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  • Erin
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  • I am a cancer survivor
  • I am currently full of mixed emotions... terrified, thankful, anxious, blessed, angry, frustrated, grateful. Last March I went in for my annual pap and also asked to be screened for all STDs since I am a rape survivor and wanted to just be sure I had a clean bill of health. Normally the test for HPV isn\^t covered by insurance until you are 30 unless there are abnormalities on the pap. However, my doctor suggested we test for it anyway, even though I was only 26. It cost me $250 that I really didn\^t have, but it was money very well spent! I tested positive for HPV, even with a NORMAL pap. Next step was to have another pap in August and retest for HPV, since it can spontaneously go away. HPV was positive again, but still a NORMAL pap. I was sent for a colposcopy but was told that it would probably not show anything since the pap was normal. Unfortunately, it came back as CIN-3 and I needed to schedule a LEEP. I had the LEEP done 1 1/2 weeks ago on a relatively large lesion and was shocked when it came back as cancer (carcinoma in situ). My doctor told me that they are pretty sure they got it all, although it looked like it was very close to being invasive cervical cancer (spanning the entire depth of the epithelium and at, but not through, the basement membrane). Since my paps were always normal, I will be getting colposcopys ever 4 months to check to make sure the cancer hasn\^t come back. I feel lucky that my doctor stayed on top of things, but I am still very scared because there is always the chance that they didn\^t get it all. I am having a hard time focusing on my work as a medical student and wish I could just make all of these scary thoughts shut up and go away. One good thing that I know will come from this is that I am sure it will make me a better doctor. I want to be an OB/Gyn and this experience can only help me better relate to my patients during very scary experiences. All the stories I have read on here are very inspiring and will keep me full of hope!
  • 10-16 -2009
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