October and time for my annual checkup: blood test, pap smear,
mammogram, etc., etc. No big deal. I sort of look forward to my
regular visit and finding out that – one more time – I passed! A week
later the doctor’s nurse called, as usual, and I flippantly asked, “Am I
doctor would like to see you Tuesday at 2. Is this a good time for
you?” My jaw dropped and I, then standing by the phone, dropped into
the chair. I had never been summoned by the doctor – any doctor -
before. I said, yes, and then asked if I should be concerned. She said
the doctor would explain everything in detail, but that some
abnormalities had appeared on my pap results. I choked back the gasp
and the tears, told her I would definitely be there on Tuesday at 2,
clicked off that call, dialed my closest friend (who is a cervical
cancer survivor) and told her, between uncontrollable sobs, what
was going on. She asked if I would like for her to go with me. Um…DUH?
forward to Tuesday at 2: My friend and I sat in the doctor’s exam room
trying to figure out what could be causing my pap to come back
abnormal. Various things were presented including an ectopic
pregnancy. I had begun a relationship in July, had been with the man
ion September and this was all taking place in early October. I only
have one ovary due to a hysterectomy performed back in the 80’s so the
pregnancy concept was a bit out there, so much so we were nearly in
tears from laughter. Fear had had it’s ugly grip on me for too long
doctor came in he said he wasn’t too concerned with the diagnosis. It
could even be technician error. He did however want to bring it to my
attention since the indications were high risk HPV.
HP what??? Fortunately I had a wise and informed doctor at that time.
He thoroughly explained what the virus was as well as the genital warts
strain, even though at the time I had no GW symptoms. The doctor
recommended doing another pap immediately. Those results came back
identical so his next course of action was to refer me to a gynecologist
for a procedure called a coloposcopy.
for the Internet. I Googled HPV and voraciously read every article that
“popped” up. I also found support groups, joined them, and was invited
to join another that became a huge source of information for me. In
fact this particular group led me to a site I like to call “home” that
inevitably led me to Yoshi. Isn’t it wonderful? But I digress… ;-)
visit to Gyno Man’s office was just a “get to know you.” If kind of set
me back a bit when I had to “tell” the nurse how many partners I’ve
had. I felt so sluttish. All of this and an STD too? My main question
was,” Where did I get this?” Well, evidently having had 40 partners
makes it anybody’s guess. I wanted to curl up and die. But then again,
I didn’t want to get cancer and die. Go figure?
visit was my first colposcopy. What an interesting procedure! I don’t
know if it’s just me being overly sensitive but that dye burns!!! The
results of this colpo was the same as the previous two pap smears so
another was scheduled for three months later.
second colpo three “questionable” areas were biopsied. I was in pain
for three days and ended up on Vicadin in order to attend my brother’s
birthday party that weekend. The biopsy results showed two microscopic
warts and one microscopic polyp. Time to freak again!!!! Genital
warts???? Where did these come from??? Of course I wanted to point the
finger at my most recent partner but all info was telling me I really
couldn’t do that. Uh huh. Sure. Gyno Man told me if I boosted my
immune system with healthy eating, exercise, vitamins and practiced
abstinence I could get the little buggers to go away. Abstinence???
Right, Doc! Another precautionary measure was for me to see a
gyn-oncologist. Oh, please! A cancer doctor on top of no sex??? Can
it get any better than this??? But I went…
through the doors of the cancer clinic was the most difficult part of
the entire visit. Telling the nurse how many partners had not lost its
sting. This nurse added a little vinegar to the sore. “That many and
this is the only STD you’ve ever had?” I felt like asking her is she
was jealous!!! Cancer man didn’t see any cell destruction to be highly
concerned at this time. Seems most of the cell changes in my vagina can
be relieved with the use of estrogen cream. I have family history of
breast cancer and heart disease – both aggravated by estrogen so I have
opted not to use that therapy. Due to that decision I have to have pap
smears twice a year and a colpo annually. Sigh.
was my most recent pap/colpo. It showed no “questionable” areas. The
buggers appear to be gone. Oh…the relationship ended last August.
Yeah, I’m abstinent.