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  • I am a cancer survivor
  • I^m Christina. This is going to be a long story but I have to get it out because lately it^s been easier for me to write my feelings down other than talking to people. It^s not because I don^t love them or care, I^m just tired of getting emotional.

    This all started last April 2010 for me. I was having bleeding after intercourse and I was scared so I went in to have a pap smear done. First off, i should say that I don^t have insurance and I paid for everything to be done in the beginning so it wasn^t easy for me but I did it. A month later i got the results and was positive for HPV and had an abnormal pap smear with precancerous low grade squamous cell lesions on my cervix.

    Of course I thought the worst and was a mess. I was told to have a colposcopy done and called to make an appt and the nurse said Aug 2010. That was 3 months away and I got upset cause I didn^t want to wait that long but was told that^s how long it would take. The colposcope report came back with the same findings. Low grade precancerous lesions. I remember talking with the nurse and was told that it was precancerous not cancer and to just keep an eye on it. That this take years to develop into cancer and that I should have another pap smear/colposcope in a year. So I calmed down a little. Figured if I got my pap smears done and kept an eye on it, I would be ok. I still worried but I tried to put it behind me just enough to go on with daily life. I was treated for an infection on the lesions and the bleeding subsided a little.

    All this time I was trying to figure out a new way of getting more tests done and registering at a clinic at a local hospital. I couldn^t afford all these tests without insurance. So in about July I went for charity care and made an appt. to have another pap smear. By this time I started bleeding after sex a little more and was getting nervous. I figured at the hospital I could have more tests done. I had my appt, got my results and it came back as precancerous high grade squamous cell lesions. So I knew it progressed but was thankful it was still precancous. I waited a month for an appt. for a colposcope. They rushed my results and on 9/28/11 I was told to come in for my results--honestly I didn^t realize just because I had precancerous on both paps that the doctor would tell me I had cancer.

    That day changed my life and I^ve been in a cloud ever since.

    How could it be cancer when it was just precancerous cells a month before? I was floored. I met with an oncologist less than 2 weeks later and she told me that my cancer was early and she can fix it and may even be able to save my uterus for children. She made me feel a lot better about the whole diagnosis. I had a PET scan/CAT scan performed and waited 2 agonizing weeks for my doctor to come back from vacation to properly read it to me. At first, she mentioned the word misdiagnosis because my cancer could not be seen on the scans and there was no evidence of any spread. The doctor said she would review my slides again and most likely we were going in for a radical trachelectomy to remove the cervix on Nov 8. 2011.

    I waited for the doctor to call since this was less than two weeks away and I had a lot of things to do in 2 weeks and finally she called me back to say she was afraid it is what it is and we would be going in for surgery on the 8th. I gotta be honest I was not ready for the hysterectomy. Nov 8th came and the doctor had an emergency surgery and my surgery was delayed till about 3pm that day. Even prior to anesthesia I wasn^t ready. My guy was there but my family wasn^t and I remember saying bye to my boyfriend and feeling like I didn^t get enough time with him or my family. All I remember was looking around at the operation room and saying I didn^t get to say goodbye the right way to my honey and I started to whimper and then I was out.

    I woke up to no one. I couldn^t really speak. I was gasping for air because I needed to cough and it hurt and my throat was so dry and I screamed for help. All I can say is that for anyone who has to go for surgery, have someone stay there for you even if the hospital says not too. Waking up by yourself is the worst feeling. When my boyfriend got there I wouldn\^t let him leave even though he he had been up for a day and changed. Since I complained about my chest, I couldn^t leave the recovery room till I had bloodwork and an EKG. I will never forget that nurse. Me screaming for help, her ignoring me. Otter nurses telling her to attend to me. When I got upstairs I was put on a pain medicine pump and was in a lot of pain. My family knew what had happened to me. I didn^t know yet.

    I saw the doctor and was told that my cancer was in between my cervix and uterus. I had a large dermoid tumor, some endometriosis and a cyst. Everything was removed except for my ovaries. Was told the tumor was pretty small like 1cm but since it was so high up the pap smears kept missing it. The cancer has been in there for 2 years she believes. I had 41 lymph nodes removed and 3 tested positive for microscopic cancer. I am staged at 1b 1. I have to go for radiation/possibly chemo in about 4 weeks. So after all this almost every test except one that I had was wrong. The pap smears, the colposcopy, the PET scan and CAT scan. None of it picked up on my cancer. I was told there was no lymph node involvement and now three of them had small traces of it. I was suprised by all this this last Friday when I was told and I had so many questions but was so shocked and I honestly couldn^t even hear my doctor speak. I was lost, I told her that. I had her speak to my boyfriend cause I could deal with it. When my doctor got in She was so frustrated with my questions that she yelled that she wasn^t going to answer the same questions over and over again.

    I^m 32 years old. I^m scared. I need some positivity. Something saying I will survive for atleast a while. I feel like I have been given a death sentence and I need some hope. I^ve tried looking online. I get myself upset. I do nothing but focus on this. Thank you for reading. God Bless
  • 11-17 -2011
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