Never Say Never
It seems like the excitement about completing my cancer treatment and moving back into normal life is supposed to be the next stage for me, but alas, a wrench has been thrown into my wheel of life. My lady parts are trying to kill me.
I am starting to feel like a drama queen.
My pap that I had completed when I was getting my lump checked came back abnormal in December 2010. My doctor didn’t feel like my abnormal pap required any additional attention at the time (we also had the very obvious lump in the breast in the front of our minds). I had a three year lapse before that pap, I kept putting off getting it done, which is a big no-no (ladies, mammograms yearly after 40, paps yearly by 19)! I only actually had the pap done because I needed to see my doctor about the lump… I waited to have my follow up pap until I was off work recovering from breast reconstruction. I knew there was a chance it would come back abnormal, and I didn’t want to deal with it until after I had finished everything else.
My doctor told me I would get a postcard if things were fine or a phone call if there were concerns. My doctor called me thirty minutes after I got to work on my first day back in the office after surgery. I broke down, I tried to keep it together, but I couldn’t. I answered the phone telling my doctor that I knew it was bad news because she was calling (last time she called me I answered saying I knew it was cancer and just wanted to know what kind).
She recommending that I get a colposcopy due to atypical cells that showed up in my pap, two years/tests in a row. I have had atypical cells before many many years ago and everything turned out to be ok, but I had also had a benign breast lump before. My heart dropped out of my chest. My brain doesn’t do “this is an unlikely scenario” instead it jumped to “oh my, do I have to do cancer treatment again? I gave away all of my hats…” Normally I would just figure “meh” I will get the biopsy and everything will be fine, unfortunately my brain doesn’t comprehend normal biopsies anymore.
I had heard and read that young cancer survivors sometimes get multiple cancers (my family doctor suggested that I start getting my colonoscopy at a younger age due to my overall increased chance of additional cancers). I read that I have a 38% increase in the likelihood of skin cancer (both of my parents have had skin cancer, to me, at some point, skin cancer is most likely guaranteed at some point, but this is more treatable if monitored and treated early), radiation isn’t skin friendly. I also know now that chemo can increase the likelihood that cervical cancer can rear its ugly head, but with cervical cancer, like most breast cancers, regular testing and early diagnosis can make it a bit easier to treat and increase the likelihood for survival. I will never in my life say that any cancer at any stage is “easy.”
The soonest they could get me in was the 6th of February for the colposcopy. Cross your fingers for me. I delayed posting about this because quite frankly, this topic is a lot more embarrassing to me than my breasts. I also needed some time to get my head on straight about the real possibilities vs. plain old fear..