Mindi Baker Moore
Age 39, Shadyside, Endocervical Adenocarcinoma
My cancer story:
Mindi and Dave Moore
I always considered myself a healthy young woman. I had regular gynocological check ups (PAP test) with normal results. That is, until April 2010 when the results came back showing irregularities at which time my doctor consulted me about what that meant. More detailed tests were recommended which included another PAP test and a biopsy. Those tests also came back showing "atypical cells."
Then on Monday, May 28, 2010, my world changed drastically. On that day, my doctor told me, "I have scary news." Tests showed carcinoma - the "C" word - CANCER! I was in shock. No, not ME. I'm too young to have cancer, let alone die. I think many people hearing for the first time that they have cancer immediately think having cancer is a death sentence.
I was then told that surgery was already scheduled for me to have a hysterectomy the following Tuesday. However, later the same day, I was informed that before that surgery, I would need another surgery to be done that Friday. This was to make sure something more drastic than a hysterectomy didn't need done at Magee Women's Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Good news! My hysterectomy could be done here locally, not in Pittsburgh. My post-op diagnosis was endocervical adenocarcinoma in-situ, which means the cancer was all in one area, had not spread, and no radiation or chemo would be needed. To be sure, I was referred to an oncologist who concurred my doctor's treatment plan. I would now have to have repeat PAP tests every three months for the next two years, then every six months for two more years, which I just started. If all continues to prove negative, I will return once a year. What a small price to pay for my health. That's not to say that as the time for a recheck approaches, I don't concern myself about results... I do, or when I hear of another person losing their battle, or I get a pain, I worry, but it is getting easier.
Facing such a life-changing diagnosis is difficult to say the least. Having the support of family and friends is a great comfort. Thinking positively is a big part of healing in any situation. My husband, Dave, was at my side every step of the way. As were my parents, my brother and his family, and my doctor who reassured me that I/we could and would get through this ordeal. All is lost without confidence in those to whom you put your trust. Above all else, I thank God for giving me those people and the strength and confidence to get through one day at a time.
One lesson learned on your cancer journey:
Only ONE? There are so many lessons learned, but THE ONE lesson is this - take one day at a time. As they say, yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not yet here, you only have today. Why worry about things that have not and may not come to be? That only ruins today. Besides, God is in charge.
Message to newly diagnosed and patients in treatment:
If you're feeling "something is different" about yourself, don't put off seeking an opinion for fear of what may be. You think you're healthy? Make sure of that by getting regular check ups. I was fortunate to get an early diagnosis and treatment. Take care of yourself. It's YOUR life and your loved ones need you. God will take care of you!
The Belmont County Relay For Life will take place on June 13-14 at St. Clairsville Stadium. If you are a survivor and/or you would like to get involved in Relay For Life, please visit www.relayforlife.org/belmontcounty or call 888-227-6446 x3206.