Woman faces cervical cancer diagnosis during pregnancy

Local

In Colorado Springs, one mom was getting ready to welcome another bundle of joy into her life but at a doctor’s appointment, she heard a terrifying word.

Amber Appleton is an incredibly strong woman and after not listening to people as they told her that for months and months she finally believes it here’s why.  

To Appleton her kids are her whole world preparing for having my daughter, taking care of my little ones and working.    

She was eight months pregnant when that whole world was shattered.  

The doctors told her she had cervical cancer. 

“[I was] not exactly in a place in my life to really expect that kind of news. I was 35. It’s definitely not a point in my life where I felt like hearing that kind of news I was prepared for,” said Appleton. “I don’t have time for cancer. That’s literally what I told my doctors.”  

Her doctors suggested treatment right away, but there were risks for her baby. 

“What about my daughter? Of course, I am thinking about my life and her’s,” said Appleton. “I had to choose if I wanted to start treatment which meant surgery and then I had a great chance of losing her.” 

Appleton put her treatment on hold for four weeks after Everly was born.

“I’m thinking this surgery could be done. It’s it. I’m done with this cancer,” said Appleton. “Unfortunately after the hysterectomy, it still spread.” 

That meant Appleton was facing intense rounds of chemo and radiation. 

She said the treatment took a toll on a relationship with her kids especially her 15-year-old.  

“After cancer, his depth of care and love and compassion for people has grown so much, and I couldn’t be prouder, it’s probably one of the hardest things to see your parent go through. It has made him such an incredible man,” said Appleton.  

Finally, Appleton got to ring the cancer-free bell and got a tattoo. 

“It was the one word I hated hearing from people. ‘You’re so strong you have so much strength.’ I hated it. This isn’t strength this is me fighting for my life. I never embraced the word,” Appleton said. “[Before the tattoo-athon] Someone told me I was strong and I believed it of the first time.” 

Now she’s sharing her story.

“I owe that to the women who don’t get to sit in the chair and talk about their journeys,” said Appleton.  

This month is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. 

About 79 million people, men and women, are thought to have an active HPV infection at any given time, according to CDC.  

Cervical Cancer can develop from HPV, but HPV can be prevented through a vaccine.  

Boys and girls can get the vaccine starting at age 9.

Cervical Cancer Colorado Connection is great for women who have been diagnosed. 

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