I submitted a post to the blog Working Girl. I was hoping they would post it but they said it wasn't work related enough. I put a lot of thought and work into it so I figured I would share it with all of you. Let me know what you think, its from the heart :)
To be honest I am not a working girl just yet. I was a working girl several years ago and will be a working girl again very soon. Right now I am a student girl working towards my law degree, only a couple months from graduation, in the sunny state of Florida! I am also a Cancer Girl. I won my fight against 3b Cervical Cancer just about a year ago. That’s right girls I won my fight while I was smack dab in the middle of law school, ugh!
We working girls are fighters. We are determined to climb that ladder, get to the top and then add some rungs so we can climb higher. Nothing can get in our way and if something tries, God help it! When I graduated from the University of Massachusetts I began my working girl journey. I worked as a field director for a United States Congressman, and then I was hired by his district office as a Congressional Aide. When I got everything I could out of that job I moved to Florida to work as an Immigration Specialist for a top firm in Ft. Lauderdale. I was working the late hours, wearing the power suits and just basically kicking butt!
When I reached the top of my ladder I realized I needed to continue my education so I could reach even higher! I took my LSAT, wrote my essay and sent in my application to Nova Southeastern Law School. I was accepted and so back to school this working girl went. To say I worked my ass off would be an understatement. At least eight hours a day seven days a week. I was determined. When I graduated I wanted to be hired by the best firm so I could get my corner office with a view of the ocean.
During all these years I took care of myself. I went to my doctor appointments, ate right and exercised when I could. But, health was certainly not my top priority; actually it didn’t even make it to the top five. When I started feeling sick in my second year of law school I brushed it off as being a result of stress. When I went to my doctor and was told everything was fine I was relieved. However, my symptoms didn’t go away and in fact were getting worse.
During my second semester of my second year I became very ill. I didn’t know what was wrong but I trusted my doctors. In my heart I knew they were wrong. In terrible pain I kept going to class, raising my hand, answering questions and participating. Whatever was going on with me was not going to get in the way of my working girl dream! Sometimes I was late to class due to doctor appointments or because I had completely stopped sleeping. I will spare you the long, painful gruesome story but in the end I went to the ER and was told I had end stage cancer, 3b cervical cancer and had a 20% chance of surviving.
I received two blood transfusions and was flown to Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts. There I received chemo therapy, internal and external radiation as well as placement of nephrostamy tubes, the tumor had crushed my ureters causing my kidney to rip open. I went through hell but I also fought like hell.
How did this happen to me? I went to my doctor, basically took care of myself, and was educated. But I did put the working girl before the girl. I worked so hard to succeed that I almost killed myself. I heard what I wanted from the doctors, you are fine, but I knew I wasn’t. My point, be your own advocate, take care of yourself and listen to your gut and what it is trying to tell you. Because, there is no working girl without the girl!!
Now I am cancer free according to the doctors but I will never be free of cancer. When I graduate from law school, by the way I went back only 6 months after being diagnosed, I will be the working girl with cancer. The big C will always be a part of who I am. Cancer has taken a lot away from me; it has left both physical and emotional scars. But, cancer has also given me a great gift; a gift of understanding and appreciation. I am more than just a working girl; I am a working girl who beat cancer!!
If you would like to read more about my story or find information on HPV and Cervical Cancer please visit my blog at www.cancerlost.blogspot.com