After giving birth to her youngest daughter, Marie received her first abnormal pap test. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer and began regular treatment and check-ups.
6 years ago, at the age of 37, I had just given birth to my youngest daughter, and had two other children at home. It was during my 6 week, post delivery checkup that a Pap test was done. Otherwise, I might not have gone in for this routine test because it was something I could easily postpone and put off to a later time.
Abnormal cells were found, so I was asked to come back to the office again. Thinking this was just a routine procedure, I was surprised during the colposcopy exam that no treatment was done. Instead, the very next day, I was asked to again come back, and then was told I had cervical cancer. Sitting there, being told you have cancer, is one of the worst things ever to experience. All I could think about was my children, being left without a mum, and the thought of them growing up without me in their life.
But, I consider myself lucky in that my tumour was found early stage, and after chemotherapy and radiation, check-ups every 3 months, then check-ups every 6 months, I fairly recently reached my 5-year milestone mark with an “all clear” report, helping me feel very much relieved.
But for other ladies out there, I ask you to “please get checked!” My cancer diagnosis is always in the back of my mind, with me every day. I think all the time about the fact that if I had not had my daughter that summer, I may never have known I had cervical cancer, and I might not be here today.
If your life has been touched by cervical cancer in some way, we want to hear it from you. Your personal story can help us inspire others to get tested for cervical cancer or cope with the cervical cancer diagnosis.