Casey Love was just 25 when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer after she went to the doctor complaining of a “little bit of pain” before her whole life was turned upside down
At just 25 years old Casey Love was diagnosed with cervical cancer and her life was turned upside down.
Now she’s been cancer free for almost two years and is telling her story to encourage young women not to put off their smear test as she prepares for a charity skydive after vowing to live her life differently.
Casey, from Darlington, began suffering a “little bit of pain” and doctors suggested she go for her routine cervical screening test, which discovered abnormal cells.
Following 10 months of tests and anxiously waiting for an answer, the former House of Fraser manager was diagnosed with cervical cancer and began treatment the day after her 26th birthday, reports Teesside Live.
“I went in for an operation for a partial hysterectomy but the tumour was too big to be removed and instead I went through chemotherapy and radiotherapy,” said Casey, who married now-husband Jason in July.
“It was all a bit of a blur, I just would get out of bed on a morning and go to hospital for treatment.
“At the end of my chemo I went through internal radiotherapy and I had to lie there for 48 hours at a time, I had to eat lying down and family could only visit at set times.
“That was probably the hardest bit of it all.
“On December 16, 2019, I was given the all clear which was a really amazing early Christmas present for me and the whole family.”
Medics originally diagnosed Casey with stage one cancer but during the operation they discovered it had spread to her lymph nodes meaning it was classed as stage 3.
And the cancer and the gruelling treatment means Casey won’t be able to fall pregnant.
“They couldn’t wait for my treatment so I told them to take what eggs they could and Jason and I froze two embryos. I can’t have children myself but there’s a 15% chance that we could with a surrogate,” said Casey, a former Hummersknott School student.
“For about a year I really struggled with that mentally, I got into a really dark place.
“I do believe that everything in life happens for a reason and I do believe that life is already planned out for us.
“There will be a reason why I can’t have children but I’ve come to terms with that a lot more now.”
Adding: “[Throughout the treatment,] I stayed strong for my family, they kept asking my why I wasn’t crying.
“I guess putting a front on for a long time for them, pretending to be ok, I actually convinced myself I was.
“Getting through the treatment was so difficult, it wasn’t until I finished, that I reflected and it hit me mentally.
“Now I believe it has formed me into a kinder person, so I feel in a way that cancer helped me become a better version of myself.”
Almost two years on, Casey is getting ready to take on a skydive to raise funds for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust – a charity which has provided valuable support following her diagnosis.
And she’s also hoping to raise awareness about how important it is for young women to get their cervical screening test when the letter to book an appointment arrives – and is advocating for the age to be lowered from 25.
“If it hadn’t been suggested to me by the doctors to get my smear I probably would have put it off like so many women do,” added Casey.
“Now I try to tell everybody just how important it is. For me it was just the start of my journey but for just two minutes of discomfort it’s worth it, it really does save lives.
“Being such a young age you don’t think it’s going to be you. It’s made me live my life completely differently now – it’s made me more spontaneous.
“I vowed to live my life very differently, hence why I have decided to do something completely out of my comfort zone.
“My dad David was a thrill seeker back in his day and did a skydive back then which gave me the inspiration to do this.
“I hope I can inspire other people in a similar position that life can be good again after cancer.”
Friend James Philip has also run the Great North Run twice to raise funds for Casey’s chosen charity and raised more than £4,000.
And so far more than £300 has been donated to Casey’s cause ahead of her skydive on October 31.
To donate to her Go Fund Me page click here.