I managed to get my ass up for boot-y camp this morning. (YAY!) And it was rainy and chilly. (BOO!) And I was the only one who showed up. (MERP?) The coach kicked my butt and went home shivering to crawl back into bed and have weird dreams until it was time to get back up. But I went. It was great! Today’s supposed to get up to 70 but we’re polar vortexing again by the end of the week (go home, Texas, you’re drunk).
While reading this lovely lady’s post it was brought to my attention that today is World Cancer Day. I have some friends who’s kids have various types of Leukemia and my heart goes out to them each time I see a post from a hospital regarding tests, but thankfully they seem to be in good spirits and doing well. One of my friend’s husband was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer last year and is recovering well too. Both my brothers have had their trials and tribulations (read invasive removals) with skin cancer and are doing perfectly. Unfortunately I did lose both grandfathers to lung cancer.
WARNING – Girly Talk and Lady Bits Discussed Below! Exit Now if you don’t feel we know each other well enough for the rest of this post (won’t hurt my feelings-promise).
I know cancer touches everyone and while I haven’t been diagnosed I am dealing with my own issues and since today is the 3 month follow up from my second cervical LEEP procedure I wanted to share. Back in early 2008 I came up with an abnormal pap. This isn’t really THAT uncommon most of the times people have re-tests and all is well in the…well…lady garden world. In my case, not so much. My doctor likes to be vigilant but not aggressive especially since I was 29 and he figured it would resolve on its own as it frequently does. However, I did not and had to have a subsequent colposcopy (OMFG – KMN). If you’ve ever had one, you know the hell that this is. It basically feels like they’re taking a melon baller to your cervix and yanking…but really it’s a teeny tiny sample that hurts like a mother fucker.
Again, results weren’t looking so good. So the doctor wanted me to have a Cervical LEEP procedure. In essence, an electrocuted wire slices off a layer of your cervix in hopes of removing the naughty cells a la cheese slicer. Or like removing a mole. So in June 2008, terrified out of my mind we did it. No biggie. Recovery wasn’t bad, nothing up there for 3 weeks, no baths for 2, yadda, yadda yadda. Then 3 month pap smear follow ups until the Doctor says we’re in the clear.
This was just the beginning. I’ve never gone more than 6 months without a pap smear because just when things are looking up the naughty cells pop back up. I’ve had an additional 2 colposcopys since (PS – take some Vicodin first it helps…sorta) and last August I had my second LEEP procedure. What the doctor didn’t spell out verbatim or what I chose to be in denial about was these naughty cells weren’t JUST abnormal cervical cells. No, these were pre-cancerous cells. And that’s scary. I’ve had many a panic attack and many a melt down over this. After 2 cervical LEEP procedures it’s doubtful that IF I get pregnant that I’ll be able to carry to term without sutures in my cervix (oh joy). Also, it scars your cervix; making vaginal births and IUD insertion extremely difficult. (Tangent – tried to get an IUD. Almost vomited and pooped at the same time. WORST IDEA EVER. Had it removed in a month.)
Now I know that I haven’t had full blown cervical cancer yet (I shouldn’t say yet, but I feel like I should be prepared) and like I said, my doctor is vigilant. If this crops up again we may do another LEEP, but a hysterectomy was put on the table in August and it may come up again. I have found out since I started to share this with friends that it’s incredibly common, for the most part. I’m the only one I know so far who’s had 2 LEEPs but I do have a friend who dealt with cervical cancer and is all better now. I’m hoping that I’m out of the woods this time. HPV is a bitch. Yes, it’s because of HPV. Which kinda makes me feel like I’m all dirty and slutty. To be fair the times I’ve had unprotected sex has been with boyfriends but that doesn’t really mean much. Everyone has some form of HPV by the time they’re 20. It is what it is. The Gardisil vaccine may or may not staunch the spread but it’s been shown that cervical cancer is caused by HPV and not the warts kind (different strain).
So this afternoon I head to the doctor’s full of worry and trepidation, praying that this will be a good one and mean that this time it’s over. Not to say I can fully understand what anyone who’s had cancer has gone through, but I’ve glimpsed that precipice so if it comes to that I’ll at least have a vague notion of what I’m in for. Bless everyone who’s dealt with or is dealing with cancer and may recovery be in everyone’s future.