- 3 months ago
- Wedding: August 2019
Regular bee going anonymous. I’m hoping to hear from some others who’ve been through this and get your advice on A) how to keep myself from worrying too much about it and B) how to open the topic with my husband.
I recently had a pap smear (that I was a year overdue for – oops!) and unfortunately, it came back abnormal. My Dr. is referring me to a specialty clinic to be re-assessed in a couple of months to see if the situation changes on its own, but because it is apparently high-grade abnormalities, it is highly unlikely to just clear itself up and I will most likely need to have the abnormal cells removed. Fine, whatever, she assures me that it’s not a big deal and hardly anyone ever ends up actually developing cervical cancer anymore because it’s caught at the pre-cancerous stage and dealt with, like mine is now. So objectively, I know I’m going to be just fine so I’m trying to keep that in mind and not let it bother me. It just is what it is.
The part I’m having trouble processing is that it is caused, of course, by an hpv infection. My Dr. said that 80% of sexually active adults from our generation (pre-vaccine) carry one or more strains of hpv, but most of the time our bodies fight the infection off on their own and don’t produce symptoms, and when it comes to the strains that cause cervical cancer, men don’t show any symptoms. Women only really show symptoms of these strains in the rare cases when it starts causing cervical abnormalities (she said about 20% of infected women). As for how I got it, despite having had a clear pap smear about a year after I started my monogamous relationship with my husband, she said that chances are one or both of us were carrying it from a previous partner but hadn’t developed an infection or any symptoms, so we have probably just been basically passing it back and forth to each other these last 4+ years. Again, the vast majority of adults in our generation are carrying this virus so it really is irrelevant who the “culprit” is.
I know this. I know it’s not a matter of one of us being gross or irresponsible and I know it’s no one’s fault. But I can’t help but feel shitty about it and I worry that I won’t be able to explain this all to him properly. I know he’s not judgmental and I don’t think for one second that he’ll try to blame me or question my past or anything, so I really don’t know why it bothers me so much. I guess because there is a small part of me that is ashamed that I know I have had a much more promiscuous past than he has and I often feel like I “got away with it” because I managed to not get any STIs or get knocked up. Well, I guess now it almost feels like I finally reaped what I sowed, which I know is stupid. If anything, it’s more likely that if only one of us was carrying it when we entered into the relationship it was him because he’d had a recent long term relationship in which (I assume) they weren’t using condoms. I, on the other hand, hadn’t had a relationship in which I didn’t use domers in like 7 years when we started dating, though I’d had a couple of accidents over the years but I think the most recent one was maybe like 2-3 years before we got together.
I honestly don’t know why I’m making such a big deal about this in my head. I know he’s not going to judge me. I know he’s only going to care about the fact that I’ll be fine. I know I will be fine. So wtf lady?
I don’t even know what I’m asking for from you guys. I guess maybe just some assurance that I’m fine, it’s fine, he’ll be fine and everything’s fine lol