So much has happened in the last couple years it gets difficult trying to figure out where to start. I had such a bad relationship prior and was getting back into the dating realm. I finally met a guy that I was just crazy about the moment I laid eyes on him. A mutual friend of ours tried getting me to attend a poetry slam put on every month for almost a year or so. It was 2014, I was working on myself, going to therapy. I had just started and decided it was the perfect opportunity to go meet some people and do something by myself. I was always so used to relying on others to go out and do things. I took a chance.
I was selected as a judge, thank you Kevin, for the very first time spectating a poetry event. I loved everything about it. Actually, it brought me back to when I would write in middle school. (I dropped it as soon as I went into high school because it wasn’t “cool”). I forgot how much I loved it. This was a style that I had never experienced before! I met a cool gal (Justice) and we were similar in our anxiety, however, she blew me away by getting up on stage and performing a piece of her own! Next was the guy I had been eyeing since I got there. He had such a beautiful smile! He looked preppy (a button up shirt with an argyle type vest over). There was just something about this guy I couldn’t shake. I HAD to get to know him. I noticed he had a little grey patch in his hair and it just intrigued me more.
The slam was over and I was fighting myself over an over again. Should I go talk to him? Nah, I’ll just do what every other person would do… add him (as well as many others from the slam) on Facebook. My plan worked as he was super friendly and reached out. It was from that moment on that we basically became each other’s. I went on vacation with my girlfriends to Colorado and California. It was such a liberating time for me and at the same time it was terrifying. I was working on my anxiety and depression and falling in love with traveling all in one. This handsome guy and I talked for a month before we officially met in person. He invited me to a workshop held at the Des Moines Social Club for the Des Moines Public Schools. I was thrilled to experience such a thing and terrified to let my guard down. After the workshop we spent hours talking…this is something I never thought would come easily.
Steven and I became inseparable and started seeing each other officially. Things were new and exciting but something was happening with my body with me not knowing. It was November and an annual emergency room visit was in the forecast. I remember the excruciating pain I had trying to urinate and how I laid on the floor holding my stomach and crying until my dad came to pick me up and take me to the emergency room. Turns out I had kidney infection! I refused the CATscan they were recommending because I was a cheap ass and was scared of falling behind in the financial department of my life. I was put on an antibiotic which turned out that I was allergic to. (Oh joy!)
I rescheduled my pap smear from November to December because I had the kidney infection and some unusual bleeding. It would come back negative and then I would have to make another trip in. (Right?) Well, I received both a letter in the mail and a phone call from Planned Parenthood stating that there was an abnormality in my smear. I went back for a leep procedure and they were unable to accomplish such a task as I was bleeding profusely and it hurt like hell. This is when they referred me to an oncologist. The word oncologist didn’t mean a damn thing to me at that time.
I went to this appointment after much waiting and had a pelvic examination. It was February 4, 2015. Dr. Christie gave me the news that I had a tumor covering all but a small section of my cervix and it had been there for a greater part of a year. He walked me into a conference room where he delivered another article of news, “Miss Newman, you have cancer.” I was alone at this appointment because I believed that it wasn’t anything serious.
How foolish could I have been? Cancer?! (He said cancer, right?!) He explained the staging (Stage 1, B3). I was in shock and all I wanted to do was cry. I had left work early that day to go to this appointment and now I had to make the phone call that I would not be back for the afternoon. Thank god for the support I had at that time!
I made phone call after phone call but the one I was worried about most to tell was my new boyfriend. We had talked about a future and what we kind of wanted out of life. We had discussed wanting children at some point in our lives and now I had to tell him the possibility of adoption being our only option. He came home from work and saw me curled up on the couch. He then knelt beside me as I poured out the words as best as I could. His eyes looked so full of pain but it wasn’t the first time he has ever felt it. Even though I delivered this awful news he stood his ground and was by my side. I couldn’t thank God enough for a better partner to be by my side as I fought cancer for the first time.