Happy Birthday To Me!!!
I thought it would be fitting for me to tell the story of why each one of my birthdays are even more special now.
A little over two years ago I started having some issues. I went to my gynecologist and told him all of my problems. He ran a few tests. My Pap came back clear. I had a few other issues that I had to face. Due to my age and my choice of not having anymore children (I have three), he recommended that I have a hysterectomy. Another test came back and he said they would have to take one ovary out too. I was nervous and read everything I could find on the internet but felt good that this would cure all the problems I had been having.
The day of my surgery came and went. Surgery went fine. Hubby took great care of me. A couple of weeks later, I received a call from my doctor. The post-surgery test showed Adenocarcinoma. He said that it was too far up the cervical canal for it to have showed up on the original Pap test.
To say that I was stunned is putting it mildly. I was too shocked to ask all the questions that later came into my mind. I just answered all of his statements with "Ah huh". When I hung up the phone I fell apart. I didn't understand how it could happen. I did not have HPV and there was no history in my family of Cervical Cancer.
My doctor sent me to an Oncologist. She was fantastic and was able to help me sort out all of my questions. She never tired of answering everyone of them. After months of tests and WAITING for results that seem to take forever, I was told that it was gone. I had been lucky. All of it was removed during surgery. I wasn't sure if I could believe it. I wanted to, but after the Pap missed it, how could I be sure? I would have to get tested every three months for the next few years. What I found out was that Adenocarcinoma is aggressive, careful watching and testing would be necessary. Not a problem, this Chick would be at every one of the appointments!
Fast forward to the present...
It has been two years now since that phone call. Two years of clear tests. Two years seems to be the celebration point. The chances of it coming back drop drastically after two years. My appointments are now every four months. Hubby, my kids and I celebrated. This didn't just scare me, it had an impact on everyone in my family.
What I have learned from this journey was to be your own advocate when it comes to your health. If you know something is wrong, don't give up and don't always believe the tests. I have learned that HPV is not the ONLY way you will get Cervical Cancer. If you think something is wrong, push for answers. Don't give up.
I won't go into all the details of how Cancer changed me or how it changed my family. I'll save that for a different post one day. But when everyone says that "I survived", I have to correct them. My family survived.