The best day of my life was also the worst day of my life the day I became a mom and cancer patient. My son was born early at 33 weeks because my doctor found a tumour on my cervix, which was diagnosed with Stage 2B cervical cancer with lymph node metastasization. A virus (HPV16) caused my cancer. The HPV vaccine was not available when I was young, but it is now and it can help protect against the virus. After 34 rounds of radiation and 13 cycles of 4 different chemo drugs, and with the support from all of my freaking awesome friends and family, I have been stable since treatment ended in July 2017.

Check that. Unfortunately my cancer’s back. April 2018. This time in mediastinal lymph nodes in my chest which was found on a routine scan. It’s basically the roots of your lungs. I’ve finished 25 treatments of radiation, so I’m crossing all my fingers and toes that it keeps me stable for a while.

In December of 2018, pneumonia and migraines landed me in the emerg, which later turned out to be a brain tumour and spots on my right lung, abdomen, and liver that were too small to show up but 6 months ago on a head CT and 2 months ago on a routine body scan. Brain surgery in January 2019 removed the bulk of the tumour on my occipital lobe with 10 doses of head radiation to clean up the rest.

In February 2019, I started the same chemo regime as before, hoping that it shrinks the new spots throughout my body. Chemo becomes less effective the more you do it, with the risks of lasting side effects going up (benefits go down, risks go up), but I haven’t had it since 2017, so we are hopeful that it will still pack a punch.

Going through this experience has turned me into a 90 year lady with no filter, speaking her mind but in a positive way, that looks like she’s only 20 but is actually 35. It confuses people all the time but I feel like I still have so much good to give the world.

Without my son, the cancer would have gone undetected because all of my regular pap tests were normal, so my son saved my life. I’m still going to make him clean his room when he’s older though.

Cancer is persistent but so am I.