I’m 17, and I’ll never be able to have kids.

September 26th, 2012, was the day my life changed forever. I was diagnosed with Clear-cell Endocervical Adenocarcinoma. Cervical cancer is literally unheard of in my case: a 17 year old virgin, HPV negative.

It was homecoming week. My LAST homecoming week. I’m a senior in highschool; I was high on life. I was so insanely happy at this point in my life. I really didn’t think anything could knock me down. This story is extremely personal and graphic to say the least, but I want to tell everyone. I want everyone to know that I am strong enough to deal with this. This is my new reality. If I am strong enough to deal with it, then so are all the other teens in the world who have to deal with cancer. It sucks, and it’s scary, and it’s NOT fun. But, even though my journey has just begun, I’ve already had some great experiences and met some amazing people that I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t have been diagnosed.

It all started in summer. I had noticed in the past year that strange things were going on in my feminine area. I had been having excessive discharge for a long time. But, in summer, I was starting to bleed when it wasn’t time for my period. It was happening more and more until it became an everyday thing. I didn’t really think it was a big deal at the time. I am a virgin. So, I mean what could possibly be wrong with me? I was thinking probably just a little infection that would go away. I was wrong.

I figured it was time that I tell my mom what was going on and go to the doctor, but I was so terrified of going to the “girl” doctor. I kept putting it off. I really wish I hadn’t of put it off. When I finally decided to tell my mom, she was concerned and immediately called the doctor and scheduled me an appointment for September 18th. It was two weeks off, so I wasn’t really concerned about it yet.

The day finally came for me to go to the doctor. It was a traumatic experience for me because it was painful. I had to go into the examination room, strip down, and open my legs to someone I had just met, and let them look at my personal area. EW, RIGHT? I was absolutely terrified. The fact that I am virgin made it painful enough, but to add to it, the doctor told me I was abnormally tiny down there. Great. As he was examining me, he spotted an area on my cervix that looked rather questionable. He said that it looked like a cyst. He took a few swabs and was done. He perscribed some antibiotics for me to take and scheduled a follow up a week later. He was assuming it was just infection, but he wanted to do a pelvic ultrasound at the follow up just to make sure. I was relieved that he thought it was just infection.

As we were pulling out of the parking lot, we passed a building with sign on it that said “Cancer Rehabilitation Center.” I stared at the word “cancer.” I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach. Somehow, I knew that this wasn’t just an infection. It was much worse.

I went back to the doctor the next week. It was Tuesday. Homecoming week. The last thing I wanted to be doing was going to the girl doc. My mom drove us back to the doctor, and we passed that cancer rehab center again. I stared at the word again.

I went back to the ultrasound room and the tech squirted the sticky gel you always see on tv on my stomach. I felt like I was pregnant or something. She moved a little wand thing around my abdomen. She asked me what exactly the doctor was looking for. I told her a cyst on my cervix. She replied with, “Oh…I don’t see that.” I felt relieved, but then she called another lady in to have a look. The whispered with each other for a few minutes. I was scared.

Once again, I went into the same examination room to do the dreaded thing all over again. This time the doctor told me he was going to do a pap smear. I bled a lot. This wasn’t normal. They made me and my mom wait for a long time before the doctor came back in and explained what the ultrasound revealed. He said there was a 4cm x 2cm mass on my cervix. My stomach dropped. He said he was going to get the pap smear results rushed so that we would know as soon as possible what kind of cells that it revealed.

It was hard to sleep that night. I knew what was coming. The next day. I was in speech class when my iPad lit up with a text from my mom. It said that the doctor called and wanted us to come in as soon as possible. This was it. The truth would finally be revealed.

When we got to the doctor, the nurse led us back into a big conference type room. We sat down and waited for awhile. I was sitting a coffee table staring at a bookshelf in front of me. My eyes went straight to a book the said in gold letters “CANCER.” The doctor finally came in and sat down and just kind of looked at us very seriously. He said, “I don’t know what this is, but it’s not good.” I looked at him and waited for something else. He said that my pap smear revealed malignant cells. My mom began crying. My throat stung and tears were welling up in my eyes. I cried for a minute, and then dried it up. I was going to fight this. Whatever it was. I was going to kick it in the BUTT. He told us two kinds of cancers that it most likely would be. He said I most likely had Rhabdomyosarcoma. It was more of a childhood cancer. He then said that there was a chance, but it was extremely rare, that I would have Adenocarcinoma.

I went home and began preparing myself for the next day where I would be at St. Jude Research Hospital all day. I was excited to see what the hospital was like since it is considered one of the best children’s cancer research hospital in the world.

Everyone I met there was amazing. Everyone was so nice. I had a MRI while I was there to see if anything looked suspicious in my abdominal area. The results looked pretty good. One of my lymphnodes was a little bit suspicious.

The next Monday I had a PET and a CT scan done. Everything was looking good besides the huge tumor on my cervix. The next step was to get a biopsy of the tumor. It was going to have to be done surgically since I was so tiny down there.

I went in Wednesday and had the surgery done. It went well. I went to another doctor that was specializing in gyno. oncology Friday. The results were back. Clear-cell Endocervical Adenocarcinoma. I was the exception. I was the rare one. I was the one who blew doctors minds. The thing about all types of cervical cancers is that virgins just don’t get it. It evolves from HPV which is a sexually transmitted disease. Once again, I am a virgin. Another thing is that this certain type of cervical cancer is only seen in older women, like 50 years old and up. This was crazy for me to have this, but I do. My doctor told me that they were gonna write books and articles about me. This was a huge deal.

At this point, I didn’t care how rare I was, I just wanted it out of me. I was scheduled for surgery the next week, October 10th. It was a huge surgery. I was having a radical hysterectomy and a lymphadenectomy in addiction to getting the tumor out. A hysterectomy is a surgery to take out your cervix, uterus, and ovaries. This means that I will never be able to have kids. Luckily, I got to keep my ovaries to avoid menopause for as long as possible. But, If I do have to go through chemo and radiation, then I will have to go through menopause, something only 50 year old woman and up have to experience. It’s now October 17th. It’s been a week since my surgery, and now I am just doing my best to recover and get back to myself. I have a follow up next Friday to find out the next step in treatment. I pray that the surgery is enough, but it looks like I will probably have to go through some chemotherapy and radiation to make sure my cancer doesn’t come back and to make sure its all gone.

I just found this website, and I thought it would be cool to reach out to other people my age who are having to deal with cancer this young. It’s a tough experience, but with courage and strength and faith in God, we can do this. I can do this. :)

Please feel free to talk to me. I’d love to make some friends who are going through cancer too since I’m new to all this. :)

October 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Newly Diagnosed

  • Liz

    My cousin is 17 also a virgin and has cervical cancer we just found out dont know how to help her :(

    • Adalenne

      She will be fine. I made it through with my surgery and am now pretty much back to normal. If she needs anyone to talk to, please give her my email and I’d be glad to talk with her :) adalenne.cole@aol.com

  • Eva

    We now have a jab against cervical cancer. But this story was touching, hope everything goes ok and the most important thing is to stay positive and smile..

  • Amelia

    I don’t have cancer but my best friend does (he’s 15)! I visit St. Jude all the time! It’s an amazing place and i don’t know what we’d do without them! Your story is touching and heart wrenching! My parents and i have been praying for you! Maybe i’ll see ya at “the Jude” sometime!

    • Gillian

      What’s your friend’s name? How’s he doing? Can you give me his instagram or email or something so that I can talk to him? I’m really interested in helping teens with cancer. BTW I am a teen

  • Iris

    Please, contact with me , if you want, of course. My name is Iris, i’m spanish teenager and i have a similar problem.I would like to talk to you.
    My facebook: Iris Gomez Juzgado

  • Maddy

    I really appreceate that you told this story to us. I am also 17, and I myself have never had cancer, but my mom, grandmother, and grandfather have. I am interested in helping teens who have cancer, but i am still learning how I can do that. I appreceate stories like this because I am able to see through the eyes (words) of teens who have had this experience, and it helps me see what you are going through. You sound pretty amazing, and it sounds like you are allready Kikking this cancers Butt! Keep up the good work, I know it must be a challenge to hold everything togather. Keep us updated
    -graphicbirdie@gmail.com

  • Butterfly

    Hi hello, when i was searching for cervical cancer i came to your story. ı am so sorry for you, i wish that you get well soon… Reading your story made me more worried about my condition… I am also a virgin which is 22. When i was having an ultrasound scan from my abdomen, got diagnosed with some cyst in the right paracervical area which is 2,5 x2 cm. Freaked out, i rushed into a famous gyn but he turned out to be a strange one which did only another ultrasound scan and didn’t do any pelvic exam or no pap smears because i was virgin (since i live in Turkey most doctors are unwilling to examine virgin girls). Shared all my personal info with my mother too and told us the cyst is totally benign and i probably have it since i was born. I told him i had dozens of ultrasound scans before and doctors never had seen this cyst before but he said “maybe they couldn’t see it…” he diagnosed it as a gartner’s cyst.
    This happened in late March and i went to control once again a month ago and after another ultrasound scan he again said that it is totally ok and will never change… But after that my periods have stopped and i have pains at my right side. I am scared to go to the doctor again as i will hear the same things… normally i wouldn’t think about it but such stories get me afraid…
    Do you think i should get a pelvic exam or some blood tests? I will be very happy if anyone answers me.

    • elle

      Hello butterfly, see if you can have the cyst removed. I had a situation similar to yours. I am a 31 yr old virgin. When I was around 24/25 I began having abnormal discharge and spotting. I have fear of gynos so I never went to one. I lived with the discharge for about 3 yrs before I went to my PCP who did s mini pap test snd ordered an ultrasound. They both came back neg and my pcp suggested birth control to help regulate my cycles how ever I declined. 3yrs later my cycles were so out of wack and I began bleeding non stop for over a week. I finally went to a gyno who tried to do a pelvic exam but I had a panic attack. She did do a pap thst came back neg. She ordered a ultrasound that found a cyst in my ovary. She advised birth control to help with the cyst going away and to prevent new ones so I agreed to take them. She ordered another ultrasound a few months later that showed the cyst had grown. She then ordered a mri to determine the type of cyst and if cancerous. It was not cancerous however she suggested removal. I went to another gyno that does surgery and she informed me the cyst seemed to bee to small too remove at that time and to wsit and see if it goes away. 3months later I did another ultrasound that showed the cyst had gotten even larger and was possibly a dermoid cyst that needed to be removed. It had gotten so big that she told me they may also need to remove the ovary and tube as well. Other than slightly painful periods I had no pain from this throughout the years. I cried due to sadness and dissappointment up until the day of surgery which was a month later. Two weeks ago I had the cyst removed which turned out to be a dermoid cyst. The surgeon was able to dave my ovary in the process. I went in for my followup this week and the nurse wanted to do a pelvic exam. I declined and that’s when she told me it should be done to check for cervical cancer. I didn’t understand why tthis was not done when they removed the cyst and I was told it was because I was a virgin and really small. Now I am concerned about cervical cancer however I refuse to get a pelvic exam done.

  • linda

    Hi… I am a 40 year old virgin & went through the same thing. I had this heavy discharge since last sept but thought nothing if it as I had always hv problem with my period. I went to see my doctor and was told that my womb lining was thick and that I hv to go for ddnc. During the proc the doctor stopped halfway as she said that there was growth there (3 x 5 cm) and she cannot find my cervix. She suspected cancer and sent the sample for test. It was quite devastating when I heard that I had cancer of the cervix.
    I went through extended hysterectomy last jan, both ovaries and a third of the vagina were taken out. Went through 6 cycles of chemotherapy and 30 sessions of radiotherapy.
    It’s been 4 months since my last treatment and I am doing very well and nobody who sees me now would know that I once had cancer. However I would like to share that during my treatment I met another girl who shares our fate and she is only 23 years old. So I believe that cervix cancer for virgins are getting more common now.
    I think that all virgins out there should be mindful of any changes in their period patterns and to see your doctor should you have any abnormal discharge. My doctor told me that I am a lucky person, with tumor that big l am still in stage 1. Early detection can save life.

  • Temeria

    Iam 17 and I think I got cervical cancer. I got been bleeding when I don’t pose to. I was on depo provera bleeding and it was crazy I start feeling bad so I got off depo provera. Now iam bleeding for like an whole month it want even stop for a week.Iam not virgin but I do use condoms.I did get the HPV shot doe . I told my mama I think some wrong and she said nothing wrong but me been crazy; but a woman knows when some wrong

  • Jacob Ali

    It’s really urgent. My girl has been having pain since febuary , she is 17. She took surgery but she couldn’t have taken it completely because it was dangerous , said by her doctors. Now she has to take surgery next month again but her dad says she may lose her life , so I am not letting her to take a surgery. Please I am really really worried and scared. Can you help me? please I beg you , it’s really urgent.

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