There are times while on this planet when we are truly tested. Whether it is with love, family, finances, career or health, each of us has periods of in life where we are forced to dig deep. Courage, hope and joy oppose fear, despair and anger. These times create us, define us and bring us clarity. For the past year, I have been quietly battling cervical cancer. The diagnosis was surprising, frightening and shattered my world. My normally stellar health was no longer to be taken for granted. This, coming from a person who ate well, exercised and was actually ON the cover of Health Magazine!
Last Summer, I underwent a radical hysterectomy, chemotherapy and radiation in hopes of eradicating my very rare and aggressive strain. Fortunately, I had amazing doctors and a magnificent support system with family and friends. Woefully, the cancer has barged its way back in – this time attacking my ovaries.
My doctors have used the term ‘outlier’ to describe my case, as I do not fit any sort of profile for this to happen to me. Sometimes there is no reason. But if my experience can somehow help others, that gives me a sense of solace amongst the chaos. I will surely tell you that the profound love, support and the coming together of friends and family is lighting me up from within. Basically recovered from a second surgery, I am in the midst of chemo once again.
In our busy lives, it is too easy to put everyone else’s needs before our own. I encourage all women to take time to check in with themselves and get regular screenings. The recommended time frame is now every two years. THAT was too much time.
As a mom to two little ones, a wife to a loving husband, a daughter and sister…as a writer and actress who’s voice is still strong, I will fight this fiercely.