I first had a suspicion I was pregnant shortly after we got home from our best friends Hilary & Andy’s wedding in Key West. I didn’t have a lot of the usual signs but I remember being crazy exhausted at work, for no reason. Kevin always joked we would get pregnant fast but I don’t think either of us thought THAT fast! I took a test (ok, like 5) and sure enough, I was. That night, I surprised Kevin with a mini Hjalmarsson Hawks jersey, #4 just like Dad to break the news. We were shocked, but so excited!! We spent the next couple of weeks surprising our parents, siblings and best friends.
At our first OB appointment in early September I had the normal onslaught of tests, including the PAP. A couple of weeks later I received a call from my doctor that mine came back abnormal, but no sweat, it’s probably nothing. They did want to schedule a colposcopy though to be sure, but couldn’t until my 16 week appt, when I was out of the first trimester and it was safe for the baby. It scared me but we did our best to put it out of mind for the 4 week wait. I’ve had a PAP every year and I’ve never had anything abnormal, so it had to be nothing. It had to be! Sadly, I never got to have a “normal” OB appointment where you’re filled with pure elation. I always had in the back of mind the “what if.”
The 16 week appointment was on a Friday. After the procedure, she immediately referred us to a gynecological oncologist and got us in on Monday morning. Looking back, we were so naieve in not putting those pieces together. We thought it’d be a cyst, no big deal. The word cancer never entered our mind. It wasn’t even a remote possibilty in our minds.
Within minutes of the procedure that Monday, Kevin and I were being told it was cancer and we’d lose our baby & we’d never have biological children again. I remember the room feeling so surreal. I remember sobbing but not understanding. On Thursday, October 20th I was officially diagnosed with Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma of the Cervix. The cancer was incredibly aggressive and because of it, we lost our daughter, Hallie Hope. Our hearts shattered in a million pieces & still are today.
I had a radical hysterectomy on 11/3 & went on to have ensure five rounds of chemo & 28 rounds of internal/external radiation simultaneously. I finished treatment in March of 2017 and recently had clear two year scans in 11/18, by God’s grace alone.
Today I continue to battle a lot of physical issues from the treatment but all in all, we are grateful for continued reports of NED. I will continue to have quarterly check ups and bi-annual scans for the next three years.