Cindy's Cancer Screening Story

What to know

"Appointments can change your life. If you have questions, it's very important to ask them so you can take control of your health."

Photo of Cindy

Cindy's story

I was a busy mother of two boys and working as a reporter at my local news station alongside my husband. We always had a million things we were juggling, but I knew it was important to make time for regular cervical cancer screenings.

I have a great relationship with my doctor. He delivered both of my children. I had great trust in him, and his office was excellent in helping me stay on track with my regular screenings and appointments. It was around Christmas when I went in for one of my regular screenings. I didn't think anything of it since it was just a routine appointment that I had done so many times before. But I'll never forget getting a call afterwards from my doctor—my Pap test had come back abnormal and the sample they took had precancerous cells.

Getting that call was surreal and shocking. At my age, breast cancer was definitely on my mind, but I was never worried about cervical cancer. I immediately went into survival mode after hearing "precancerous cells." I was a journalist and news anchor for 32 years before recently retiring. Thanks to this work, I am used to digging into the details and researching everything. As soon as I hung up the phone, I went into journalist mode. I knew it was important to advocate for myself and lead with knowledge and not fear in order to take control of my health. I peppered my doctor with questions, and we had a lot of discussions about the options available to me. Taking the time to educate myself and work with my doctor to make a plan that worked best for me really helped ground me during the whole process.

I decided to undergo a procedure to remove the cells. During my recovery, I remember resting at home and feeling so thankful for that appointment. If I wouldn't have had it, the future might have looked very different for me. It can be very daunting. People hear the word "cancer" and wonder, "Will I survive this? Will I always have to live with this?" But I know that doesn't always have to be the case. We can find these issues early on, prevent cancer before it even starts, and go on to recover and thrive in our lives.

As a public figure, I knew it was important to be an advocate for health. I started talking about my experience and sharing stories of other women who had similar experiences with finding cancer early, since this can happen to anyone. With so much going on in our lives, it can be so easy to fall behind and not prioritize medical appointments. I want everyone to know appointments can change your life. If something feels off, trust your intuition. If you have questions, it's very important to ask them so you can take control of your health.

Cindy’s Story: Preventing Cervical Cancer

Cindy took action after precancerous cells were found during her routine cervical cancer screening.