- 5 years ago
I’m a long time Bee going anon because I don’t want people in my life knowing this news before I break it to them personally-a few are members of this community.
Three weeks ago, I went to get a pap smear. At the time I was suffering from vaginosis which my doctor prescribed antibiotics. The antibiotics ended up triggering a yeast infection a week later which I didn’t know what it was at the time as I never had one before. I wanted to go back to the doctor because of the symptoms but the cost for the first visit was $300 due to all the lab fees even after my co-pay. One of my friends recommended Planned Parenthood as an alternative. While the nurse practitioner was checking out everything down there, she noticed I had a polyp that somehow my first doctor missed!!! She managed to remove it then and there but we’re both flabbergasted that my other doctor somehow missed it as it was very large. To be safe, she sent the polyp to pathology. In the meantime, my pap smear results came back positive for high-risk HPV and having abnormal cells, and my first doctor asked me to come in for a colposcopy to test for pre-cancer or cancerous cells. Before the appointment was to take place, I got a call yesterday from Planned Parenthood asking me to come in to discuss my lab results. The tests for the polyp came back for positive for adenocarcinoma in situ. At the age of 30 and seven months after I just got married, I am told I have invasive cervical cancer.
The scariest part is I don’t know what stage of cancer I have. Most women who are thought to be at risk for cervical cancer undergo a colposcopy (where a portion of the cervix is biopsed), and if they have it, it tells them which stage they are currently at. Since my polyp showed the cancer in my cervical tissue, I didn’t have this step to help me gauge how far along I am. I’ve already requested a colposcopy from my doctors because I need to know before I can break the news to my family and friends. It also affects which type of treatment is available for me.
If my cancer is in it’s earlier stages, my doctors are advising I undergo a conization where they remove a portion of my cervix. Since my uterus stays intact, this would allow Darling Husband and I to attempt for children. After we would have the children, they are recommending I undergo a hysterectomy to help prevent the spread of the cancer. Before all this cancer news, Darling Husband and I were discussing the idea of being a child-free couple or delaying children, and now I feel as if our hands are being forced by this disease. If the cancer is in the later stages, I would need a hysterectomy, and the option of me bearing our kids is gone. My eggs could be saved so surrogacy is an option for later if Darling Husband and I want biological children.
I’m sad and a bit scared but I know I can kick this cancer’s ass. I honestly think the worse part is the waiting to know everything. I find the more information I am getting from the doctors, the more reassuring it is because it cuts through the fear and paranoia. I feel fortunate that cervical cancer is one of the slower growing cancers, and because of the isolated location of the cervix the risk of it spreading to other major organs is lower than other types of cancers. Giving me hope, pending confirmation, my doctors think I’m still at the earlier stages of the cancer since all my previous yearly pap smears have come back normal. However, I’m really scared to rely on this because I don’t want Darling Husband and I to entertain the idea of children and then be told that the cancer is too far along for it to be feasible.
The hardest part for me now is having to tell my family. My sister battled (and beat) throat cancer years ago, and I saw how hard it was on every one. Darling Husband and I are waiting to see which stage I’m currently at to break the news, but it’s hard to pretend nothing is the matter. Compounding things is the fact my other sister is due to have her first baby at the end of the month, and I don’t want my news to cast a shadow over everthing so we may delay the announcement a few more weeks. With all this, I’m so very grateful to my loving husband who has been my pillar of strength throughout all of this, and for the nurses and doctors at Planned Parenthood for all their help.
I’ve always been safe with my sexual partners, and my paps always came back clean. Darling Husband and I don’t know which one of us had the HPV first. What’s scarier is that Darling Husband has been my only partner for years. My doctors think the virus may have been laying dormant in my system for years but honestly there’s just no way of really knowing.
If you made it to the end, thank you. It was really hard to write this, and I’m surpised my computer hasn’t short-circuited due to all my tears. For the last two years the Hive has always been a special place for me. It’s allowed me to share my frustrations and joys over my wedding planning, laughs and moments of every day life, and now it’s helping me to get through the worse time of my life. I love you guys!