February 16, 2005
I had gone 10 years without having a pap or mamogram. Mainly, because I had no insurance, could not afford the office visit including the fee for this test. I did not look for alternatives because I was so un-educated about the problems that could arise and how serious it is. When I got a job that had insurance my friend who is a Operating Room Tech told me if I had seen the things she had seen I would not hesitate getting a test. So I made an appointment with her at a OB/Gyn, and had the test. My doctor called me to come in for the results. She said she did not give them out over the phone. When I went for my results I was told I had a growth on my cervix and she wanted to do a leep procedure. She said it came back cancer but they had to see how evasive it was so that she would know whether to send me to a doctor in Little Rock who specializes in cancer. Luckily for me, it was not that evasive and I had a hysterectomy two weeks later. I went back every year since then and had a pap even though I no longer have a cervix. My doctor had to take tissue around the cervix as well to make sure she got it all. I was lucky and did not have to have radiation or chemo. If I had not gone for that pap at the insistence of my friend, I might not be here typing this right now. I will be the first to tell anyone how ignorant I was about what is available to people who think they cannot get help, or do not realize how important this screening it. Thank God for good friends with knowledge.