Nassau, Bahamas, September 25th, 2018… The last thing 32 year-old Georgina Sturrup expected to hear during a doctor’s visit to regulate her heavy menstrual cycle, was that she may have cervical cancer.
However, despite the initial terrifying diagnosis and aggressiveness of her condition, Georgina, now 35, has been in remission for three years. Recognizing her faith in God and support from her mother and the Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group as significant contributors to her recovery, she had a cautionary word to share with other Bahamians: “Get early and regular check-ups with your doctor.”
“I should have gone earlier to check the cause of my heavy bleeding over eight months,” Georgina said, “but I didn’t seek medical attention right away. My mom kept telling me, ‘Go to the doctor!’ To tell you the truth, I never liked going to the doctor, and it was about the ninth month when I said, ‘This isn’t good, so let me just get the bad news – whatever it is – and deal with it.’ It seemed simple and I thought it would’ve been easy… but it wasn’t.
“The doctor told me she saw a mass on my cervix. I didn’t know what she was talking about so I asked her to explain. She said, ‘A mass that can be cancerous.’ I was terrified, because I had two aunts that died from breast cancer. The only thing running through my head was, ‘I’m going to die.’ I cried, and they sent me to do an emergency biopsy.”
The cancer, initially stage 2b, had progressed to stage 3 by the time the results returned, and Georgina was immediately prescribed a strict treatment regimen. “They had me do chemotherapy and radiation at the same time – some days I’d do one or the other, and some days I’d do both.
“I wasn’t sure what I would do. But I’m a woman of God. I put my trust in him, and he brought me through it. My mom was there for me, and so was the Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group – they encouraged me.”
A beneficiary of CIBC FirstCaribbean’s annual Walk for the Cure fundraiser – this year on Saturday October 6 – the Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group is a non-profit organization that supports the mental, spiritual, and financial needs of cancer patients. Initially founded for women diagnosed with breast cancer, the group currently assists with the needs of all cancer patients, both men and women.
“Going through all of this would’ve been much harder without the kindness and support of Sister Sister. They’re always there for me, even now that I’m done with my treatment.
“I’ve been in remission for three years – happily married for one. I went to the states recently to do my PET scan… and right now, everything is good. If I’d done one earlier, maybe it would’ve been easier, because the cancer wouldn’t have progressed so far. So get regular check-ups. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, because it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Walk for the Cure takes place on Saturday, October 6 in Nassau, Grand Bahama, Abaco and Eleuthera. All proceeds are donated to cancer awareness and treatment organizations throughout the country. To register for this year’s walk email Nikia.firstname.lastname@example.org.