As part of the Environment Report's week-long series, Cancer and Environment: Searching for Answers, we'll be highlighting some powerful stories of hope and loss in the words of those touched by cancer in Michigan. You can read more Michigan cancer stories here. How has cancer affected your life? Tell us your story.
What should have been one of the happiest and most exciting periods of my life, my pregnancy, became a nightmare when I found out I had cancer.
I started to experience problems when I was 8 weeks pregnant. I refused to take no for an answer when my concerns were ignored by several doctors, and found an OBGYN that took the time to investigate the issues I was having.
Many tests, biopsies and surgeries later, we found out I had Stage 1B1 grade 3 cervical cancer. My husband and I were faced with the choice of ending the pregnancy so I could have an immediate, radical hysterectomy and possibly further treatment, or facing the possibility of being significantly worse-off after having my child.
I chose to become my own advocate and I did my homework. I worked with an amazing gynecologist who was experienced with administering chemotherapy during pregnancy. I had chemotherapy during my second and third trimesters and 6 years later, my son and I are doing well.
There have been challenges, but I am so happy with the decision I made. I am thankful for the support of my doctors, my husband and support groups: hystersisters.com and Pregnant with Cancer. I continue to offer support to others in the same situation through working with Hystersisters and PWC.
*This story was informed by the Public Insight Network. Share your story here.