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The Beginning

Alicia 27th Bday

So here is a little bit about me…

At the beginning of 2013 I was in my element. I had just celebrated my 27th birthday, finished a huge piece of work and was hungry for the amazing adventures 2013 would bring. I loved my friends, my life, my job, had just started seeing someone and was planning on enjoying some travels through out the year to come. I bounced between the Gold Coast and Brisbane at my heart’s content enjoying beach hangouts, a bit of surfing, nights with friends and simply enjoying life. The biggest medical concern in my life was whether I should get braces or just embrace the smile I had.

I had no idea. I would never have guessed 2013 would be the year I would face the biggest challenge of my life and be front and centre in a fight where there were no rules, no niceties or umpire – my fight against cervical cancer. And believe me when I say, it plays dirty.

I had an inkling something was a little off…a couple of times I had unusual bleeding. I justified this with, ”some girls bleed afterwards”, “my period must be early” and so on until I started to see a little pattern.

I was due for a pap smear anyway so made my way to the doctors with trepidation. I thought through a couple of possibilities. “Oh please don’t be an STD/STI…embarrassing…”, “Cancer? Don’t be stupid, we don’t have a history of cancer in our family”.

15 seconds in I knew it wasn’t good. The doctor’s head shot up and she asked me a question in a high pitched, nervous voice. No need to necessarily worry, she advised me. It could be nothing, but she could see a growth at the base of my cervix and would like it checked by a specialist. Within the week I went through a whirlwind of appointments, tests, scans and a biopsy.

On the 15th of May, the gynaecologist confirmed it was cancer but not what type, so next stop…the gynae-oncologist. Until I knew what we were dealing with I didn’t want to overly concern my parents. No point in us all fretting and not able to do anything about it. When I broke the news I wanted to be talking about solutions right away. So I waited until the gynae-oncology appointment to break it to them. Shell shocked is an understatement. Getting lost on the way to the hospital didn’t help either.

In an odd twist of fate, the same day I was told I had cancer was also the same day I was offered a highly sought after position at work (let’s just say the graceful decline was a little wobbly).

Clear cell cervical cancer was the prognosis. Very unusual, they said. You’re very young, they said. If you had HPV cervical cancer we could cure you with our eyes closed – thanks for that.

And so that was the introduction to something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

4 Responses to “The Beginning”

  1. Stephanie Liberato February 5, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Alicia,
    Watching your video and reading your story brought me to tears. I am so very very sorry for what you have gone through and what you are going through. I know words may seem hollow right now, so I will make it my best interest to make others and the community aware of your story and hopefully help raise the funds you require to sought the best medical assistant you require.
    My love goes out to you and your family. Big hugs.
    Steph xo

  2. Frances Nierenberg February 6, 2014 at 1:06 am

    Dear Alicia, I applaud you your courage to face this diagnosis. One can get a sense of the type of strong individual you are by the wonderful testimonies written by your friends and family. I wish you success and happiness in your efforts. May God grace you with strength and your doctors with skill.
    Regards and Prayers for you from across the pond.
    Fran

  3. Alicia
    Your passion for living is blinding. I was deeply touched by your heartfelt plea for support. You will certainly have mine! And I will share your ‘fight for survival’ in the hope that you persevere, overcome and continue to shine your light where there can be a great darkness.

    Peace, love, light & harmony to you and yours.
    Charmaine

  4. Alicia, I just read some of your story and admittedly started to tear up. The bravery you have portrayed is massive. I was diagnosed with abnormal cells back in September, cone biopsy performed 5 weeks ago. I held my head high and am continuing to do so as with appointments to come. I have my fingers crossed for you and I really hope that a miracle awaits you.