Monday, August 07, 2006

My Luck Continues

I have just returned to work, following my third audience with my doctor in as many weeks. My gynecologist and I have become closer in my two months as her patient than I was with my former doc after four years. Though this probably comes across as touching and appreciative, it's not. I like her, very much, but I'd rather not know her face, her office, her staff, her instruments as well as I do.

The reason for my visit today had nothing to do with my ovaries. In light of all of my ovarian issues, I'd forgotten that, back in June, I underwent the normal annual test, which included a breast exam and the dreaded Pap Smear.

Women hate this not just because it's degrading to be sitting there in some cold office, naked, save for an awkward paper gown that stubbornly refuses to lie flat around you. It's uncomfortable, but that's not the real reason I hate it, at least. I hate it because there's always a chance that your Pap, the procedure that tests for cervical cancer, will come back abnormal.

Mine did.

A lot of women have abnormal Paps. They do. Either it's a bad sample, or bad luck, but usually just another Pap test will be administered and then, more often than not, the results come back normal that second time around. But I've never had an abnormal Pap; Mine have always been fine. So, when the nurse, at my last appointment, told me that the test had come back, but that the doctor would go over the results with me, I knew something was wrong.

The level of abnormality, my doctor said, was one. Out of four. Which is good. But because she was fairly certain it wasn't just a bad sample, she scheduled a procedure for today where she paints my cervix with acid, and the abnormal cells, if they're actually present, will turn white. Naturally, because my luck is so awesome these days, I had areas of white. So we went ahead and did a biopsy.

I know that tons of women have this done. I know that tons of women have precancerous, or cancerous, cells in and on their cervix. I know the treatment is easy and recovery is common. I know that. I know, personally, many women who have had this very thing done. Multiple times. And every time I tell someone about what I'm doing, they offer me the same advice. "My wife/mother/friend/sister/coworker had that done, and she's fine."

Yeah, but she's not me.

It doesn't matter how many people I know, either personally or through six degrees of separation, who've had the procedure and gone through treatment and come out just fine. It's different when it's your body, your cervix, your biopsy. It's very different.

This sucks. This fucking sucks. Because it's one more thing wrong with me. Because the incisions on my stomach from my surgery haven't even healed yet, and I'm already getting ready to deal with something else.

Sure, there are bright sides. The areas were small, and there were only three questionable areas. IF there's anything wrong, treatment will be simple. It's not the end of the world, it was caught early, and we're being proactive and getting things in order now, instead of later. We're not burying our heads and Waiting and Seeing our way through this. We're acting. We're doing. We're consciously working towards a healthy outcome.

But it hurts. Not the procedure, not my cervix. Me. I hurt, just thinking about one more thing going wrong. Between the incisions on my stomach, the tenderness in my abdomen and, now, the fucking biopsy I just had done, I've had enough. E. Nough.

To add a little insult to my minor injury, this drastically affects my plans for my upcoming trip to Mexico. On Wednesday, I board a plane with Billy and his family to head to a wedding South of the Border. For seven days, there will be sun, sand, water, drinks, and dancing. Well, what with my still-not-healed incisions, my recent biopsy and my less recent surgery, I am not allowed to swim until Monday the 14th, five days into my vacation. Last week, it looked like I'd be able to swim on vacation, but the fact that my wounds are still open and not scabbed over yet mean that me and the beach chairs get to cozy up together. To accessorize the period I'm liable to get tomorrow, I am under strict orders to use pads, not tampons. Which, though I loathe pads because they fucking feel like diapers, is fine. UNLESS, you're in 104 degree temperatures, trying to look cute in a little sundress at the wedding you're attending; Or perhaps when you're sitting poolside with a group of folks who are fine to swim around in the pristine water, while you sit on the fucking patio in your skirt, with your book, longing to be in the water with everyone else. I'm not even going to go into why dancing is no fun. No sex for "a coupla' days," no swimming, no tampons. I feel like my vacation is ruined prematurely.

I know it's whiny. I know I'm making a mountain out of the proverbial molehill. I know my vacation won't be ruined. I know there are plenty of other things I can do. I know that. And I know Billy's going to be right there with me, being the awesome boyfriend that he is. But it's just one fucking thing after another. I feel like I can't win.

What do people tell you when you're having a bad day? "At least you have your health." Well then, what the fuck do you say when health is in question? What do you say when you feel like every time you turn around, something else falls apart or breaks off or crumbles? What do you do then? Yes, I have an incredible family, an amazing boyfriend. I'm young, I'm beautiful, I'm smart. I have so much to be thankful for, but I just feel like nothing is going right for me right now. It's not the results, it's not the fact that I may or may not have pre or cancerous cells in my body. It's just one more thing.

I know I can handle it, I know I'm gonna make it through; it's just taxing. It makes me cry, it keeps me awake, it makes me angry, it makes me sad. It just hurts, all over.


Tiffany said...

God I was so right here with you a few months ago Laurie. With the mosquito bites and the staph infection and then the bacteria infection in the knee and the antibiotics that made me sick and the steriod shots that DIDN'T WORK and... Blech!

I'm sorry sweetie! I don't know what to say except... Maybe have a drink? :) Worked for me!

Kat said...

Sorry chica. I went through a few bad things in the month of April,.. One after another. its now August and April seems so far away. It can only get better from here. Stay focused, stay strong. Everything will be fine. YOu'll be fine. I'm sure of it! :-) and yes. A nice tall drink and a smoke can always help, no?

Kristi said...

Of course you feel angry!
of course you feel sad!
of course you do and with EVERY right. this is happening to You!
and it sucks Large Ranch animals.
You know all about the silver lining and eventually you will get to it.
Right now is your time to feel shitty about all of this. So feel. Just do it.
In the back of your mind you have a great outlook. It'll find its way to the forefront.
however right now you are in shock and mourning and a whole bunch of other emotions that just swim around and take up a perfectly good summer!
You'll get over it and bounce back cause thats what you do.
you have a Great man in your life and a Fabulous family. When you are done with this part of the Carp they will be there for the next part to go thru it with you.
In the meantime.....enjoy your trip and enjoy a margarita for me!!

and i am sorry about your inside bits. Like having indoor plumbing isn't bad enough......but when there's issues with it.......FFFFFF is all I got for you!

Casey said...

Oh, Laurie. I've had this happen to me twice.

I won't go into details, but let's just say it was gut-wrenching. I was convinced I was going to die of cancer for awhile.

Especially when I had a colposcopy and I SAW the lesions on my cervix. Ick.

I'm sure you know smoking can spur these little precancerous cells' growth... I still have a cigarette once in awhile, but not often.

Thinkin' about you in Tacoma...

portuguesa nova said...

Oye vey.

I'm so sorry this is happening.

If it makes you feel any better, whenever I get weirdo health scares (and when you're incubating another person in your abdomen, you get them a lot), I read this, it kills me every time.

Cheetarah1980 said...

You're not overreacting. Not even a little, not even at all. Peace of mind is something we often take for granted until we no longer have it. Not knowing the status of your cervix doesn't give the peace of mind that knowing (either way) would. Hang in there.

anno said...

Oh, Laurie, I'm so sorry to hear about this latest development. You've heard all the best advice, and of course you know it, but it's still true. I'll be thinking of you--take care.

Mary said...

I love your posts and I never comment ... but I just chuckled this morning as I listened to your frustration and said wait until you're over 50 honey ...