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My whole world changed in an instant when I was diagnosed with cervical cancer at just 24 years old. I was an active and healthy young woman so when I started experiencing symptoms like stomach cramps, spot bleeding and pain during sex, I didn't worry. As time went on I put off going to the doctors because I thought the symptoms would just go away. My boyfriend kept insisting I get checked at the doctors and I think if it hadn't been for him I would never have gone. Eighteen months after first experiencing symptoms I was eventually referred to a specialist and a tumour was discovered.
My first thoughts were that I would die as the only person I related to cervical cancer was Jade Goody.
I was later told that treatment would mean I would never be able to naturally conceive and carry a child which is a horrible thing to hear so young.
But after I'd had time to absorb the shock I was determined to be positive, lead as normal a life as possible and win the biggest fight of my life. I got through it by always looking forward to and making plans for the future and never focusing on the short term. I've also realised how valuable friends and family are at a time when you need them most.
It's rare for cervical cancer to affect women under 25 but it can happen and for anyone experiencing any of the symptoms, and especially for younger girls who aren't yet eligible for the screening programme, I would urge them to seek medical advice straight away. Looking back I wish I had paid more attention to the warning signs.
I'm pleased to say I'm now in remission and my outlook on life has changed. I've moved in with my boyfriend of nearly nine years and have had a career change. I can't wait for the rest of my life to begin.
Please donate now to help Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust reach and support more women like Stacey.