One Cervical Cancer Patient Anchors to Hope Through Recurrent Cervical Cancer

After multiple recurrences of cervical cancer over several years, Heidi found hope and support through emerging targeted therapies and the compassionate care team at CU Gynecologic Oncology who helped her become cancer-free.

The sunny Colorado skies and mountain views have always fueled Heidi’s adventurous spirit. Raised in Loveland, Colorado with two sisters, her childhood was filled with exploring outdoor spaces across the state’s magnificent trails and parks. As an adult, Heidi still spends most weekends pursuing her passion for the outdoors. When she received an unexpected cervical cancer diagnosis after a routine exam, Heidi was stunned.

“We don’t have cancer in our family, and I was one of the first to be given a cancer diagnosis,” shares Heidi. “It was very scary and something I had to wrap my head around and do a lot of research to understand what that meant.”




In 2016, after a routine well-woman exam, Heidi received the diagnosis of stage IB2 cervical cancer. Cervical cancer forms in the tissues of the cervix, which connects the uterus to the birth canal. Often, cervical cancer is caught early through Pap tests and HPV tests during regular pelvic exams.

Early cervical cancer may not show obvious signs or symptoms. Thanks to her diligence with annual exams, Heidi’s cancer was detected before it had grown to a more advanced stage. Prompt diagnosis improved Heidi’s chances of survival and successful treatment, though the news still felt devastating.

“When you first hear about cancer you are terrified. You don’t know what that means or what kind of treatments you’re going to have to go through,” shares Heidi. “For me, it was understanding what that diagnosis meant and how to move past it while continuing to live a normal life.”

Altogether Heidi has fought cervical cancer three times. First in 2016 with the initial diagnosis, and with a recurrence in 2020 and again in 2022.

Despite facing unimaginable news multiple times, Heidi said she chooses to anchor onto hope. “There is hope after this diagnosis. I would say that the care and help I’ve gotten along the way has definitely made the transition a little easier,” explains Heidi.


After receiving her first cancer diagnosis, Heidi turned to the University of Colorado Gynecologic Oncology team based in Aurora, Colorado at the Anschutz Medical Campus. She knew that finding the right treatment from specialists would be crucial for fighting her cancer.

Initially she was treated with chemotherapy paired with internal radiation, undergoing 8 weeks of this regimen. She then had a two-year remission before the cancer unfortunately returned.

With her 2020 recurrence, she opted for a full chemotherapy protocol which required her to lose her hair during the 6-month cycle. She followed up with maintenance drug therapy to sustain her second remission.

When cancer struck a third time in 2022, Heidi was shocked but also optimistic about advancements in treatment options. She opted for a new treatment called antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapy. This innovative targeted treatment delivers chemotherapy directly to cancer cells while sparing healthy cells, reducing side effects.

As Heidi put it, “It’s been an ongoing battle for a number of years and through this newer treatment I was excited to hear that I had actual results and a clear scan.” The pioneering ADC therapy allowed her to become cancer-free once more and hopeful for her future. Access to the latest therapies gave Heidi renewed hope in her journey.


Heidi is thrilled to be cancer-free again and grateful for the opportunity to utilize emerging medicines, which provide encouragement for her and others battling recurrent cervical cancer. Her story highlights the life-changing impact medical innovations like the ones available at CU Medicine Gynecologic Oncology can have for patients.


Heidi now looks to the future with a renewed sense of hope and encouragement. Her most recent clear scans show no evidence of cancer, a milestone she celebrates after facing three separate cervical cancer diagnoses. While she continues to closely monitor her health with her care team at the University of Colorado and CU Medicine, Heidi feels stronger every day as she returns to the activities she loves.

Ask your care team

CU Medicine has two gynecologic oncology clinic locations to provide comprehensive cancer care across the state – one in Colorado Springs and another in Highlands Ranch. The gynecologic oncology providers at these locations are part of the University of Colorado’s nationally recognized cancer care program. Patients benefit by getting care from Colorado’s only National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is tapped into the latest research breakthroughs and treatment innovations.

By leveraging the expertise of CU Medicine Gynecologic Oncology’s empathetic, multidisciplinary care team, patients can optimize their quality of life before, during and after cancer treatment. Connect with us by finding a location here.



This post was originally posted on 2/7/2024