Hi my name is Avi, I am 36 years old and this is my cancer story. On August 19th, 2021 four words changed my life - you have cervical cancer.
For years I had abnormal bleeding and inconsistent periods but my OBGYN at the time didn’t go through all testing to find out the reason behind everything that was going on. Then red flags began to show after losing our baby in 2019- we had been trying to continue growing our family but we were having a hard time getting pregnant. After changing my obgyn, I found an amazing doctor who wouldn’t stop until he found out what was going on. Went in for my regular pap and it came back abnormal, he repeated this 6 months later and it was again abnormal. This is when he decided to do a colposcopy- and this is where my cancer battle started. The days that followed my diagnosis are a blur. A mixture of confusion, anger, sadness, feeling terrified, shocked and extremely overwhelmed. What did this mean? What would happen to me; to my loved ones; to my/our plans, if I died?
The heartbreak I felt as I told my parents, my siblings, my grandmother, my husband and my close friends. We cried…oh man did we cry and after a good cry I told them that would have been the last time we cried. From that point forward we would face this terrible disease like we face everything else in life, together. I hugged my only child, Denavi, a little tighter and longer than usual and smiled.
We faced a lot of challenges between deciding if we needed a second opinion to choosing to save my life instead of trying to save my eggs and create embryos to later on use a surrogate.
Fast forward to January 27th, 2022 -IN REMISSION. Words I thought I would never hear when I was first diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer. What a day! While everyone said I made cancer look easy, I can tell you it was not easy. 28 rounds of external radiation, 4 chemo’s (scheduled for 6 but my body couldn’t take them all) and 5 internal radiations took my fertility away but it was all worth it for this exact moment. For the next couple of years I will be getting a PET scan every 3 months and following up with my oncologist at the Miami Cancer Institute. I have completely changed my diet and lifestyle. We take one day at a time and plan vacations and weekend getaways, enjoying life to the fullest. Cancer changes the way you see life.