I had everything planned out and under control while preparing for my retirement. What was supposed to be an outpatient surgical procedure, ended up being major surgery, a hysterectomy. Everything changed when my doctor told me the results of my pathology report. You have a rare, aggressive uterine cancer. My entire world was turned completely upside down in less than sixty seconds!
How could I have cancer? I get all my checkups annually. I treat everybody like I want to be treated. I take care of myself and others, besides, I am a nurse. My doctor referred me to a gynecology oncologist surgeon at Prisma Health in Greenville, SC. This is where my journey began. The next step was to have biopsies taken to determine how far the cancer had spread and to make plans for treatments. By God's grace, the cancer had not spread to other parts of my body. The oncology team recommended chemo and radiation therapy. They also prepared me on the side effects to be expected from the treatments. The chemo and radiation therapy kept me very weak and confused most of the time. I developed chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy. All the staff that took care of me were great! During the early course of my chemotherapy, my hair started falling out. I called my beautician. She recommended and cut my hair in a shorter style. Something else I remember is when a coworker called to check on me. I cannot remember what she said, but it gave me permission to cry and share my feelings with her. I felt much better after talking with her. My family and friends have supported me greatly. My cancer diagnosis and treatments occurred during Covid. I also dealt with anxiety and depression. I started attending all the zoom meetings through the CIOS Community Calendar. I was introduced to Moving On, Stay Strong, and Live Strong Rehabilitation Programs. With this combination, I made new friends, worked on getting my strength and memory back, and prepared for my "new norm." Today, my journey continues. I work as needed, exercise regularly, and make better choices with the foods I eat. I still participate in activities from the CIOS Community Calendar. I am overjoyed that my nomination was accepted to become a Warrior. I learned not to take life, health, family, and friends for granted; To live each day as if it were my last day on earth; To enjoy life to the fullest; And to be kind to everyone I meet. Thanks for giving me the opportunity of a life time!