1 in November and underwent a radical hysterectomy. My pathology post operation recommended extra treatment and 2 days after Christmas I started 6 weeks of radiation and chemo. I’m so thankful I had two children already, I know I’m dealing with my loss of infertility at only 24 and I can’t imagine how those woman that were robbed of not having any children feel. I was allergic to my chemo, the treatment took its toll on my body and to this day I deal with the after affects of radiation. It’s 2 years since this began, I’m cancer free and I hope to stay that way. But I wonder when the day will come that I don’t worry or it doesn’t enter my mind on a daily basis. I got pushed away by so many doctors because I was 24 and too young for this cancer. I urge people to get a second, a third, or a fourth opinion, whatever it takes because this is not just for older woman it can affect anyone. I did the right thing; I had my Paps; the doctors think pregnancy may have made it grow more rapidly then it otherwise would but no one knows that for sure. Be your own advocate get your Pap tests and trust your own gut feelings 🙂