Monday, September 8, 2008

Getting Personal

I think I wrote about this before but I don't remember. Shortly after Violet was born I had my exam, which included a Pap. The test showed abnormal (what they described to me as "squamous" or pre-cancerous) cells. My doctor, who is an awesome lady, said to come back in six months to get another, but not to worry too much because it may just be inflammation from childbirth. What she didn't know is that telling me not to worry is A. is futile, I worry for a living, and B. an excellent excuse to ignore and delay something I don't want to think about. "Well, the doctor said not to worry."

We moved and I was busy with Violet and I let six months go by. Then seven, eight... I had quit my job to stay home with Violet which means I gave up my insurance, so paying for the visit was a factor as well.
My doctor rescheduled the appointment for me, nearly a year late for the re-test, and I went just a couple of weeks ago. They were nice and basically billed me $80 for the visit when we explained the financial situation. (Which reminds me- I still haven't paid that!)

This is where it gets scary. Today the nurse called me to let me know that this pap also came back abnormal. I asked could it still possibly be inflammation, maybe from some weird breastfeeding/ hormone thing? She said since it has been so long that inflammation was unlikely and that I need some other sort of exam, plus a biopsy. Of course I'm freaking out. They want to check for cervical dysplasia, which I just looked up on the Women's Health Channel site:

Cervical dysplasia is a term used to describe the appearance of abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix, the lowest part of the uterus. These changes in cervical tissue are classified as mild, moderate, or severe. While dysplasia itself does not cause health problems, it is considered to be a precancerous condition. Left untreated, dysplasia sometimes progresses to an early form of cancer known as cervical carcinoma in situ, and eventually to invasive cervical cancer.

I told my Mom and she let me know that my aunt had cervical cancer at age thirty (my age now!) and had to have a hysterectomy. I am trying not to think the worst, but I'd be lying if I said it isn't scary. These are all very scary: CANCER. Hysterectomy. Early menopause. No more children. Dying and leaving Violet without a mother.
But it is much too early and too little information to make those leaps, but they do cross your mind. You can't help it.

I will keep you updated.
All three of you! ;)


Annika said...

I had an abnormal pap and a biopsy which showed cervical dysplasia. It's a scary word but ALL it means is that there are some abnormal cells. I had a LEEP to get rid of mine, and went on to have a normal pregnancy with no pre-term labor or dilation (which the doctor who performed the procedure never warned me about but subsequently I was told were a risk). In hindsight, with no cancer in my family I would not have done the LEEP but would have kept an eye on the situation with repeat paps. With your family history, though, I imagine you'd like those abnormal cells out of there! Email me if you want to know more, OK?

Sidd said...

Gulp. I would be worrying too. In fact, I've joined right in with you and am worrying full throttle right now. That said, I was relieved to see the other post on the same condition. Medical stuff leaves me squirmy anyway, and I tend to dwell on any upcoming "events". The sooner you get it taken care of and behind you, the sooner you can take the deep breath and let it go. Please keep us posted.

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