Monday, August 07, 2006

Stay off my cervix!!!

Today’s post will be different from the majority of my posts, in that this post is about something that is serious. Hopefully by sharing my experience, others will learn about something that is constantly afflicting YOUNG women in the United States.

A couple of months ago I went to my yearly check up at my doctor’s office. Ladies you know what that means: legs in the air, eyes squeezed tight and freezing your ass off…(sounds like a date I had once).

Well, a few days after that the doctor called me at work. He told me that I needed to meet with him in his office as soon as possible. Fear struck in my heart…no one wants a call directly from the physician…the nurse maybe, but not the doctor himself…Shit either of them calling you can’t be good.

I left work early and went in… there was hardly anyone in the office, which got me to thinking I really need to change my appointment time. The doctor lead me into his office, which I never knew they actually have official offices with desks and all.

He tells me that they found an abnormal growth on my cervix. Crazy shit starts flowing through my head…a growth? my cervix? What the hell is growing on my cervix? Where’d it come from? How’d I get it?

The doctor goes on to explain that it could possibly be caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus, basically it’s a localized [stays were it starts] virus that is commonly know as genital warts) or could just be an unknown rapid growth of cells (doctor speak for cancer cells). He says his fear is that it’s not HPV; because it’s extremely easy to treat where as with abnormal cell growth it’s almost impossible to tell what’s causing it.

He shows me a video, in another room that I never knew existed, and schedules me for a biopsy.

When I got home I was tripping because I didn’t have any symptoms (which are vaginal bleeding, unusual vaginal discharge, pelvic pain and pain during sexual intercourse) and I have a check up every year.

I keep thinking…I’m 25 years old and I could die then I’d cry. I’d think I could be dying and I’d cry. I say to my self I could be dying from cancer and I’m 25 and I’d cry. I cried until my biopsy the next week.

During a biopsy you feel much like your regular appointment in that your legs are in the air, your eyes are squeezed tight and your freezing except suddenly you feel a painful pinch where they usually swab. They take an excision of your cervix to review under a microscope. After which they have you lay there for a bout fifteen minutes…you can put your legs down but you’re still cold as fuck.

They finally let me go home and called me back in another few days for diagnosis.

“You have cervical cancer.” That’s how the doctor said it to me. I just stared at his white wrinkled, swollen, knuckles as tears flooded my face. I couldn’t speak, there was nothing to say. The doctor came around his desk and hugged me… another first … he told me I’d be okay and that the procedure to remove the cancer was simple. I cried anyway.

It wasn’t HPV. I wasn’t praying to have a fucken STD but at least it didn’t mean that my body was attacking itself.

They scheduled me to have a procedure called cryosurgery. Cryosurgery can also be called cyrotherapy. It’s the use of extreme cold to destroy abnormal tissues. It’s supposedly painless…bullshit…and quick.

My third time back on the table. Legs in the air. I was a little less scared. I was feeling full of courage, like I was about to slay a dragon. I promised myself not to get excited.

I was staring at this large metal machine that they were going to use for my procedure, it made a loud vacuum sound…which reminded me of when my home girl WG2 told me about having an abortion when she was 17. She said they didn’t put her to sleep. Tthey just numbed her; so she could hear this loud vacuum making her “un-pregnant”… when the doctor came in. He introduced me to another doctor who would be doing my procedure.

It lasted about 20 minutes and it hurt. Afterwards I had cramps that were almost bad as contractions. They have you lay on the table…just like after the biopsy. He explained, that I could get dizzy and pass out so I should not go to work for at least a day or so.

I went over to Bigsis’ house and she warmed up some of my grandma’s chicken tomato soup for me. And I cried some more.

I just went for my check up Friday and I am cancer free! Nothing abnormal about my cervix in the least.

I learned a lot of things. How precious life is. And how easily I took it for granted.

“Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Take this test to see if you could possibly be at risk.


MiMi said...

Great Post!! Glad you are okay and cancer free.


Wow... u know this relaly make sme think about going for my check up that ive been postponing....thanks Jen and im glad you are okay
love kikimia

highheeledhuzzy said...

It's good 2 know u r ok stay strong young black sister!

Reza said...

Dang, I get busy at work and miss your entries.....

I am glad to hear that you're doing fine and that you have such a positive outlook on things.

In the words of Jesse Jackson "Keep hope alive!"

Belle said...

wow... you've had 2 bouts with cancer? (i think you mentioned having it before your daughter was born)
glad you're good now