How do you respond when someone tells you that they’ve found an “abnormality” in your cervix that, could be nothing, or could be cancer? What do you say to that?
I said “okay”…. because that’s all I could manage at the time.
Last month I went in for my first official pap test. It was surprisingly easy! It left me feeling slightly uncomfortable for a couple hours, but other then that it was easy peasy lemon squeezy. The doctors at the clinic said that I really didn’t need a pap test because they’ve now started doing them only for women who have been sexually active for three years. I insisted that I wanted one… just in case. And I’m glad I did.
This morning I got the call with my test results. The woman from the clinic said the test had discovered some “abnormalities” in my cervix.
“It could be nothing,” she said. “Or it could be an early indicator of cervical cancer, we’re not sure yet.”
She told me that I needed to make an appointment for a second pap test in 6 months; if they find the same anomalies again they will then send me to a gynecologist to do more extensive testing. If I do indeed have cancer they will pursue treatment. This was the procedure, she assured me, and not to worry… it could be nothing.
Clearly she doesn’t know me! If you’ve read my last blog post you will know that “worry” is my middle name! I’ve now been sitting here pondering the fact that I have to wait 6 months to find out if I’m fine or that I might, possibly, maybe have cervical cancer. Should I spend the next 6 months doing all the things I’ve always wanted to do bucket list style? Or should I just start planning my funeral? Will my birthday next month be the last one I celebrate?
I know this may seem like an overreaction, but hearing the word “abnormality” and “cancer” used in the same sentence to describe your body is a little scary.
Along with my usual worrying I’ve been weighing the pros and cons. Pros: I’m young and strong enough to fight this if it turns out to be cancer. Cancer treatment has improved over the years and more people survive everyday. Like the doctor said “it could be nothing”. Cons: my dad had cancer, which doesn’t bode well in my favour. I could have cancer, a disease that they don’t technically have a cure for. Treatment for this cancer (in extreme cases removing the uterus) could ruin my dreams of becoming a mother.
It’s a lot to think about and something I wish I didn’t have to consider on such a lovely spring day. However, knowing what I know now I want to initiate some awareness. If you are a lady and haven’t had a pap test, go get one. They’re free and could save your life. Also, if you have the funds, consider getting the vaccination for HPV (which can cause cervical cancer). If you are a man and have a lady that you care about encourage her to get tested like I did… just in case. This is all I can really do as of now. In July I’ll have my second test and will be able to tell you more.