Surviving Well, April, Cervical Cancer Survivor

In January 2010, April began to notice that things weren’t quite right with her body. She had a persistent cough, couldn’t get over colds and suffered from fatigue. It was also about this time that she noticed a change in her menstrual cycle. The bleeding was lighter and seemed to be watery.

“At first, I thought it was just my body going through changes after having children,” April said. “But then I started bleeding heavily and having lower back pain.”

April’s doctor sent her to the nearby women’s health clinic where the results of her pap smear came back abnormal. April had a biopsy and a CT Scan, which showed a suspicious lymph node.

“I was in denial,” April said. “My biggest concern was getting it taken care of and getting better as quickly as possible. Being a single mom, I was really worried about my kids.”

The doctors at her clinic recommended a full hysterectomy by gynecological cancer specialist Dr. Daniel Donato at Rose Medical Center.

“We made all of the arrangements, got down there, and Dr. Donato delayed my surgery, because he wanted to look at other treatment options,” April says. “To find out it was going to take longer was scary, but I’m thankful that Dr. Donato was looking out for my best interests and the best procedures.”

A day later, Dr. Donato told April that after further examination, the tumor didn’t require her to have a full hysterectomy.

So instead of a hysterectomy, April had six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy, with an additional four rounds of radiation at Rose Medical Center.

“It was the nurses there that really helped me through the last steps of my treatment,” April said. “They were so encouraging.”

April finished her treatments in June 2010. For now, she sees her doctor every three months and they monitor closely. In the mean time, April is working on getting back to normal.

“The one thing I wish I’d done differently is take more time to take care of myself,” April says. “Being a single mom, my children and their care always came first. I forgot about myself.”

April and her kids

The Rose “Surviving Well” Calendar is a 15-month calendar highlighting our cancer services, physicians, and some inspirational stories from our patients. Andrew is our survivor for December 2010. Click here to sign up to receive your FREE copy of the calendar.

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