June 25, 2005
I am 47 years old, in December 2003 I had a slightly irregular pap, I was reccommended to come back in 6 months for a repeat it could be something as simple as the time of month i was told. It had been three years since my last pap , I have no excuse as to why i waited so long, I was busy, my mother had moved in with me, my husband had lost his job. All of those reasons seem silly now. It is a simple test and so very important. I should never have waited to have the second test in 6 months given the fact that it is not always possible to know if the swab has picked up the bad areas, it came back highly irregular cells, a colonoscopy was preformed in August 2004, the results were cancer in situ and possibly some evidence of invasive cancer. I was of course i was shocked and terribly worried. Those waiting times between treatments are so hard. I was referred to the largest cancer unit in the province and a cone biopsy was preformed on Sept. 25, the specialist who did the surgery had alot of credentials but was very hard to talk to. Most of my questions were not welcome. Again a three week wait. I was told that they had removed all abnormal cells with clean margins and no evidence of invasion, i was told to return in January 2005 for a follow up and if that was clear i just needed yearly paps! I was glad to put that behind me, i thought the book was closed. After all he was a highly regarded specialist. The pap in January was negative of cancer cells. End of story right? I began having trouble with pain in cervical/vaginal area, no reason at all. I phoned the colonoscopy nurse almost apologetically she said go to local gyno and if any problems showed up i would of course be referred back down there. I began researching on net, i was surprised to find out that most people are advised to have follow ups every three months for first year after cone biopsy. This was confirmed by the local gynecologist. He was surprised the cancer centre had not done follow ups every 3 months. Now i am waiting for results of pap smear he did, and still having pain in that area. I had no symptoms at all when cancer in situ was found so it is hard to be feel positive that i am ok now that i am getting symptoms. I am wondering if something went wrong somewhere , that they missed something I have to wait 4 to 6 weeks for results of pap. IN conclusion i would say, keep as informed as possible, be a pest if u have to, if something doesn^t seem right about your treatment find out why. We all want to believe that we are okay but false security is dangerous if something doesn^t seem quite right follow your instincts. This site provides a valuable service as it allows real people to tell their stories, too often medical sites are a little vague, they don^t want to scare u. Early cervical cancer is not as simply treated as some might have u believe, it requires vigilance on the part of the patient and health care team. Above all get your yearly paps and more often if u feel it is warranted, it is an inexpensive test and why not be safe than sorry.