BENEFITING: NATIONAL CERVICAL CANCER COALITION
Hi, my name is Ashley. I started this because I feel like I need to do something to help me with my grief, especially at Christmas time. On November 16th 2005, my mom was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She hadn't been to the GYN in years and only went because she was having excruciating pain. They diagnosed her with Stage I cervical cancer. She started chemotherapy and radiation treatments right away... everything was supposed to be fine, because cervical cancer is cured the majority of the time (if found early), She started getting blood clots after starting treatment and had to have an IVC filter placed to "catch" the blood clots. In February of 2006, on Super Bowl Sunday, she was in the shower and lost her vision. We took her to the hospital, where she was then diagnosed with a brain tumor, most likely a menigioma (which was probably not related). We took her to the University of Pennsylvania, she stayed for 14 days. They found out after multiple tests that she was having mini strokes and THAT was way she was losing her vision. After that, my mom was never really the same. Everything went downhill so unbelievably fast. She started again with her cancer treatments, and the plan was to remove the brain tumor after the cervical cancer was treated. She wasn't acting like herself and was developing so many blood clots, so in late May, her oncologist ordered a PET scan. We waited. On April 2nd, he called us to come to his office in Allentown, without my mom. We were ushered into a room with him, and we were told my moms cancer had spread... all over. We thought he would tell us she had a year or so, we were wrong. He told us that maybe she would be around for a week or two. The rest of that week is a blur, it was spent with every minute by her side. She was highly medicated, thanks to a hospice nurse, so she wasn't really there. Every now and then she would talk to us, and was "aware". I had my goodbyes with her and am SO grateful for that. She died 6 days later, on April 8th 2006. It has been 5 years since her death and it seems like it was yesterday.
Cervical cancer can develop over years, that is why it is SO SO important to get a YEARLY pap exam. If found early, more than 90% of cerivcal cancer cases are CURABLE. Even if I don't raise a lot of money with this, if a woman reads this story, and it makes her have a pap, or if she tells a family member/friend to have a pap, it could SAVE A LIFE!! Please, please, please, have your early exam!
By the way, January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. GET YOUR PAPS LADIES!!!!!