Sierra Thetford 24 Year Old Optimist with Stage 4B Cervical Cancer
Sierra Thetford is FlowerChild Revolution’s first ever inspirational woman to be placed on the Inspiration of the Month Blog! This concept is new and is a truly exciting addition to the FlowerChild Revolution movement! We are excited to share Sierra’s story with the world and with it hope to bring awareness and open discussion about cervical cancer to women everywhere.
Sierra was discovered on Instagram. Her photographs were refreshing, uplifting, and exuded her brilliant sense of humor while radiating positivity. However, Sierra also has another side to her; rebellious and proud. It’s as if her photographs were screaming, “Fuck you cancer!” and FlowerChild loves that about her! To find an individual who is positive, yet can project honesty and strength is one in a million and strength that I believe God gave to Sierra to equip her to overcome her battle with cancer. We talked over Instagram for a while and I advised her about the FlowerChild Revolution movement and asked if she would be interested in partaking in the first ever FlowerChild Revolution Inspirational Woman of the Month. I then sent her merchandise and a yellow Sara headband to be photographed in because sunflowers are her favorite!
Sierra is only 24 years old and fighting stage IVB cervical cancer. Stage IVB consists of cervical cancer that has spread to organs beyond the pelvis, such as the lungs or liver. Generally, cervical cancer is caused by a virus known as Human Papillomavirus (HPV), of which there are over 40 strains. Some of these strains cause abnormal changes within the lining of the cervix. Many women who are diagnosed with HPV do not develop cancer, while others are severely affected and suffer from precancerous conditions that can progress into full blown cervical cancer if left untreated. In Sierra’s case, the way she was diagnosed was entirely different. It was a considerably rare sequence of events that led up to her diagnosis at the young age of 22.
Unlike most who are diagnosed with cervical cancer, Sierra had no abnormal pap smears to raise concern that she may be susceptible to developing cervical cancer. At 22 years of age, Sierra was leaving her college campus in Texas when she was involved in a motor vehicle accident. The force of impact was so severe that she was immediately knocked unconscious. Thereafter, the paramedics took her via ambulance to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment of her injuries. Upon arrival she received treatment for injuries suffered to her head and right eye. The emergency room physician then recommended she undergo an MRI of her abdomen to out rule any internal bleeding. Little did they know that they would discover a much more severe issue than internal bleeding; they had to tell a 22 year old girl that she had cancer.
After learning so much about this strong beautiful woman I decided to interview her. Below you will find our conversation, where she answered our questions willingly in hopes to share her story and help strengthen women who may be going through similar traumas in their own life, just as she is right now.
1. I located you on Instagram and felt a strong urge to reach out to you due to your strong presence through your photos. You have a “don’t fuck with me” attitude but a very kind heart. You are an inspiration and are only 24 years old battling against cervical cancer. How have you managed to maintain such a positive mindset and been able to constantly inspire others throughout your battle?
Answer: Positivity to me isn’t about expecting the best to happen for you all of the time, but rather just accepting whatever happens. It’s the best for me at that very moment in my life. I try not to over analyze any situation and just let it be what it will be. You just have to keep moving forward no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. Set small attainable goals for yourself, it helps keep your mindset in the right place instead of feeling like a constant failure. Nothing, not even the pain and suffering that you may be in lasts forever. You are far more powerful than you believe. Inspiring people is a humbling feeling for me because I am being nothing but myself. I rise by lifting others up.
2. As you are aware, FlowerChild Revolution is more than just a dainty flower crown line. This lifestyle brand is targeting cervical cancer to raise awareness for young women around the world and it would seem that many young women feel like they are invincible and that it can’t or won’t happen to them. Can you please tell women how you were diagnosed and advise them on what they can do to ensure that they are taking the proper precautionary measures to take care of their health just in case something is wrong?
Answer: Leaving my college campus, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, I was T-boned at a red light and then taken into the hospital unconscious. There was an assumption of having internal bleeding and an MRI was performed. In the ER I found myself sitting in front of four ghost white faced doctors who couldn’t believe that they had to tell a 22-year old she has Stage IVB Cervical Cancer. If I’ve learned anything it’s to trust your body. Only you truly know if something is wrong. Keep up with your annual check-ups. Trust me, I know getting your vag searched through like your purse does at security when at a sporting event sucks, but it beats the alternative. Although I wouldn’t change anything that has happened in my life, that is a whole different story. Don’t put off going in and getting your annual pap. If you have been in need of going but have been putting it off, stop it. Your health is nothing to joke around with. Your health is your wealth!! I once too had that “I’m invincible” kind of attitude but the universe said “HA” jokes on you and my life got turned completely upside down.
3. Sierra, you are a warrior! I am more than sure that God has huge plans for you and that your fight against cervical cancer is just a bump in the road that is building your character and providing you with the necessary tools for the next season in your life. With that being said, after you finish kicking cancers ass, what are your biggest plans for the future?
Answer: I am graduating in the Fall of 2016 with a Psychology degree from Texas A&M Corpus Christi. My long-term goal is to end up somewhere in the Psychology/Oncology field. I haven’t quite made it past that and I’m completely okay with that. Cancer has taught me to embrace life and not to sweat the small stuff and to be honest it’s all small stuff.
The car accident that Sierra was involved in on that day was a life saving occurrence. If Sierra would not have been in the car that day and involved in that accident at that very moment then she may very well not have been here today to share her story with others. Sierra showed no symptoms associated with stage IVB cervical cancer at the time of her diagnosis. Since her diagnosis she has undergone 30 rounds of chemotherapy treatment. As of her last PET scan, the cancer has not shown any indication of growth nor has it diminished in size, which has left Sierra in stable condition. Currently, Sierra is taking an eight week break from the extensive medical treatment that she has been receiving for the last two years and focusing on healing her body and living life happily and free while exploring other potential treatment options. Sierra Thetford is accepting donations to help cover the cost of her medical expenses via GoFundMe.com, direct link is as follows: https://www.gofundme.com/es8d9k Additionally, 20% of any Sara headband sale made now through September 30, 2016 on Flowerchildrevolution.com will be donated directly to Sierra to help pay for medical expenses. Any donation and sale is greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance for your generosity and support. Sierra, thank you so much for sharing your story with the world. You are truly an amazing and strong woman who deserves nothing but good health, happiness and a quick recovery!