Someone that I know is fighting a battle with Metastatic Cervical Cancer, her name is Niaje. To be honest, before her journey, I've never thought about cervical cancer. I know that doctors told me about HPV shots, but I never even thought much about that. What finally got my attention was Niaje's beautifully documented journey via social media. She is so honest and vulnerable as she takes you through her battle. Niaje is such a light! She is so strong, so vulnerable, so passionate, and so beautiful, that you can't help but to want to love and support her!
January, is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and immediately I knew that we must take this time, not only to honor Niaje, but to take care of her! This disease has a face... it's not just stats, it's a real woman... real wom(e)n who are fighting and thriving in spite of their diagnosis!
Below is one of her captions that gives you a glimpse into her heart, and the warrior that she is!
Honestly cannot believe the year is over. It is as if I’ve been living in a bubble watching this life from another dimension. 2017 was one hell of a year. I learned more about... life then I could have ever imagined. I lost what I THOUGHT was everything in 2016. Health, Love, Finances, security,home, Peace of mind. But this year has taught me that I lost nothing. I had to let go in order to gain what is truly meaningful. What is that? To each is different. But I now feel and understand that lesson and I’m ready to receive my blessings. But wait! Don’t think I was on some blissful spiritual journey. Nah my shit was F’d up!! filled with ups and downs major sickness and painful truths. In 2017. I had to leave my Beloved HARLEM!!. 15 years in NYC and I could no longer live alone in the place I love. I have suffered two heart attacks, I flatlined in March... lemme say that again, ya girl Died in March! And I am still here. Breathing. Thriving. What else?! I was diagnosed with a failing heart disorder, my cancer metastasized to my lung, I endured rounds of chemo and radiation, long hospital stays, and visits to the ER weekly!! Buuuuuuut with all of that I’ve learned to live life in between. I’m back with my family,I’ve traveled,Loved, made new friends, enhanced old friendships and overall I think I’ve truly become a better person. We are all fighting battles. Correction. Because some us choose not to fight. Some choose to settle and live in the comfort zone. Well I am living testimony that the comfort zone is not it!! Fight!! Fight for your life! Make better decisions! Learn self worth and love the shit out of yourself!!! You deserve it!! If I chose to just live in the comfort zone.i would probably be in somebody’s hospital depressed, heart broken and bitter. In other words, on my death bed. But I decided to ignite my light,have faith,never give up on myself and push harder. Im walking into 2018 with a Torch [no khakis,lol] and I only want light warriors beside me. “Is you with me or what?! “
Not all forms of cervical cancer comes from HPV (Niaje's did not)! And although the vaccination helps with prevention, it is not always guaranteed. Scheduled gynecological visits and listening to your body for irregular signs is a must. Learn more about the Prevention and Early Detection of Cervical Cancer, here.