2020 has been a hell of a year.
In March, I received word that my PAP in February showed abnormal cells with severe changes from the last test three years before. I was booked for a colposcopy two days after Covid lockdown began. Precancerous cells were found. Ironically, I had decided to get a HPV vaccine in January as I had the funds to cover the $600 in shots and had never had the vaccine as I was too old when it became available for young folks. I had a LEEP in May and the result was that the precancerous cells went all the way to the margins of the excision. I am booked for another colposcopy tomorrow morning.
My mother had cervical cancer in situ so I had yearly PAP tests from age 16 on. In 2017, I had a traumatic experience with an IUD and my doctor told me the protocols had changed from annual PAPs to every three years. I was uncertain, but trusted her and have been struggling with the idea that perhaps I'd left it too long and would not be in this situation if I'd insisted on the test sooner. Last year, I had a bilateral salpingdectomy and have been working through trauma issues with all of this.
6 months has been a long and awful wait. Will things be worse when they look this time? Will I have to go through another LEEP, or worse? I'm having trouble with my thoughts and am trying not to think too far ahead but I am expecting to hear another LEEP at least. I can't bear to hope for better and be dashed. I'm afraid to hear more things need to be removed. I'm not hugely attached to my uterus, that's one thing, but my cervix has nerve endings involved in orgasm, I don't want to lose it!
Anyone with experience, advice, anything....I want to hear from you. I'm trying not to admit how afraid all of this makes me but I am very much afraid. It takes up so much space in my brain and I don't know how to carry it.
Thanks for your time.
I am sorry to hear of everything you are going through, it really is a worrying time with all the unknowns and the waiting around for results, I completely understand how you are feeling.
I think the most important thing to focus on is the fact that you had abnormal cells, which generally speaking take a long time to progress to cancer. In the 6 months since you last were treated, I am sure it is quite unlikely that it has progressed far beyond abnormal cells. If the margins were not clear, I would think they would offer another LLETZ?
my mother had a very aggressive cervical cancer at 25 and had full hysterectomy, so this always plays on my mind too. CC It is not genetic. I recently went through colposcopys, biopsies got referred to an oncologist and had a cone biopsy and every doctors reassured me that because my mother had it, has little effect on my chances of having it too.
good luck with everything, the best thing we can do is try our hardest to stay positive
Thank you for your reply.
It is good to know that my mother's experience isn't a major risk factor.
I took my Ativan earlier in the visit yesterday and that helped me get through a little. After more discomfort than necessary having students rummage around with speculums trying to see my cervix, I had to be very clear I did not want anyone but the doctor touching me. It is difficult to advocate for myself in trauma flashback situations.
The doctor said things look to have healed well but they still did the biopsy and an HPV test. Now it's waiting to find out if I do another LEEP or what. Still, better than finding out that things are visibly much worse.
I'm not sure how I feel about this Doctor. She mentioned her interests lie in the obstetrics part of the job and here in Canada you can't do obstetrics without gynecology. As someone who has chosen to be childfree, I am of no interest to her. She has also made comments about the conformation of my anatomy that I found a bit awkward. Apparently my vaginal canal is on the longer side and curves to the right ect. I told her that in over 20 years of annual PAPs, I had never heard such a comment. She said "Oh, you must have wondered why PAP test were difficult to do." They never have been. Not one doctor has struggled to see my cervix. I hope not to have to go through another LEEP for many reasons, but I think I will ask to see the doctor who did the salpingdectomy for any other issues.
I'm relieved to have found this forum. I wish I had known about it in March. I appreciate all of you ❤️