I was diagnosed in January 2021, four days after setting a New Year’s goal of having the best year yet. I initially wasn’t going to get a Pap smear, because I’d had a baby a year before and wasn’t supposed to have one for another two years. But following a gut feeling, I went. I was diagnosed with neuroendocrine small cell carcinoma of the cervix. Following my diagnosis, I was put into treatment within two weeks because of the aggressive nature of neuroendocrine. The oncologist was very optimistic that we’d be able to treat and heal this cancer, because it was found in stage one. I immediately started external radiation in conjunction with chemotherapy. After 25 rounds of radiation, I did three treatments of brachial-therapy (internal radiation aka HELL)!
I was given a few weeks to heal and then had to have a hysterectomy, removing my uterus, cervix, and parts of my vaginal canal. After another couple weeks of healing, I began more chemo to kill any lingering cancer that could be hanging about in my system. By August, the doctor felt sure I was cured and cleared me from any further treatments. By October, I started having some pain in my spine, feeling that a rib was out of place and yet wouldn’t ever go by in place. In November, I had a followup scan and in December was re-diagnosed with metastasized cancer to my liver, spine, and rib.The doctor said I have maybe three years to live if I react to treatment. One year if I don’t. Right away, I started chemo and radiation, again. February showed a lesion on my brain. This was treated with radiation.
In March, the scans showed the cancer was cleared from my bones and liver. Yet June showed more growths in my liver and lungs. August showed more growths on my liver and lungs, and new growths in my bones. I heard of a clinical trial of immunotherapy happening at MD Anderson with an oncologist who studies and treats my exact cancer. I presented this to my oncologist and he agreed I should do the treatment to give me more time to live.
A trip to create memories