Survivors

Survivors
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  • My story starts when I was 19. Ever since I was 16, I had been getting regular annual pap smears (as it was necessary in order to get birth control). The first time I got an abnormal result I was 19, and had no idea what the heck it even meant. The doctors and nurses really didn\^t explain it well to me, nor did they explain the HPV connection. I was simply told I needed to come back every 3 months for follow-up paps. I believe I had a couple more abnormal paps, nothing above low-grade dysplasia though. Colposcopies revealed the same thing. Maybe a year after that, my paps became normal again. In the mean time, I had graduate from college, gotten a job, and found a really amazing OB/Gyn.

    Then shortly after I got engaged in 2005, I went in for my 6-month exam, and got a call back that 1) I had low-grade dysplasia again, and 2) that I tested positive for HPV. I was shocked. I had never been tested before, and was mad that no one ever explained to me fully what exactly happens with HPV and dysplasia. I didn\^t know that it could just come back at any time. But my new doctor was very reassuring, and said that as long as I come in every 6 months that things should turn out fine.

    So, for the past 3 years, I\^ve been getting checked every 6 months, and have always come back as LSIL, except one time in 2006 where I randomly came back normal. Last week (Oct 21) I had another 6 month exam, and my doctor said that new research showed that it would be okay if I went back to yearly exams since all I ever have is persistent LSIL. She said she was not concerned at all about it advancing anytime soon. That gave me hope!

    But then, yesterday, she called me to say that even though my results came back the same (LSIL), that I am still testing positive for HPV, so she wants to wait until I test negative before letting me only come in once a year.

    I love my doctor to death, she is so knowledgeable about this disease by keeping up to date on the latest research and I feel confident that she will always do the right thing for me.

    My husband and I are now thinking about whether we should consider having children sooner rather than later, just in case things start to change for the worse. I hate having to deal with this, and I just wish it would go away. I am thankful that it hasn\^t progressed beyond LSIL, and I do everything I can to stay healthy (lots of antioxidants, exercise, stress management) to not let the HPV takeover. I just hope it continues to work.

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you ladies dealing with the same thing, especially those who have progressed to cancer. We can all beat this - we must all stay vigilant though and take our health into our control.
  • 10-28 -2008
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