Not Acceptable!

I was talking to my mom last night and she told me about something one of her co-workers said to her that really upset her. After she told me what the co-worker said it upset me as well. But, unfortunately did not surprise me. The woman had asked what type of cancer I had. My mom responded 3b Cervical. The womans response: "Oh well we know why she got that"
Wow, what a response. Cervical Cancer is the second leading cancer killer of women! Cervical Cancer's treatments are horrible, most often worse than breast cancer treatments (although those are extremely horrible as well). When you are treated for cervical cancer Chemotherapy is the easiest part of the treatment. External radiation fries your ovaries, cervix, uterus, colon, bladder, intestines etc...if you get out of those treatments without having a colposcapy bag you are very lucky. Cervical Cancer treatments also include internal radiation. For some this is worse than others. some of these treatments require temporarily paralyzing the person from the waste down, leaving radioactive rods inside them. Others must be put under general anesthesia for many hours while having radio active seeds inside them. Then there are the surgeries, hysterectomies etc...

The side effects of all of these are horrible. Never able to have children, menopause, blisters on your privates, inability to digest food without extreme pain, horribly painful urination, infections, the list goes on and on. My point is that Cervical Cancer is not what people say it is. It is not a punishment for those who are "sluts". I WAS NOT A SLUT. I did not make bad decisions. And, even if I did this is not something I deserved.

If we are lucky enough to survive us Cervical Cancer Fighters are now left to be ashamed. When people ask, what kind of cancer did you have we cringe knowing that when we answer we will not be greeted with sympathy and support but with judgment and disdain! I find myself defending the cancer I had on a daily basis. People are completely uneducated about cervical cancer and we survivors pay the price.

I want to reach out to other survivors and tell them they are not alone. I want them to be able to come to my blog and see that their secret inner fears, anxieties etc...are not strange or wrong. That there are so many others like them and my blog is a place for those people to connect. I also want to reach out to supporters and caregivers and provide them a place to learn more about what their loved one is going through.

As a 3b Cervical Cancer survivor diagnosed in my 20's I felt utterly alone. No one talks about cervical cancer. And, very few people talk about young cancer survivors. It scares those who it hasn't happened to. Once I started my blog I met countless people who have battled HPV and cervical cancer. I have received so many emails from woman saying they had been afraid of talking about their battle because of the negative stigma that is attached. Cervical Cancer is the #2 Cancer Killer of women behind Breast. We as woman need to stand behind each other. We need to remove the negative stigma that comes with cervical cancer. I am a highly educated (law school grad in two weeks) middle class woman. This happened to me and I am not ashamed. The World Health Organization states that every many and woman will contract HPV at one point in their lives. You do not need to even have sex to contract HPV. HPV is now also being found in peoples mouths.

Woman are a powerful group. Please help me take away the shame that is connected with Cervical Cancer. It is difficult enough to battle cancer to then have to be ashamed, not acceptable!

Oh and if you haven't yet voted for my blog please do! If I could win it would help bring awareness to Cervical Cancer :)


AngiDe said...

It's sad that some people just will never understand. You will find ignorant people everywhere you go.... I'm glad that you are not afraid to stand up for the fight that you won and to not be ashamed!
You GO girl.... I'm behind ya 100%

"Nana's Box"

Diane said...

That is terrible! Hard to believe how ignorant some people can be! I know you're way too strong to let let an idiotic comment like that get you down! Have a great day!

scargosun said...

Stunned, just stunned. What would make a person say such a thing?

jahowie said...

That comment pisses me off too. How can people be so ignorant? I'm sorry for all of the pain that you had to endure. You are a true survivor and a hero to all those who are fighting this terrible disease. We both kicked cancer's ass, and I am damn proud of you!! :-)

Kelley with Amy's Angels said...

Ugh...people are so dumb sometimes!

Avery Tales said...

Wow! People can just be rude and insensitive. I hope that your Mother quickly corrected her and educated her regarding her ignorant belief. I'm sorry that so many survivors carry this burden it is unfair and unjustified. You are doing a great thing by informing so many about the realities of Cervical Cancer through your blog. I hope that more survivors will follow your lead.

Megan said...

Your mom should have punched her. It's a shame how ignorant people can be. Good for you for blogging about it all.

Jennifer said...

It's pathetic how ignorant and insensitive people can be. I'm so glad that you stand up to comments like this and are helping people deal with their cancer on a daily basis!

DJ said...

I can't believe someone actually said that to your mother! How obnoxious. It's hard enough to have a cancer diagnosis, but to be judged and blamed for your cancer must make it even worse!

Dr. Wifey said...

oh, i cannot believe she said that! ignorance is bliss, right? i applaud you for your efforts to get the word out there about cervical cancer

Anonymous said...

Wow! I know people are dumb but I am still suprised daily by things people say!

Grand Pooba said...

I can't believe that! What an ignorant ass hat!

You're such a strong person!

RandomWonders said...

It's shocking how ignorant people can be! Good for you for educating people!

Khadra said...

Im so sorry you have to go through that on top of everything else you have had to endure. It is unbelievable how ignorant some people can be.

Anonymous said...

Lung Cancer is the #1 killer. I don't know where cervical cancer falls with respect to breast, but just wanted to point out that lung cancer is #1 - sorry for being picky on that one. (Crazy thing is that lung cancer in non-smokers alone is #6) ahead of a lot of other more familiar cancers.

Regardless, people are uneducated and need to think before they open their mouth. I hope your mom is ok. Maybe she should connect with my mom.

Keep writing, keep educating, your friend,

-Dan Waeger

Meaghan said...

that may be the case for men and women combined but is absolutely NOT true for woman as a single category! It is a documents fact that Breast Cancer is the #1 Cancer Killer of Woman followed by Cervical Cancer.

Kim said...

Wonderfully, Wonderfully said!!! I'm so sorry you or anyone had to go through that, the treatment and then the judgement on top of it.

Judy said...

That's awful! I got HPV from my FIRST sexual partner (who I ended up marrying, although we're divorced and I'm remarried). I had never heard of HPV until I was diagnosed at age 17 and had to have my first LEEP (I've had another one since, and anticipate another in the next 1-2 years).

Knowing the numbers of women who are believed to be infected with some sort of HPV in their lifetime, and how it does disproportionately affect (effect? I always get that one wrong) women, it was a horrible thing to say.

But we all know that if you have too much to drink, getting raped is your own fault, and if you ever smoked you deserve lung cancer, and if you ever have sex then HPV is your own fault. @@ Ridiculous.

Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...

sigh....just another example of judgmental ignorance in the world. I'm so sorry you and your mom had to hear that.

Kerry said...

Lots of ignorance in this world Meaghan. And you know what I am proud of you for stating how you feel. You won and no need to be ashamed ever!
Had that been she stated that about my daughter. She might of been picking her teeth up off the floor.
Some people are just so ignorant.
I to am sorry for all you endured all of it..Keep kicking Cancers Ass!!

Anonymous said...

I am always amazed at the stupidity of people. I was diagnosed with HPV about 3 years ago and have had multiple surgeries for treatment. Its a hard enough thing to go through without having people looking at you like your dirty and have an STD. Sometimes I just want to yell at the top of my lungs "GET THE FACTS BEFORE YOU JUDGE ME".
Your stories continue to encourage and inspire me.

Unknown said...

To some ignorance is bliss.

Huse Yo Mama said...

girl, it just amazes me, what people will say!!! Sorry I've been slacking on the blogs lately, I'm in mid-move, but I'm trying to keep up with you! I'm so proud of you! I know we don't know one another, but it's not weird for me to be proud of you, is it? :-)

Megan said...

Your mom should have smacked that idiot in her face. I had people making ridiculous comments about my cancer too- But we all know- if it doesnt kill us- it makes us stronger!

SO freaaaakkk errr'body else!

I get so amazed at how little people know about cancer.

Stay Strong =)

Megan said...

Reading this post made me soooooo heated about it. =) My latest blog was written bc of you. I hope you get a chance to read.

<3 Megan

nomo wino daph said...

M, I am so sorry:(

Ya know, my little boy has Tourette and it's the same thing....people are uneducated and think that all that TS consists of is loud cursing. Makes me so sad. He has vocal tics but but doesn't swear. People really need to educate themselves before they speak. They have no idea how hurtful these comments are.

((((HUGS))) friend.

v said...

I don't know why people is always too quick to judge. Not only in this case but countless others. To judge is one thing but to make comment like that is worse. What if she herself or people she loves got the same disease? May God forbids this but people do have to think of the 'what if..' question.

Vickie said...

Hey, I saw at SITS rollcall, yo were in a lot of pain. Hope you are okay and feeling better.

Also, I cannot believe that ignorant women would say that to your mother! Go back to the 1950's lady because you are not wanted here. Where does she get off!!

Hey, don't let that Idiot, that's right, Idiot get you down. You know better.

Take Care

Bramblemoon Farm said...

I'm so mad I'm crying. I'm trying to find some words that don't involve using vulgar nasty words and I'm having a hard time. I truly did not know there were people out there this cruel, ignorant and mean. I can't think of a single reason they can not only justify these thoughts AND saying them out loud.

I can't see you in person to hug you, so all I can do is virtually send you hugs and my support. You are truly amazing:)

deb said...

gud for you hun some people just dont understand. lets hope they wont be in the same situation one day take care .

Anonymous said...

Your site really resonates with me. I'm helping to take care of my partner who has a serious back injury. He's had a very difficult time receiving a proper and full diagnosis, and we are in the process of trying to find a doctor that is capable of this. For now, he is bedridden and in constant pain. To make our difficult situation worse, he has had many people be afraid and judgemental towards him when they find out about the injury. It's not easy to brush it off when someone you know is callous and cold. We have found that these people blame him twice over and in a contradictory fashion - first they imply that he is lazy and therefore faking a disability, and then, simultaneously, they blame him for working too hard and getting injured. Really, we've just had to remove ourselves as much as possible from their poisonous barbs. Not always easy. Such responses as the ones you've received are based on puritanical ideologies and basic human fear of death, which is a nasty combo.

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evejelebi said...

Thank you for posting this, even though it was sometime ago.
I agree, the negative stigma is so bad with cervical cancer and sometimes i get so upset that people think that I had a promiscuous life which in fact, I did not and had trusted my long term partners.

Thank you for such a kickarse site!


Tessa said...

Thank you so much for your site. Yours was one of the first sites I found when I was diagnosed (Ib1, radical trachelectomy August 2009) and you really helped me through some of my darker times. This post especially resonates with me. Thank you for being so strong! Wishing you all of the best.