Health,  Mental Health

Vanessa’s story

Well my story started with a trip, a journey back to Australia where we had not long moved from. It was our first holiday back home and I was at the airport with my two boys, going back to New Zealand where we are still living now.

While I was in Australia my GP called me to get some tests done as she was a bit concerned after she found I had tested positive for HPV. As I thought she was exaggerating a bit, I asked if I really needed to go, and she assured me that yes, I needed to do a colposcopy and briefly explained what it was. Tests done, as I have said I was leaving Australia without any worries in my mind as my GP told me while in the colposcopy that my cervix looked incredibly healthy.

So no, I wasn’t prepared to receive that call while going through the security in the Airport , I wasn’t even going to answer, but she persisted over and over again until I asked the security if I could answer. That call, you know what I mean if you have also received: that call was the one that was going to change me forever, was the one that took me completely out of my senses, took the ground from beneath my feet. My chest was tight, my hands shaking, my vision went blurry and my body sweating cold. I still can remember the feeling. No one wants to hear that you have cancer, cervical cancer, specially going back to a country where we had no support from family, where I did not even have a GP!


But now I know everything happens exactly in the way that it’s supposed to. I can’t explain clearly enough how blurry was that trip back from Australia to NZ right? I mean I was crying in silence as I didn’t want my boys to worry.

Fast forward one month (there was a lot of anxiety happening in between this time, especially because I had, just before finding the results, quit my antidepressants). I am back in Australia on my own to have my cone surgery to remove the AIS – Adenocarcinoma in situ, we had to be quick or the treatment would have to be chemo.

Surgery done, out of 3 cm of cervix I have lost 2.6cm, that meant I could not have babies anymore without a surgical interference, and it was a lower level of chance due to my age too. Lucky for me I have my two boys already, not every woman with cervical cancer is as lucky as me.

You see, somehow, I was lucky, as my surgery removed all the cancer cells, but there was a BUT, there always is with me.  The results took about one month to come (is usually maximum a couple of weeks) BUT in my case the lab readers wouldn’t agree in a result, two said I needed further treatment and two said I was fine. So, they had to send my results to the Melbourne University, same happened over there, it was indecisive.

More tests (from the universe on my way), anxiety was then a struggle, I was suffering from insomnia an intense sense of sadness (but thank God not depression again) and a lot of FEAR, the worse one can attach to when going through cancer. It is like the block to healing, to allow miracles to happen in your life.

While I was going through the uncertainty of my future and the doctors, I noticed that my body was somehow reacting in a different way after the surgery. I was losing all my skin, around my legs, my back, around my genitals, it was awful and again NOBODY could tell me what I was going through (I had to live with that reaction for almost one year until I found the cause of it on my own).

The reaction in my body came from a medical mistake, I know not ideal, what should have been a very simple surgery became a nightmare not even saying that doctors could never agree with my results and I had to beg to so many to be kept under watch to see if the cancer was really treated. – You see, with AIS – Adenocarcinoma in situ it can skip lesions, even if some been removed it doesn’t really mean that you are healed, as the cells could be a bit further ahead and not picked in a cone biopsy.  That’s why it’s so important to find a doctor that’s willing to keep you under watch every six months for the first two years after surgery, and after a lot of not willing to accept what doctors in New Zealand were telling me what was the procedure in their country, I found someone that was happy to keep my case under surveillance. That was a battle itself.

I have now done three colposcopies since my surgery, all came clear. I have my last one in August this year, then I go to a yearly process for three years and finally move to every three years like all the other women here in NZ.


But this isn’t over as doctors again don’t agree with each other that I should go further and get a hysterectomy, which I have thought about it, it would be safe to do it so, but because of all the overreaction of my body the first time I’m now a bit afraid, so I will avoid it while I can. This is a very personal opinion and doctors agree to disagree about it all the time, in countries like America and Brazil the procedure is to remove the uterus.

Fast forward almost two years and I can say that this was the last time I was going to let my emotions become disease. I have healed my depression and anxiety, I’ve overcome the fear of speaking my truth, the fear of removing from my life people that don’t respect my boundaries. I’ve found strength and courage in myself like I have never done before, I’m whole and being whole is priceless. This healing journey has given me the chance to help others healing before their emotions become disease like it happened to me.


To wrap this up I have to say this out loud: To everyone that has been part of my healing process: please forgive me. Forgive me when you have seen me in fear, in pain, in uncertainty. Forgive me for every time you’ve tried to bring me light, when I was only focused in despair.  I have learned my lessons, I chose to believe in miracles these days.


To every women out there: Get your screening done, it is uncomfortable and a bit painful but necessary, I’ve gone from having nothing and being undetected to being in the last stage before cancer being spread in the period of 10 months between screenings. Pap Smear saves lives, if you have any symptoms tell your concern to your GP, if he/she says is nothing, look for another one until you get tested. Being stubborn can also save your life.

To finish this: I hope you too are ready to understand that we are all entitled to miracles. Love and Light to you all:

Ness xxx

*Ness is a Self Goodness Coach based in New Zealand, go and check out her website to learn more!


  • Vilija

    Ness, I am so relieved that you caught this early and advocated for treatment and monitoring. Your courageous story gives me hope and has given me so much to think about. Thank you for always bringing awareness and for leading by example during crisis. Hugs ?

  • Melanie

    I remember all these obstacles so well and you’ve always handled every step with bravery and grace. Your story gives hope. Thank you for sharing. Love you.

    • Ness

      I’ve always had beautiful inspiration and good expanders to help me stay positive! Love you girls! Thanks for your comments! ???