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I have bad news and I have good news. You should probably read both.

Bad News: I have been diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of 36.

Good News: We caught it very early and the cancer is small enough that a surgical procedure will get rid of it. My doctors are optimistic about my prognosis and all of my insane middle-of-the-night librarian research tells me the same thing. This is highly survivable thanks to catching it early in a regular exam. My friends and family have been extremely supportive and I am thankful for all of their positive energy and snarky humor that’s helping me get through this difficult time.

fuck cancer

One of the things that helped me feel less scared between my biopsies and “finding out I had the BIG C” was remembering the experiences of Xeni Jardin a little over a year ago. Jardin decided to live-Tweet her first mammogram, after which she was told that she had breast cancer. She’s since Tweeted and blogged her experiences with cancer very openly. What she did was one of the first things that came into my head and she helped me to realize whatever happened, I could beat this. I obviously have a much smaller readership than Jardin, but I want to pay it forward and do the same thing.

I will be having surgery next Thursday afternoon. I will be Tweeting (and cross-posting to Facebook for friends there) about my experience.  I also plan to live-Tweet during the surgery, as I will be awake for it.

If by being an open book I can help make people less scared about cervical cancer, encourage other women to get screened and tested regularly, I want to do that. If I can turn this negative situation into a positive one for someone else, all the better.

Yes, I’m scared.  But don’t worry. I’m going to be okay.

“Cancer: I Will Kill It Dead”

  1. Katie Says:

    Kick its ass, lady. Good on ya for keeping up with the regular exams that led to early detection, and know that you have a huge cheering section.

  2. Bobbi Says:

    Kick cancer’s ass Sarah!

  3. Jamie Renton Says:

    I’m thinking of you. Adios, cancer.

  4. Scott Says:

    My mother beat cancer, and so will you! You have an amazing attitude, and that alone is a huge help. And by blogging, tweeting, etc, you will make it much easier not only for yourself as a venue to talk about your feelings/experience, but for all the women who may find themselves in your position one day.



  5. Francisca Says:

    Thank you for demonstrating live how demystifying the source is the first best step against paralyzing fear! All the best, Sarah.

  6. Brig C. McCoy Says:

    Another venue for you to kick ass. Positive thoughts headed your way.

  7. Ryan Says:

    Clearly Cancer does not know who it was f**king with. Wishing you the best and a speedy recovery!!

  8. Toby Says:

    What a thing to discover, Sarah. But good on you for catching it early, and for using your story to help others find their courage. Here’s hoping the procedure goes well, and cancer goes yipping back from whence it came.

  9. Alex in Leeds Says:

    Pew pew pew indeed. My thoughts are with you and yours but I’m so glad you caught it early enough to have a decent prognosis and I’m seriously impressed by your openness.

  10. Ruth Says:

    I’m so glad to hear you caught it early enough, Sarah – best wishes for a smooth surgery and recovery, and KICK CANCER’S ASS.

  11. David Lankes Says:

    Welcome to the world’s worst club. While I can’t tell you what this looks like at the other end, I can tell you that life does go on, and you will have a huge support network throughout. Let me know if there is anything I can do.

  12. michele Says:

    You will fuck cancer. But I wish you luck regardless!

  13. Julie Says:

    you’re awesome. information is indeed power.
    sending many positive and warrior vibes to you!

  14. Nikki D Says:

    Go forth and kick ass Sarah, and way to go for having the courage to share your journey. Many good healing thoughts!

  15. Tiffany Norris Says:

    Best wishes! Thanks for being so open about your experience to benefit others. We’re pulling for you!

  16. John Boggs Says:

    I’m glad you caught that early! Wishing you as smooth sailing as you can have.

  17. Kristi Says:

    Kick it right in the bits, Sarah. Thank you for sharing and getting the word out.

  18. Jenny Levine Says:

    You or cancer? Easily you. We’ll be keeping you in our thoughts and sending healing vibes as you beat the big c.

  19. The Rodent Says:

    Hoping everything goes well…!

  20. Emily Lloyd Says:

    Great post. Will be thinking of you. I wonder if you will perform your surgeon’s first live-tweeted surgery–in which case you might also need to Vine his or her reaction. ❤

  21. Katie D. Says:

    Yay for early diagnosis! If you have to have it, at least it’s caught very, very early!

  22. Mir_b Says:

    What David Lankes said.

  23. Linda in NE Says:

    They say you will be fine and I certainly hope you will be. If it were me I’d be getting some apricot pits and eating them every day, or at least a bottle of 500mg vitamin B17 and taking two a day, then going to the 100mg and taking at least one or two a day as a maintenance dose. It can’t hurt. Also plenty of vitamin D3….way more than the “minimum daily requirement” which is so much hog wash. Lots of raw, and preferably organic, veggies & fruits. Anything to give you a really strong immune system. Just so you know, I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. :)

  24. Candy Schwartz Says:

    Like Dave says, welcome to one of the world’s worst clubs (mine was over a decade ago). I have a letter of practical tips if you go through chemo, would be happy to send. Best.

  25. Krista Says:

    My goodness – will be thinking of you as you battle this horrible disease.

  26. Eileen Says:

    Do NOT read too much on the Internet.I know from experience it will drive you crazy and scare the crap out of you – and a lot of it will be erroneous. Stay strong and FUCK CANCER!!

  27. Virginia Says:

    Hey – I’m an 8 year breast cancer survivor librarian. YOU can beat this.

  28. Jan Holmquist Says:

    You are brave! Thanks for having the courage to be so open. You inspire me.
    Sending some good supporting thoughts your way.

  29. Mary H-P Says:

    I love your attitude about this. Thinking good thoughts for you. Just throw everything you have at it. Kill it. Kill it!

  30. Edith Sutterlin Says:

    just a thought, if Tweeting helps, more power to you. Personally, as a person who is also usually on the go and energetic, I wonder if this might not be a call to take time for meditation or positive peaceful energy with a Tweet before and more tweets after, but allowing your physicians to totally focus on the procedure and your mind/body neurocognitive connection to totally focus on the Healing Process.
    Best wishes for you and your recovery.

  31. theresa Says:

    Sending healing thoughts your way today and everyday until the C is pewpewpewed away! Your strength and honest spirit will prevail! And truly you will save lives by sharing your experience with this. If there is anything you need (or don’t need, just want), let me know please. And thank you for your courage. I’ve avoided getting tests in “that” area but will try to find the courage from your example.

  32. Isaak Says:

    All the best, Sarah!!! Will be sending my healing prayers to you, particularly during your operation. Take care and rest well for the op!

  33. Tracy Bruce Says:

    Wishing you strength for the op and fast healing Sarah.

  34. Jen G. Says:

    I rarely comment, but today is my cancer-versary (seven years since my surgery, which was followed by radiation). Fuck cancer, indeed. You’re in my thoughts, and I’m hoping for a speedy and complete recovery for you.

  35. K.G. Schneider (@kgs) Says:

    You: win. Cancer: lose. Oh yes you will!

  36. Laura Shea-Clark Says:

    Even if caught early it’s still a scary thing to face. I’m sending you positive thoughts, & I hope you have a speedy recovery.

  37. Lisa Says:

    In my mid-20s my doctor went with her gut and sent me for a biopsy even though the test results were clear. I was picked up with cells in the final pre-cancerous stage – had it been left until the next test in two years, I wouldn’t have been so lucky. Two rounds of laser treatments and a lot of follow up tests later, 20 years on it’s not returned. Tests now are so much better and as the advertisement here in Australia goes “Its a little discomfort, for a lot of peace of mind”. Positive thoughts for your op, and I hope they have a good TV in the ceiling for you to watch when you aren’t tweeting :)

  38. Meredith Says:

    You never cease to amaze me with your bravery, your honesty and your heart, Sarah. Now you’re again proving why you’re one of my heroes. Go kick cancer’s ass and know you have so many people who think the world of you and are rooting hard for you.

  39. Paula G Says:

    The power of positive thinking is amazing, so sending additional positive thoughts from Green Bah, WI.

  40. Ellen Says:

    Good Luck! You will beat it!

  41. Skip Says:

    Positive thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

  42. Ruth Says:

    Mucho ánimo desde España, me consta que muchos compañeros bibliotecarios seguimos tu blog. Espero que todo vaya muy bien y sigas contándonos cosas tan interesantes como haces siempre.

  43. Laura H. Says:

    My best wishes to you, Sarah. I will be thinking good thoughts that your surgery goes well and that you give the cancer an epic smackdown!

  44. Carol Says:

    Hey what the hell? I thought *I* was the big C.

  45. Carol Says:

    Sarah, I’m organizing a charity event: “Prancercise for Cancer…cise.” Donations will go toward beer and cotton candy. Hit me up if you’re interested.

  46. Ann Says:

    You have a great attitude and apparently a great support system in your friends and family. I have no doubt you will get through this, thank you for sharing.

  47. Jane Says:

    My husband had stage three melanoma over five years ago and he is still with us. Good luck with you journey. It may not always be pleasant but cancer is something you can overcome. I think the best words I ever heard were what the doctor said after the operation. He said “You used to have cancer.” I love the cat. My cousin said that she always envisioned chemo as little Star Wars warriors going out to attack the cancer cells.

  48. Stacey Says:

    I’m sorry this is happening but have confidence you’ll beat it!

  49. Cathi Says:

    Putting positive thoughts out there to join with you amazing positive attitude. Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery. Bravo and blessings.

  50. Sean Casserley Says:

    Be well and kick its butt!!!!

  51. Maggie Says:

    Although I have followed your blog for years, I have never commented, but your warrior stance is inspiring. I am rooting for you and your loved ones! Out, out damn spot!!

  52. Jen Waller Says:

    You continue to inspire me. This cancer doesn’t stand a chance!

  53. Robert Murphy Says:

    I hope the treatment goes well and you make a full recovery.

  54. Carolyn Jewel Says:

    I echo everyone’s thoughts and hopes for a successful surgery and a full recovery.

  55. Maggie Says:

    You are smart, strong and unstoppable! This C thing doesn’t stand a chance. You’ve managed EDS with such aplomb it seems that was a warm up for this battle and to helping others with your generous openness. Positive energy is beaming your way.

  56. Heather Says:

    Pew, Pew, Pew is right. Cancer doesn’t stand a chance against you. Thank you for sharing this with us. Rock On!

  57. Jennifer Berryman Says:

    Best wishes for successful surgery and a great outcome … don’t forget to continue living and loving life while the process unfolds.

  58. Don Says:

    There is a high correlation between a good cancer outcome and keeping a positive mental attitude. You are one of the most positive people I have ever met, so keep fighting the good fight, and don’t let the turkeys get you down.

  59. Sydney McCoy Says:

    Good luck! :) Remember to take care of yourself through it all :) Spa Day :)


  60. John Sandstrum Says:

    Best of luck, Sarah! My thoughts will be with you. May you have a swift recovery.

  61. Kate Says:

    Hooray for early detection! A few quick prayers are being sent for your healing.

  62. Peggy Butler Says:

    Hey Sarah, I haven’t been on Twitter as much lately, so I’m just finding out about your now-gone cancer. So sorry you had to go through that. Very glad it wasn’t more advanced! Way to go, kicking cancer’s ass!! Be well.


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