Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Journey Through Cancer's Touch


My journey with cancer began, when I began experiencing symptoms in early 2002. I was forced to visit the Emergency Room as the pain became unbearable. The ER doctor decided to take some medical test and he referred me to a gynecologist. Additionally, he explained that I had a severe infection and I was given medication. Once I finished the medication, the symptoms came back in two weeks, so I scheduled an appointment immediately.

On Oct 23rd of 2002, I met the gynecologist, who discussed my test results with me. He explained that I had cervical cancer and referred me to a GYN/Oncologist. I endured many tests, but I tried not to think about was happening to me. Once, the results came back, I cried when I learned that I had Stage 2-B cervical cancer. That day, I met my new chemotherapy nurse and was referred to the hospital's Radiation Oncologist also.

Escaping Death Sentence

Subsequently, I began life-saving treatment on December 6th, 2003, which changed my life instantly. In addition, I was asked to participate in a clinical trial, which I agreed to try. The aggressive radiation, brachytherapy, and chemotherapy treatments lasted, until April 2003. Thanks to my personal health care team and modern technology, I was given a second chance to live.

I was so grateful to be a cancer survivor at age 28, but I still had many painful side effects daily. The radiation damage caused my life to change in many ways, due to my inability to walk well. One night, after losing my chemo buddy to cancer, I gained a strong passion to help other cancer patients with their fight and living beyond their diagnosis. I knew that I had beaten the odds and survived a possible death sentence.

Changing my Life

During the first initial days of my diagnosis, I decided to enroll in an adult High School course and take my mind off the diagnosis. I set out to achieve my diploma and gain a career in writing or journalism. I also changed my eating habits and began taking an array of vitamins. Then, I began soul searching and got to know God again, despite my daily struggle with pain.

Honestly, I felt humiliated to be 27 and wearing adult diapers, due to my bladder damage from the aggressive treatment I received. I began using a walker or wheelchair, in order to stay mobile. This decline in my health brought on feelings of depression and worthlessness. After discussing these feelings, my primary care doctor started me on an anti-depressant and referred me to pain management.

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