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Rosa’s Story: My Cervical Cancer Scare

July 8th, 2011 by - comments (5)

Originally from Spain, she has spent half her life in England were she was close to become a Naturopath before meeting her husband and moving to NY State.  She had a busy massage and aromatherapy practice in London and had many celebrities as clients. She is right now busy raising her 2 year old daughter and hoping to add another member to the family soon. She also runs women circles and teaches belly dancing.

I was young, too young to have cancer. At least that is what I kept saying to myself. Yet denial wasn’t an option. It was there on a piece of paper, a letter I could barely understand full of medical acronyms I was far from familiar with. Why should I? I was a healthy 22 year old Spanish girl just moved to England and about to eat the world. Life was only beginning. Or was it?

The diagnosis had come with a routine check up required for something or another. I honestly do not remember. What I do remember is thinking how intrusive this kind of mandatory test was. I sure am glad  it happened, though. Had I stayed in Spain I may have never had a Pap smear, found out I had precancerous lesions and had the chance to survive it.

Yes, I am a survivor. Those days were difficult to say the least. They were full of long fearsome names and procedures. I had HPV tests, citologies, colposcopy, cryosurgery, managed to avoid conization and finally beat the thing with laser treatment. I was by myself and never told my family. I lost boyfriends and jobs. I was an emotional wreckage. I lived with Death’s cape around me.

Those were also the most formative days of my youth, probably my life. I looked for help elsewhere than traditional medicine. London is a buzzing place for Alternative Medicine. I studied Nutrition, Massage, Aromatherapy and Herbalism, as a passing time thing. They became my profession. I practiced yoga and meditation as a way to relax and keep hope alive. They became my most solid character foundation.

I was very lucky to have an early diagnosis. I knew others who were not.

There is still a lot of reluctance among women to have an examination. It is a scary thing. It is an intimate thing. However, if you are reading this and have never had a pap smear done or have forgotten when it was the last time you had one done, PLEASE, do yourself a life saving favor: Book yourself for an appointment ASAP. Life doesn’t wait, neither does CANCER.

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5 Responses to “Rosa’s Story: My Cervical Cancer Scare”

  1. christine says:

    I’m so glad you are with us today!

  2. Amanda says:

    Thank you for telling your story. I am going through the same thing right now and it definitely helps me keep my hope alive :)

  3. Rosa says:

    I am happy I have had the opportunity to share my story. It goes back more than 20 years now. At the time I wasn’t certain I would be smiling t the end of the road.
    Amanda if you read this know that the one thing you need to grab strongly is your HOPE. Then your will to make the changes this life changing event is asking from you: mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
    Love and Healing Rays to you.

  4. Rosa, this is so touching. We too rarely think about cancer touching the young. Such a good reminder and perspective. It’s so amazing how beautifully such a challenging situation shaped you. Thank you for sharing.

  5. courtney says:

    I just received a call today from a doctor I just met last week. My appt was for a routine pap, which I hadn’t had done in 2 years, since my son was born. She left a message saying my results came back abnormal – I shook as I waited to get a call back from her nurse, who told me I had hpv and (without yet seeing a gynocologist) abnormal cells, which may be cancerous. I’m 25, I had a 40 week stillborn daughter in 2008. I thought my dreadful days were over. I’ve been faithful to my boyfriend of almost 10 years -he has not. Admittedly, he has been with several girls, sometimes unprotected. Perhaps I acquired the virus in the one time before him that I had sex, but a condom was used.
    I have to wait 2 weeks to have a colposcopy. I’m numb with fear. People keep saying “don’t worry”, but I can’t stop my fear. I lost a child in a healthy pregnancy, when people said “don’t worry”. It’s 3am and I’m in tears, not just because of the fear of cancer or the time I have to wait to find out, but also that my son will wake up in 3 hours and need me, but it will be another day that I will be a nervous wreck. I’m so glad you shared your story, you are brave and you fought what may have killed you. I hope I have the same luck.

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