Holly Le Tual

Holly Le Tual - profileAge: 28

Hometown: St. John’s, Newfoundland

Do you work?

I am working as an IT Business Analyst for a Satellite Communications Company, here in St. John’s.

How did you find out you were sick?

I simply went for my yearly checkup with my family doctor.  At the time, I had no idea anything was wrong, no symptoms of cancer and I felt I was in perfect health.

What year was it?What was your age at the time? 2008, I was 27

What was your diagnosis? Cervical Cancer

What were your first thoughts when diagnosed?

I think everyone is scared when they hear the “C” word.  My first thoughts were wondering how bad it was and if it had already spread to any of my organs.

How did your family react?

My family was worried, but very supportive!  They were with me every step of the way.  My parents helped with my children, and my boyfriend kept me smiling and laughing everyday.

How did your friends react?

I have a very large circle of friends.  My Friends at work and in my networks were amazing!  Everyone was very encouraging and very supportive.

What did your treatment consist of?

My treatment consisted of several biopsies, laser treatment and eventually a hysterectomy.

What is your current medical status? Cancer Free!

What was the toughest part of your challenge?

I’d say the toughest part was having people worry about me. It’s hard to see your parents upset.

What was the best part about having your challenge? You learn to appreciate your health and to not take things for granted!

What really motivated you to keep going while you were/are sick?

While I was going to appointments and resting up after surgeries, my children kept me going. They’re awesome. No matter how tired I was, or whatever else was going on, I was still their mom!  They read me stories while I was resting, and bought me snacks. They definitely kept me smiling and happy!

What lessons or messages have you taken away from your experience?  Live!  Just enjoy every day like it’s your last!

What are some (if there are any you know of) preventative measures that people can take to lower their risk of having an experience like yours?

Never ever skip your yearly check up!  Women take that for granted and think there’s nothing wrong if you’re feeling ok.  I’ve been pushing all my friends to keep up with their checkups and to never assume anything because you really just don’t know.

How are you connected with Young Adult Cancer Canada?

I think this is a wonderful organization and I am so happy to be a part of it, even in some small way.