Support The Cause / My Story

Let me start by saying I’m not writing this to be depressing but to share my story to help bring awareness in honor of October and breast cancer month. I had my nails polished below in support of breast cancer awareness. Even though I didn’t have breast cancer (I had cervical cancer), my mother and aunt did and I will be sharing their stories as well this month. I fear one day that I too may be at risk considering it runs so close to home. Cancer does not discriminate!! I remember this trying time of my life like it was yesterday. It was not an easy chapter in my life but I over came the hurdles I was presented and I am cured to date. I was living in Hilton Head, SC when I got the news that my pap smear came back and showed signs that I may have cancer and needed further treatment and review from a specialist. I remember the phone call I made to my mother, I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes trying to keep it together and stay strong while delivering her the news. I always had issues growing up once I crossed over from a girl to a young woman with terrible cramping and endometriosis. At 20 years of age I was upset about the phone call but still didn’t think much of it at the time. I just figured it was them being cautious considering my history but a week later when I went for my appointment with a gynecologist/oncologist at St. Josephs Memorial Hospital, I quickly realized the severity of the results. They put me under for an hour so they could look around inside and see if there was anything they could do before taking the next step to cure me of CANCER. I remember waking up in recovery and DR. Burke looking at me saying, “I’m sorry, there isn’t anything more we can do at this point.” He continued to say, “The cancer has spread and we have to do a hysterectomy.” What? Hysterectomy? How could this be? What does this mean for me? Scared, confused, thinking about dying and wanting to live, a wave of emotions flooded my body! Not sure what to ask or how to respond, I felt helpless! A deeper discussion of the word hysterectomy helped me understand that they would be removing my cervix and uterus, which would make it impossible for me to have children the natural way. I would have to consider surrogacy in my future. It was then explained, that they would leave my ovaries for two reasons…1) So, I could ovulate and produce an egg for surrogacy process and 2) To prevent early menopause. All these words being thrown at me that some people never hear in a lifetime. Why am I hearing them all now and dealing with this at such a young age? Never the less my path was paved and I knew a week from that day I was headed for a major surgery and needed to try and prepare mentally & physically. My parents dropped me off back at home and I sat there feeling sorry for myself. Later that evening I decided to drink my sorrows away (I know it wasn’t the answer but while I’m being honest it’s what I did, don’t judge). A friend at the time joined me in my mission to forget and we drank, talked, cried and she went through all the emotions with me. When I had her drop me off I turned to say bye and turned my leg the wrong way, falling to the ground. I knew it hurt but a little intoxicated I didn’t realize how much it hurt, until I woke trying to stand and couldn’t put my right foot on the ground because my left one hurt so bad. My friends rushed me to the emergency room where an x-ray revealed I had a broken foot and they put a cast on up to my knee. Miserable about my foot and dreading my major life changing surgery around the corner, my wisdom teeth decided they wanted to flare up two days later and were killing me! I called my mom in tears begging for an appointment to have them cut out. My parents came to my rescue the following day and drove me to my orthodontic appointment to have them removed. An hour later I’m on the way home with a broken foot and a mouth full of gauze from my mouth surgery. I was MISERABLE! I’m now a few days away from having a hysterectomy which means i have to starve myself and go on an all liquid diet two days prior to surgery. I can’t eat now because my mouth hurts so badly but pudding and soup. I’m hungry and getting crankier by the second. Starving and headed to the hospital for surgery I couldn’t think of anything other than I’m ready for this nightmare to end. My parents kissed me before they took me back and the doctors reassured, “She will be fine, we have her and surgery will be around six hours.” I went out, off to sleepy land and the next thing I remember, is waking in recovery to the sound of a saw. The doctors explained they cut an artery during surgery and had to call in a specialist. They explained, “It took an extra two hours and surgery went for eight hours but it’s patched and everything is ok”. We just need to remove the cast to make sure you have proper blood flow. Groggy and out of it, I wondered what else could go wrong at this point? Once they rolled me to my room I stayed there for a week on a morphine drip and had to practice walking the hallway of the hospital before I was released. I came home with my family where I slept in their recliner for a month. Two weeks after being there and gaining use of my muscles again we went back for a checkup and removal of the catheter. OUCH! I continued to stay with my family for another month using a cain to stand and move around until I gained full use of all my muscles again. What started with the word CANCER ended being one the most trying times of my life and I’m thankful I survived it all. I’m not looking for sympathy and at 34 I’m still going to check ups and everything has been fine since! Again, cancer doesn’t discriminate. Please get check ups and take it serious!
I will share more cancer survivor stories including my mom, aunts, and my friends sister this month, to continue to bring awareness!

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42 Comments

Filed under Girl Talk, Raise Awareness

42 responses to “Support The Cause / My Story

  1. Jill

    You have ALWAYS been a strong woman! I love that you share your story to encourage others to be proactive about their health and have a positive attitude! So proud of you, Tamara, and couldn’t be happier for your continued success!

    • THANKS JILL! That mean’s a lot coming from another strong woman like yourself!! I guess we all have a story! People don’t realize sometimes what you have been through since we don’t wear a sign around our necks.
      I guess that saying, “Don’t judge until you walk a mile in someones shoes” couldn’t be more true!
      I hope everyday gets better for you and your family and I’m always thinking of you! Thanks for following and leaving a comment XOXO

  2. I am in awe at how you look back at it. I can’t even imagine going through something like that now, let alone as a 20 years old. I am glad to hear you are doing OK now and wish you all the best and great health. Would it be all right for me to reblog your post?
    PS: love the nail art

    • Well, thank you for reading! Yes, it was a difficult time in my life to say the least and so tragic that I couldn’t forget if I wanted to forget.
      I don’t mind you re-posting it at all! I hope to bring awareness that cancer doesn’t discriminate. πŸ™‚
      Thank you I had my nails polished today for awareness and this post!

  3. Reblogged this on healthyfrenchie and commented:
    Thank you Tamara for sharing your experience with ovarian cancer… I think every oe should read it and realize that yes, even young women are at risk

  4. petit4chocolatier

    Thank you for sharing this. And I am so glad you are doing better now.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. What a dreadful thing for a young woman of 20 to go through. It’s difficult enough when you’re older. Thanks for having the courage to speak up so others can be helped by your story.

  6. Alisa

    So very PROUD of you to share your story!!!! You are a strong woman and always have had determination. Hugs!

    • Thanks Alisa! I really haven’t shared it other than with close friends and family but the older you get the less you care what others think and feel more compelled to help if at all possible! Hope your doing well! XO

  7. I don’t necessarily think “like” is an appropriate response to this – more like “in awe of your honesty and bravery”.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope the closest you ever come to the dreaded “c” ever again is a simple annual manicure with a ribbon logo on a nail.
    XO reversecommuter

    • I appreciate your kind words and I hope thats the closest I ever get to the word again is by sharing and supporting with the ribbon! I know we all have a story and no roads traveled are easy. I hope by me sharing my story it will inspire others to do so too πŸ™‚ and we can all support each other as women!

  8. I just read your story and am so sorry for what you had to go through. My grandma passed away from breast cancer and my aunt is a survivor. I am very happy to her you are healthy now. Thank you for sharing your story. Xx

    • Thank you and Thanks for reading! I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother 😦 ..My mother just beat breast cancer a few years ago and her sister has been battling for the last couple of years. You should definitely consider check ups since it runs in your family too! XO

      • I know, I must be honest that I am terrified to even do check ups in the shower. It sounds silly but makes me really nervous. I am going to follow your blog so I can keep checkin on how things are going πŸ™‚

  9. Before this story, I already thought what an amazing woman you are but after reading this, I am speechless! You are a blessing. Simply amazing beyond words. May you continue to be blessed. =>

    • Aw, thank you so much for your kind words! You are amazing as well and I hope we will both continue to be blessed. πŸ™‚
      Sometimes I wonder why we are dealt the hand we get but I guess it makes us stronger and more appreciative!

  10. Amazing story. Glad I read the whole thing. Cancer does suck. My husband lost his grandma from cervical cancer, I lost my uncle to prostate cancer, and I lost my aunt to ovarian. Cancer truly does suck. So happy you’re doing well and they caught it. Luckily you were good and got check-ups. I never miss ay ear, but with stupid insurance now a days, mine only covers paps every other year. Last year my husbands ins only covered it EVERY THREE YEARS! What the hell is wrong with insurance companies??

  11. Always knew you were one great lady and now you’ve proven it..!
    I thoroughly enjoyed that read about you, and your family (it takes a village). Nothing more to say really, just – you are wonderful, and I’m glad that I knew that….

    • Thanks Carolyn πŸ™‚ I figured I would share my story seeing how it could help raise awareness since cancer definitely doesn’t discriminate. Its a little nerving that my mother and sister both had breast cancer so I actually got a list of doctors the other day for mammogram’s so I could start earlier then what most doctors require. You just never know ….

      • Yes, Tamara, and you of all people understand the consequences of such a diagnosis.
        What I think is wonderful is that the three of you have survived your particular cancer… It doesn’t have to be fatal, and that’s a great message to get out. Early detection is key…
        I’m looking forward to reading both your mom’s and your sister’s stories.. xoxoxo

      • Early detection is definitely key in beating the odds! I will be posting their stories over the next two weeks in their honor of survival and for October to Raise Awareness.
        Its always a pleasure hearing from you! πŸ™‚ Its funny how you bond with people you have never met! XO

      • I feel we can all impact each others lives on a positive note through sharing real stories (reality) and compassion! It helps others build strength and know they are not alone πŸ™‚

  12. WOW. What a story. It seems as if you’ve persevered and came out a stronger woman for it. Thanks for sharing your story! I am so glad that you are healthy today. And, love the manicure.

  13. Healthy Glow Nutrition

    Wow! You have been through some very trying times! I am happy that you are doing better now πŸ™‚ You are such a strong person, I got that sense from you even through our blogs. I have had surgery on my cervix in my early twenties to remove a pre-cancerous growth… I have never missed a Pap check up since. My father died young of cancer so I am trying my best to keep as healthy and active as possible. You ‘re a warrior Tamara, thank you for sharing your tough times with us. xoxo Γ‰va

    • Hi Eva or A.K.A. …Sis πŸ˜‰ Thanks for reading and enjoying my share. I felt like others could possibly relate and its shocking to see how many people that are effected by this awful disease. 😦 Sorry, to hear about your father and I’m glad your doing well and keep up with your check ups! Very Important!!!
      Thanks for sharing that about yourself too…I feel people are often shamed by whats happened to them and I guess to some degree Ive felt that way for a long time which is why it took me so long to share but I must say I feel better getting it out and hopefully helping others!

      • Healthy Glow Nutrition

        Awww..yes “sis” you’re so sweet..the sister I never had but always wished for πŸ™‚ When I was younger I kept things to myself and it was very tough. Losing my father at the age of 12 (he was barely 40 was really hard) Now I realize that when we share not only are we helping ourselves but hopefully others as well. I wish you all the best Tamara! xo Γ‰va

      • I couldn’t imagine loosing a parent! I wish you all the best too! XOXO

      • Healthy Glow Nutrition

        Thank you Tamara! πŸ™‚

  14. Thank you – it’s great to read about your journey – mine was the similar, but there isn’t one woman that has the same journey. I was operated by the Da Vinci Robot and today I don’t have a scare on me – two of the best doctors in the world with this method did the operation, they train doctors all over the world today in this Da Vinci method – watch this video – it’s very interesting and funny. http://youtu.be/e_fUVBdwmwA – I’m happy to be alive too, but my life as a woman has shrunk with 40% with all the aftermaths.
    Thank you so much .. and this make 2 survives even if our bodies and souls has been a bit damaged.

    • Wow, I’m interested in watching the video and its wild thats how your operation went! Im glad we both survived the nightmare and yes it does damage you a little in the sense that life has permanently changed for you in a some fashion. For me being so young having children now is a bit challenging and expensive. When the time comes though I would like to consider genetic surrogacy but if that fails adoption is aways an option I haven’t explored.

      • That I understand … never wanted kids myself … and I was too old anyhow. Are you married ???? I think that adoption is a wonderful choice – there is so many kids that’s isn’t loved or wanted. If I was in your age – I would consider that as first option. When it’s time for that you know exactly what path you will take.

  15. Thank you for sharing your story. Stay beautiful and strong inside and out!

  16. Sinful Stilettos - Avril Donohue

    THE most amazing blog post I have read in a long time, if not ever! Well done for being so strong. My Mum had breast cancer in 1996 and 16 years later she’s stronger than ever. Thanks for sharing this story, it’s something very close to my heart. Avril xXx

  17. You go glitzy girl! My heart is with you!

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