July 3, 2005
First, I want to send my thoughts, prayers, respect and encouragement to all of these women who had the strength to battle cancer and share their stories. My name is Katharine. Next Friday I will turn 27. As in many cases, I have neglected my health - I^m overweight, uninsured, and haven^t had a papsmear in almost 4 years. In 2001, I had a swift battle with precancerous cells on my cervical wall. I contracted HPV from an unfaithful (EX) fiancé and it caused a lesion on my cervical wall. I caught it at the moderately pre-cancerous stage. (as I understand it from the OBGyn, there are three stages, I was at stage II). I had a LEEP done and a papsmear showed no abnormal cells 6 months later. I never returned for a second pap. Not long afterwards I aged out of my parents^ insurance, and was uninsured by my own job. Last year I had a chance to go and didn^t. Now I am waiting to be insured by my new job and have 4 more months to wait. It seems ironic that NOW something happens. It started about 2 months ago. My first week on the job, I had a HORRIBLE period – heavy bleeding for a solid week, large clots, back pain, abdominal pain, you name it. After it ended, to celebrate my new job, my fiancé and I shared a romantic/ intimate evening. Afterwards I was bathing and started to bleed, which has NEVER happened to me. Three weeks later, I had another period. It was standard - little/ no pain, light bleeding, but 7 days long. Then a week and a half later, I developed an abnormal discharge. I watched it, and after a monistat treatment failed I became concerned. Then the discharge turned pink. I finally called and made an appointment. Two days later I started another period. It wasn^t painful, but I had to cancel the MD appt. because it lasted 7 days. I^m very concerned. I^ve had 3 periods in less than 2 months, bled after intercourse which I have NEVER done, and will not be insured for another 4 months. I am educating myself on the web, and am rescheduling my OBGYN appt. next week. I will have to pay out of pocket for now, but am going to apply to every assistance program I can find. Please pray for me, those of you who are religious. The rest, please keep me in your thoughts. My ENTIRE family has a history with a variety of cancers. My mother, and HER mother, both have had uteral growths, polyps, cysts, etc. My mother became anemic from it and eventually had a hysterectomy. I just want to say that I am SO PROUD of all of you for your strength and feel empowered knowing that there is help out there, and that I am not alone. E-mail me if you don^t mind. I^d love to have a companion through this battle.