My life turned upside down when I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in November 1998. I could not believe what my doctor was telling me as I had always had regular pap smears. I was 35 years old with two children aged 6 & 8. I have a very close family and the hardest thing was telling them the news while trying to stay positive. I could hardly sleep at night, I would walk through the house in absolute disbelief that I HAD CANCER! This is what happens to other people.
I had a radical hysterectomy (including removal of lymph nodes) on New Years Eve 1998. I was so relieved to have the surgery done and a few days later I was given the best news possible; I was all clear, no radiation or chemo needed! I spent two weeks in the Royal Hobart Hospital before heading back to Wynyard. I will never forget that four hour drive home. I hadn’t seen the sunshine in two weeks and it was a beautiful day. I was exhausted but so relieved to get home.
I traveled to Launceston to the oncology clinic many times for follow ups over the next few years. I saw many women of all ages waiting like me to see the specialist. When I saw younger patients I would always think myself so blessed to have had my beautiful children. I know if I hadn’t been getting regular pap smears I would not be here today to see my beautiful grandchildren growing up.