joannahill's Journey with Cervical Cancer

Survivor: Cervical Cancer

Patient Info: Prefer not to answer/not applicable/unsure, Diagnosed: about 22 years ago, Female, Age: 45, Stage Recurrent

  1. 1
    about 4 years ago
    joannahill's Avatar



    I was 23 years old and I had a child in February 1994. I was almost immediately pregnant again after my pregnancy even though I used precautions. I was told in April 1994 I was pregnant and then in August 1994 I lost that pregnancy. For some reason my HCG levels never dropped but again never rose like they would have if I was still pregnant. My doctor never performed a D&C saying I didnt need it. By the time October came around I was frustrated with the doc so I went to Birmingham and immediately they scheduled the D&C I will never forget the phone call I received just a few days after the procedure. I was sitting in class, I was a nursing student, and my phone rang it was the doc. She asked me to come to the office that day and though I wouldnt make it til after they closed she still wanted me to come. I was sitting in her private office as she started telling me I had a rare form of cancer called Placental Site Trophoblastic tumor that was caused by the miscarriage..........I remember thinking who is she talking to because I know it cant be me but there was nobody else there. I was told my only hope was a hysterectomy. I was 24 years old and would never have another child.

  2. 2
    about 4 years ago
    joannahill's Avatar


    Procedure or Surgery

    Less than 1 month after diagnoses I was in surgery having a hysterectomy. The procedure went well but I wasnt prepared for the impact it would have on me I was 24 yrs old and even though I was blessed with my 2 boys I had lost my daughter developed cancer from that loss and now was losing the only hope of having another child. I was not prepared for the empty feeling that would leave. I also wasnt prepared to find out that the hysterectomy didnt get the entire monster. My HCG levels still didnt go to 0 and I was having to get weekly blood test and finally sent to a gyn oncologist and told it was in the vaginal canal. I was scheduled for surgery to have a vaginectomy for Nov 1994. I just didnt know how to deal with back to back surgery, an infant son and nursing school while I fought this battle. I had family but my mom had breast cancer at the time so we were trying to be there for her as well. The second surgey went well and recovery was hard bc of caring for my family and trying to stay in school at the same time. I kept thinking I would wake up from this nightmare and it would be over but it didnt happen. I remember being in the hospital after the 2nd surgery and a large group of docs came in and my oncologist said to them "ok pay attention you will never see this cancer again in your career because I have been practicing 35 yrs and this is only my 2nd case" I asked him what happened to the other pt and he told me I didnt want to know. I felt so hopeless at that point bc I was afraid I was going to die and leave my babies alone and I didnt know how to handle that. I had no way of knowing that over the next 16 yrs I would fight this monster several more times and several more surgeries as I would fight to live. I had no way of knowing that this was the beginning of a fight against cancer that I would never be prepared for bc as I fought both of my parents would lose their fight against it within 4 months of each other. I had no idea that the last time it came back I would be told I would die and they couldnt help me and put me on hospice to die peacefully. They had no idea of how determined I was and how much faith I would have and How My Higher Power would take my tumor from me and give me a chance to help others through my fight to live. I have a purpose and that is what keeps me going and makes me fight everyday to live and be a Survivor. I am having to go back to my oncologist again bc my medical doc still doesnt believe the cancer is gone but I do and I know My Higher Power took it from me so that I could help others survive this monster.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
  3. 3
    about 4 years ago
    joannahill's Avatar



    Well after all that has happened.......9 times this monster has tried to defeat me and I am still here. I feel better today than I have in a long time. I know I will never work again doc told me that last month and I miss nursing I loved my job and taking care of people but I have a new job.........making sure people know they can beat cancer. I am living proof and so are many of you and I know that if we keep fighting we can win. I still live with pain and doc says that is a forever thing but at least I am able to get around and do some of the things I love like trying to learn to knit........not going so well.....but I can spend time with my friends and family now I dont just lay in bed and wait to die.............LIFE IS BETTER.

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