After I had my daughter in January 2009, I felt exhausted most of the time. I put it down to looking after a newborn, but by November 2010 I'd started to think something may be seriously wrong. I had lower back ache, which I'd put down to my body recovering after giving up breastfeeding. I also started to suffer irregular bleeding in-between periods – which I thought was just hormones.
As Christmas came I was very unwell and started to bleed every day: then I really started to panic. I was due a smear in the January so I decided not to get checked until then. After several tests including a colposcopy I was diagnosed with cervical cancer – it was absolutely devastating.
I wanted the least invasive treatment possible so I underwent a radical trachelectomy as well as lymph node dissection.
Since my diagnosis I have been attending the London support group which has given me great strength, support and friendship during difficult times. I couldn't have done without it. And in 2013 I became a co-leader for the group.
Being from an Asian background I understand why women might not talk about the issues surrounding cervical cancer, but it is shocking to see just how low awareness is compared to white women.
I would urge anyone, no matter what their background, to go for regular cervical screenings, but also to seek help if they are experiencing any symptoms. I know that had I had left it any longer the cancer would have progressed outside of my cervix which would have required more invasive treatment, and a less positive outcome.