Something has been weighing on my mind lately on how to express what I went through a few years ago on this platform.
I’ve been playing with the idea of how to get this out into the world. How to let it be free from my body. How to let it go and be received in hopes to help someone in need.
It’s been a process of perfection and going back and forth on deciding to post this or not. My heart and soul know it’s time. Time to release it into the world. Not only to let myself be free but in the hopes to help others who may have/ are dealing with a similar story in their life.
There’s no easy way to express this.
It sits deeply within my heart and takes a lot of courage to write these words on paper. So I’m throwing away the need to be prefect and how to explain this in a way that is groomed around the edges. WHY? Because there wasn’t anything perfect about any of what happened. It was messy. And ultimately has taught me that being my most authentic self is always the way to go.
So here it goes…
( deep breath in… and out )
The day I sat in the doctors office going for a routine check up that I’d been to before. I felt fine. I felt foggy and unaware as usual and was thinking about what I was doing afterwards.
That’s part one of the day that my life began to change.
This is the day that my life spun around and showed me emotions I didn’t even know I had.
I left that appointment in absolute shock.
How could this happen to me?
How on earth did I LET this happen to me?
I’m leaving to move to Australia… how the EFFFF am I going to do this?
I was so unaware and living out of my subconscious at this time that I actually phoned a close friend and laughed about it. Using humour to push it aside, although deep down experiencing fear, hurt and pain.
Following that appointment I was going to meet a friend. A friend I had been “seeing” for a while here and there. Our friendship was great but their were a lot of toxic behaviours from both ends of our relationship.
As I was going to meet him my heart dropped in my stomach.
I HAD TO TELL HIM.
The words just wouldn’t come out of mouth. I couldn’t get them out. Of course I worried him and he tried to help me feel calm enough to spit it out. “Your scaring me” he said.
I took a deep breath and said the words I never thought I’d say.
“I have HPV”
I felt disgusting.
I felt ashamed.
I felt embarrassed.
Fast forward to a few more appointments in Canada and getting my life ready to move to a new country… new friggan continent at that.
Days passed until the day came that it was time for me to leave.
I pushed aside all of this at this point and allowed myself to just be emerged in the fact that I was leaving the country.
I got to the airport… he met me there.
It was like nothing ever happened externally but internally I felt so weak and so confused and ashamed.
AND yes really really gross.
We said goodbye and I walked through the gates. As I sat at my gate getting ready to board the flight – I got a call from my Doctors office.
“Hi Courtney, we have your latest result and we will need to advise you to get into see a dr as soon as possible as you will need to have surgery.”
The words I’ll never ever forget.
I was so confused as I thought we had already sorted all this out- I also didn’t listen at the first doctors appointment as well as I should have, because I was in so much shock.
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN? “Is it Cancer?”
I asked in a bit of a panic while I heard over the intercom that my flight was getting ready to board.
They told me they weren’t authorized to tell me over the phone but I would need to have surgery ASAP.
I then proceeded to laugh and tell them I was getting on a flight to Australia and living there for a year.
I hung up the phone and walked on to the plane. I was done with this. I wanted to run away. I wanted to be happy and free from all the worries that had been piling on top of me for the past 6 months.
I didn’t want to deal with this.
I got to Australia.
I told my best friend who I was staying with. She didn’t push me but did advise me to deal with this sooner rather than later.
A month passed and something hit me. One day when I wasn’t having any luck finding a job, was running out of money and lost internally…. it hit me.
I had to deal with this.
So I went to the Doctor.
They told me I had SIN 3. ( a step before cervical cancer )
The Doctor explained that I could fight this on my own without surgery but it would be a risk. Staying in Australia to do this would cost money that I didn’t have. I cancelled my Canadian’s Insurance – so I couldn’t get it there either.
(NOTE TO SELF: NEVER DO THAT)
Surely my travel insurance would cover it.
It didnt… because it was a pre- existing condition.
This is where I called my parents and told them for the first time what was going on.
This part by far was the absolute hardest.
The shame and embarrassment resurfaced and felt so real I wanted to crawl out of my skin.
I felt like I failed.
I felt dirty.
I felt like they would think of me differently.
They wanted me to come home and to have the surgery there.
To be close to them.
I needed to stay. I just got there. This was my dream and my soul was pulling me in a direction that needed to be explored.
I WAS NOT letting this stop me.
After many conversations, tears, and support from my new found Australian family, and Canadian family helping me financially. I did it.
The surgery was completed.
The surface layer was healing.
Next came the inner healing.
I moved to an island in the Whitsundays and finally got the job I was dreaming of.
I was completely out of money but when I got there I was given the magical opportunity to grow my finances beyond what I could have ever imagine. I got to use the natural environment of this magical place to heal myself.
And I met people who supported my journey in the exact way I needed.
“Courtney, you have to forgive yourself.”
Was some of the best advice I had received.
I had to learn to stop shaming myself for what happened.
I had to stop keeping it inside.
I had to believe that I was worth more than toxic relationships.
I forgave myself for making the wrong hurtful choices which I had deemed provided me the karma I deserved.
With lots of work I finally forgave myself for not knowing better at the time.
And finally four years later I am here.
I’m telling my story loud and clear.
Is it scary? Yes! Terrifying.
But its time.
I even went on The Real Rebel Podcast (click picture to listen) for the world to hear.Because this is something that woman around the world need to hear and talk about openly. This is something that Society needs to openly talk about. Without judgement. Without stigmas attached.
I felt alone in my pain.
But what I’ve learned from telling this story is that I’m not alone.
This happens to so many people.
It’s scary for each of us in a different way.
By telling my story I want to help people rise above this. For them to know that this was a bump in the road here to teach you self worth and self love and to show you how wildly capable you are.
YOU DESERVE to be loved and respected.
YOUR BODY deserves to be loved and respected.
You worth comes from inside of you and doesn’t depend on any one else.
It doesn’t shatter just because something unfortunate happened to you.
Your worth is worthy of growing and leaping beyond what it’s capable of- simply because you are you.
These “bad” things aren’t meant to completely break you… they are meant to build you even stronger than you were before.
If you’ve experienced anything on this scale please know YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Together when we communicate our wounds or the stories that came with a few bandages we rise together.
This is my goal with telling you all this.
They say the final step of healing is to tell your story aloud.
To let that shitty thing that happened to you be what you help someone else with. You felt it first hand. You got to the other side. Now it’s time to support someone else on that same ride.
This is why I’m telling my story.
I know that HPV and many other STDs/ STIs happen to ALOT of people. I also know that the stigmas attached to them happen ALOT and it hurts on an emotional level to hear people talk about them in judgemental ways.
Because going through this impacts your life.
I completely shut myself off from others in order to protect myself.
I told myself I was disgusting and no one would ever want me.
I tried to shower it away many many times but always felt “dirty”.
I felt worthless, alone and really really sad.
But then with lots of deep inner work,healing and support…
I started choosing myself.
I started nourishing my body with healthy foods and WAY less alcohol.
I started running.
I tried yoga.
I said no to guys that didn’t fully choose me ( this is an ongoing process )
I started to choose situations, people, places and things that were more in alignment with who I wanted to become.
I had my awakening.
And though it’s been a long road (and a long read 🤓)
… four years later now I’m here.
I’m here on a platform creating a space to express my truths. My vulnerabilities. I’m doing this because this is me. This was part of me. I full heartedly believe that having HPV changed the course of my life for the better.
“Courtney we have your latest test results back. Your clear to come back every three years now.”
The words I finally heard two years post surgery that I will absolutely NEVER forget.