My Cervical Cancer Symptoms Story

My Cervical Cancer Story and Warning Signs

Cervical cancer pelvic pain
Abdominal and pelvic pain is common as an early sign of cervical cancer.
Personal cervical cancer storyNo one is exempt- it happened to me; it could happen to you.

My Cervical Cancer Story

My first early signs of cervical cancer I experienced were intermittent vaginal bleeding and clear vaginal discharge that appeared when I was around 22 years old. I was having vaginal spotting and irregular cycles off and on for several years prior starting off the age of about 18. I had a MRI when I was about 20 years old and I found out I had a pituitary tumor which is a type of tumor in the pituitary gland. With having the tumor, I nearly stopped having periods and it came almost to a halt.

When I was around 23, I was getting used to not having periods and the doctors said there is absolutely not a chance that I could get pregnant. It was roughly about a year or so later I was starting to have some abnormal vaginal bleeding, however; I was also somewhat excited because I thought that I was maybe going to start having periods again.  I started vomiting and not feeling well and after many tests; I found out I was pregnant. Because I didn't have periods, I had no clue and we were elated about having a child. We always wanted children but again, was told it wasn't possible. I was still bleeding throughout the pregnancy and ended up being put on bed rest.

Another couple months went by after my son was born and I continued spotting, getting blood clots and white thick discharge. I started to be more and more concerned that there was something else going on. I was then passed on to another gynecologist after several stressful trips back and forth. I was told it was my cycle trying to come back to being regular since I was taking medicine to shrink the pituitary tumor.

I soon felt as I was getting nowhere and no one heard my cries or would listen. I knew something wasn't right; It could feel it in my bones. All the pap smear tests I was having, just kept coming back repeatedly abnormal (but within normal limits) or negative for any abnormalities such as cancer or dyspasia.

After several phone calls, I was told I was bothering them and nothing was wrong. I was overwhelmed and actually disgusted at this point. I was scared and I had to do something; I had to do it quickly. I was eventually referred to an OBGYN/Oncologist who said I was advancing rapidly with cancer. He was very adamant and to be honest, arrogant. To verify, he had performed a biopsy, CT scan and a Pet scan. I was receiving mixed signals and mixed diagnoses; I was really getting frustrated with all the different opinions by now. To be honest, I think I had about 4 or 5 opinions by now with all different answers, opinions tests, etc.

Normal Pap Smears and Cervical Cancer

Is it true you can have cancer and have a normal Pap smear? Well, it depends on who's reading the smear and/or type (progression of cancer, etc.). I had numerous normal pap smears, how could I have cervical cancer?

I always knew, or at least I was told, and under the assumption, that pap smears and pelvic exams would find and detect types of female cancers such as: cervical, uterine, vaginal. I had to go for a second opinion; I just had to. I have been told so many different things and had such high hopes that the place said that I was a bother, was right. I would rather be a bother than have cancer.

I made an appointment with another doctor for the following days ahead. Tnhis was supposed to be a specialist and was told to be one of the best. My world was falling apart and I wanted to know for sure if I had cervical cancer. I had gone through another pap and pelvic exam.  When the doctors came into the room, they had smiles on their face and their exact words were: "You are going to be so happy you came here; you don't have cancer, you have endometriosis and it can be cured."

We cried, celebrated and then called the oncologist right when I had returned home. I told him that my pap test was normal and they said I had endometriosis. I was so happy to explain to him he made a mistake that I couldn't see straight. I honestly don't know why I even made the phone call to him; I guess I was trying to make a point and prove him wrong.

For some reason, the next morning, I made a frantic appointment to see him to explain and go over the results with him. It was like I second guessed the best of the best; and I'm not sure why. When it comes down to do or die, it's amazing where you find yourself going with all your gut feelings. 

I have never felt so scared as I did when I walked into his office. I really had a deep gut feeling that something really was wrong.  The nurse didn't take me into a regular exam room; it was a large meeting room and I could feel the uneasiness in the air. The doctor walked into the room with the results from his biopsy and also the results from the specialist that said I had endometriosis. He said, "young lady, you do have cervical cancer and you do not have endometriosis. We have to start treating this and treat it promptly" We were so dumbfounded and just confused. In order to prove it to us, he did another large biopsy and had it sent to Sloan Kettering in Massachusetts.

I ended up having to have 6 weeks for radiation and a total hysterectomy. Because the tumor was so large, he had to do radiation first to shrink the tumor so he could remove all of it. The pathology report came back that I did have stage IIB cervical cancer. There is nothing worse than someone telling you that you have cancer and you may die. The world falls apart around you and stops- but everything else is still going.

There is so much more that went on that I didn't mention. It has been 24 years now that I have been cancer free. Cancer isn't always a death sentence; early detection is te key and listening to your body will tell yu if something isn't right.  I saved my own life by my persistence and intuition and and listening to my body.