Survivors

Survivors
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  • Sandra
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  • I am 41 years old, married and have one son who is 11 years old. I have always had regular periods every 28 days…you could “set a clock by me”. I would have regular pap tests but every now and then I’d let 2 years go by before going in. All my test were always normal until October 2007. I had switched doctors and this time, I was called to come in to “discuss the results”. I knew this wasn’t good because if the results are normal, they mail them to you or tell you on the phone. My doctor told me that I had an abnormal pap and had tested positive for the type of HPV that could lead to cervical cancer. She explained that I had mild dysplasia and the cervical cancer was a slow growing cancer that could sometimes take as long as 10 years to go from mild dysplasia to full blown cervical cancer. Her point was that it was caught early and there were steps that could be done to help keep it from developing into cancer. She scheduled a colposcopy to be done in her office with the help of a vicodin pill to take the edge off. It was still pretty painful but they basically take several “punch” biopsies from your cervix and send them off to the lab. The results were inconclusive so she suggested that I have a LEEP procedure done as outpatient surgery under general anesthesia. This procedure uses a thin wire loop and an electrical current that quickly cuts away the affected cervical tissue. This tissue was sent to a lab and the results were that the margins were clear. At my 3 month follow-up pap, she detected abnormal cells again but assured me it was still mild dysplasia. Because these cells were still present, she said the next step would be a cone biopsy which would take a larger cone shaped piece from the cervix. I had that done in June 2008 and again was told the margins were clear. This was good but I was also told that there is only an 85% chance that all the abnormal cells were caught in that specimen. I had another 3 month follow-up pap and guess what…abnormal cells were present again. I just had another cone biopsy yesterday (Nov 7, 2008) and I’m at home recovering. I’m now beginning to wonder how much is left of my poor cervix which has been “punched”, “scraped”, “sliced” and had 2 cone shaped pieces cut out of it. If my next follow-up pap in Feb 09 is still abnormal, I’ll have to have a hysterectomy. My doctor said that she would remove my cervix and uterus but leave my ovaries in since I’m only 41 and have not had any issues with my ovaries. I’m now trying to do research on the different types of hysterectomy procedures. It’s been a roller coaster year of tests, procedures and waiting for results but I feel lucky that this pre cancer was detected early and I’ve been in to my doctor every 3 months for the past year without fail. I am encouraging everyone I know, including my sisters, to go in for regular paps. I’m so glad I found this site and have been encouraged by all the stories I’ve read here. I know now that I’m not alone out there and that there are many others that have been through everything I have and much, much more and they are SURVIVORS!!!!!!
  • 11-08 -2008
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