I was diagnosed with cervical cancer
in 1996 when I was 33. As a young woman (in my twenties) I had been sexually very active and (sometimes) not very choosy. I enjoyed my sexuality and I enjoyed being desired. I imagine through one of these too careless sexual encounters I was infected with HPV. - The tumour was as big as a tennis ball, just barely still operable. I felt totally powerless, gave myself up completely to the experts who seemed to know what needed to happen to save my life. For that was what I wanted - I wanted to live! I was ready to do whatever it took to fight the cancer. I had a radical hysterectomy, the one ovary they left in place (in the hopes that it would survive) was destroyed by the radio therapy. The chemo therapy gave my life-long tinnitus, which I have accepted. There is no point in fighting it. I have learnt a lot about acceptance in my life! The serenity prayer is my constant guide. - After the physical healing I had to heal my soul, I had to change my life. I have been cancer free now for 14 years and I feel truly blessed and very grateful. I have a short vagina now and tinnitus, but I am alive - I am a cancer survivor!