THE BLOG
04/02/2015 06:45 GMT | Updated 04/04/2015 06:59 BST

Teal and White is the New Pink..?

I hate cancer!! Who doesn't right?! It shocks me that as I've grown older I begin to know more and more people affected by cancer in some way. What also concerns me, when talking about women's cancer, I would bet my life that in a poll of 100 people 99% (at least) would think pink. Why not? It's everywhere.. During breast cancer awareness month everyone knew about it. Yes breast cancer is the most common cancer in women but the harsh reality is that Cervical Cancer is just as dangerous and running a very close second... More and more women are diagnosed with Cervical cancer every year and yet the awareness seems to be much less. I am not sure that many women even think about the reason why they are encouraged to have regular smear tests! I can count at least two ladies of similar age to me, fully aware of my situation, who have never even been for a smear test!! I find this absolutely baffling, nobody likes baring their lady garden for a prod, it's just one of the joys of being a woman..! I have also heard of ladies saying that they just don't have the time... It took me six months to get through my illness so for the sake of one afternoon to visit the nurse for five minutes discomfort and embarrassment, surely it's worth the peace of mind to rearrange one day!

Then you have the poor young girls who are begging to have a smear test! They have symptoms of cervical cancer and yet are still sent away because they are below the national screening age and end up facing death in their early twenties because of this ridiculous notion that smear tests cause more harm than good in young/teenage women?!

I can credit myself on being on top of this... I had irregular smears results in my early twenties which never posed any further threat following a slightly more invasive procedure to investigate (colposcopy). I went for my tests annually and never delayed an appointment. So when I began to have irregular periods I put it down to coming off the contraceptive pill, after all I had only just had my routine PAP with clear results! With that security I felt like, I'm guessing most people do, it will never happen to me...! I was wrong...

My journey began on the 2nd July 2014. That is when I began to bleed heavily after intercourse. I passed this off at first but after the second and third time panic set in. I went to the doctor and had many tests to rule out all possibilities. My smear test came back abnormal with sever dysplasia of my cervix. I then had a colposcopy with LLETZ biopsy which revealed ardenocarcinoma. I can not describe the feeling you get when you are given such news. In that split second when you are told you have cancer it feels like someone is telling you... You are going to die!! That didn't last too long for me as my gut instinct, like a sixth sense, and my survival instinct took over. Throughout my fight I had 4 surgical procedures, 3 MRI scans and a misdiagnosis along the way which almost lead to me having a hysterectomy!!! In a state of desperation I began to research other options and a less drastic solution to removing my uterus or killing it off with chemo/radio therapy. I found out diets, supplements, alternative therapies and specialist equipment from going on a google marathon. I wanted to share the information I had found so my Facebook page was born...

Based on all my research I decided to seek a second opinion as having a family has always been important to me and the options I was given would make me infertile. I asked for a referral to a hospital which I felt could benefit me most from their equipment and experience and hence received flagship care at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. I would not have gone so far as to risk my life to save my fertility and had to meet very specific criteria before being approved for a Radical Trachelectomy.

I had my results on 18th December, just in time for Christmas.. I was given the news that my lymph nodes were clear of disease and I had substantial clear margins in the removed tissue. I am now in remission and will require regular checks before I am regarded as cured if I get clear results for the next 5 years. I will live in the shadow of cancer for the rest of my life but I will not let it rule my future!

My aim is to reinforce the fact that cervical cancer should never be underestimated, I have met some wonderful people in the last six months who are less fortunate than myself and are still fighting today.

I also believe that there is a stigma attached to cervical cancer, due to the association with HPV, (people who I prefer to refer to as poorly informed rather than ignorant!!) can tend to pass judgment that this disease is caused by a loose sexual lifestyle!! This is the kind of attitude that makes this cancer so taboo and that has to change!! A smear test is just as important as a breast exam. Listen to your body and never ignore a symptom...