My cancer journey began 11 years ago when I was diagnosed with uterine cancer.

The tumor was removed with a complete hysterectomy. After 26 rounds of radiation and 2 rounds of internal radiation, I went into remision.

In August 2022, my blood pressure skyrocketed for no apparent reason. After multiple visits to After Care Hours, the ER, and my primary care physician—plus, switching medication seven times—my blood pressure was finally getting under control.

I noticed spotting from my anus, but my primary physician assured me it was hemorrhoids (but decided to send me for a colonoscopy). The report stated it was chronic radiation proctitis. I notified my oncologist’s office to make sure they didn’t need to see me.

In January 2023, after having a large gush of blood in my stool and bleeding from my vagina, I contacted my oncologist and got in that afternoon. During the exam, my oncologist felt a mass on my colon and immediately said the cancer had returned. This time, the cancer spread from my vagina to my colon.

I was in total shock and disbelief. I prayed the oncologist was wrong, but the truth was inescapable—the cancer did come back. My oncologist is a blessing and truly saved my life. She took immediate action by sending me for a PET scan, MRI, and blood work.

I endured an 8-hour surgery to remove a mass the size of a baseball attached to my colon and the outside of my vagina cuff, which resulted in me receiving an ostomy. I had a blood transfusion and blood thinner shots in my stomach that continued after I left the hospital for 3 weeks.

I endured six rounds of chemo—once every three weeks plus a severe allergic reaction during the second treatment—fatigue, nausea, and hair loss until chemo finally ended in June. Since August 2023, I’ve undergone chemo maintenance every 3 weeks, which will continue for an entire year.



Finally, I am in remission and I can let the world know what I have been through and how I’ve prevailed. I’ve had to adjust to a different life, but I’m grateful to still be alive. This would not have been possible if it weren’t for my Oncologist, Dr. Latoya Perry, at Beacon Memorial Hospital. She saved my life, and I thank God every day for Dr. Perry, who I can truly say is now a part of my family.


Sheila’s advice:
The first time I saw my ostomy, I actually cried. Now I look at Aphrodite (that’s what I call her), who is strong, sexy, and beautiful. She gave me my life, and we as ostomates are like Aphrodite in all of its positive and negative ways. It’s okay to be afraid, vulnerable, and not like the new you. Take time to get to know yourself again and be thankful for another day. Cry if you need to, and when you are ready, embrace the new you with grace and love.