Being a mother and cervical cancer survivor
My Story | Marie Johnson
Who I Am
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 (sometimes referred to as a Pap “smear”) 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.
The Journey to Diagnosis
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.
Finding Meaning and Purpose in my Cervical Cancer Experience
But, I consider myself lucky in that my tumour was found early stage, and after cervical cancer treatment including 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 cervical 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.
Personal Story told 2015.
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