My Cancer Diagnosis Came Out Of Nowhere — Here’s How I Coped

I was completely in denial about my health for a very long time. I’m a very focused and driven person, so when I went to school for psychology and cognitive neuroscience, I completely buried myself in my studies. After graduating, I immediately jumped into a master’s program, started planning my private practice while I was only halfway through the program, and opened it the day I graduated.

In other words: There was always one thing after another in my life, and I neglected every aspect of my health in the process. In my eyes, my mind and my body were two separate things.

In my eyes, my mind and my body were two separate things.

Looking back, there were so many signs that something was off, and it was clear that I was starting to get sick (for instance, I came down with shingles in my 20s, which is pretty much unheard of). But I just stayed focused on my career and family. I didn’t think about myself, I didn’t think about what I was eating, I didn’t think about how I was treating my body–I was too busy taking care of everyone else. So when I received my diagnosis, it came as a complete shock.

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I was getting a routine checkup at my OB/GYN when she noticed that something looked off.

She told me it was probably nothing since I’d never had a single symptom or an abnormal Pap smear. But she decided to do a Pap smear anyway, just to be safe.

I received a phone call later that day, and my OB/GYN asked me to come back to the office ASAP to do some biopsies. After getting the results back–the week of my 30th birthday–I had a cervical cancer diagnosis.

In some ways, I was very lucky because I was diagnosed with Stage 1 cancer, which is extremely early. And in other ways, I’m very unlucky, because cervical cancer is one of the slowest progressing cancers that there is, especially for women. That means, getting to Stage 1 should have taken years–however, six months prior, I had a Pap smear with no signs or indications that anything was wrong. The cancer moved very quickly in my body, and as a result, I had to urgently begin surgeries.

Each surgery was progressively more aggressive. The first was a cone biopsy, in which they removed a portion of abnormal tissue from my cervix. When that came back positive, I had to go back in again for another surgery. Then, I had a full hysterectomy, just to be really sure all the cancer was removed. At only 30 years old, I was very young to be going through this procedure. Fortunately, I was done having kids. I may have felt even more devastated if that wasn’t the case.

My cancer journey was fast and furious. I was diagnosed in December 2018, and I was completely cancer free and cleared by April 2019. The major surgery meant that I wasn’t really healed until about July.

After the whirlwind treatments, I started to feel really sorry for myself, and I got very down about my life. I knew I needed to figure out a way to move past this and to make it feel like it wasn’t for nothing.

My journey prompted me to start thinking about what causes illness in the first place. Why do some people get sick when other people don’t? So I did something I felt very capable of doing: I dove into research. I pulled out all my old textbooks and looked at all the research articles that I could find online. During this process, I found something really remarkable: Researchers have found a traumas. The reason this happens is something called a subconscious feedback loop. Every experience that you have is sensory–as you take in those senses, it internally creates a chemical reaction, your emotions. Those emotions create a physical reaction in your body, which is also chemical, and that physical reaction sends a chemical reaction back up to your brain in the form of a thought–that loop repeats over and over again.

For instance, many people are triggered by the holidays and spending time with their family because of unpleasant <a href="https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/care-for-your-inner-child-during-the-holidays" target="_blank" class="mbg-track-event" data-track-event-types="click" data-track-type="article-link" data-track-prop-element-id="in-body-link" data-track-prop-label="page_type

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