Still abnormal = More cervix talk, this time with a "LEEP"

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I didn't expect that I'd be writing about my cervix this week, yet here we go.

I managed to miss the follow up to my colposcopy back in April, and finally was able to reschedule my appointment for yesterday. I figured I would go in, we'd chat about the results, do another pap and be done with it. I was sitting in the little room waiting for my doctor when I overheard them discussing me outside the door, saying something about a "leap" and that the nurse was going to have to change the instruments and my doctor was going to have to discuss something with me. Super.

The results of my colposcopy came back confirming high grade dysplasia. Because of this, I was about to undergo a "leep" (loop electrical excision procedure). My doctor told me that he was going to inject some anesthetic into my cervix and then remove the abnormal tissue from my cervix and then cauterize the blood vessels. I was assured that only the injection of the anesthetic would hurt and that the rest would be essentially painless.

Not going to lie, I started to panic a little bit. While it was great that everything was going to be taken care of, there was a lot going on in my head:

a) I wasn't too happy about these cells being more abnormal than I originally thought
b) I was not prepared for this news and procedure mentally or emotionally
c) I was pretty sure this meant that my IUD was going to have to come out

Because oh yes, a few weeks after the colposcopy, I had a non-hormonal IUD put in. While it felt horrific for about 10 seconds didn't feel good going in and definitely caused my periods to be a bit heavier in the beginning, I loved that it was a non-hormonal form of birth control that was working quite effectively. I had even just seen my gynecologist who told me I was good to go with it for the next five years. The doctor confirmed that yes, it was going to have to come out before an electric current was sent through a wire loop to scrape cells out of my cervix. There's nothing quite like lying in a hospital with your legs spread open, about to have anesthetic injected into your cervix while you're worrying about cervical cancer, having your IUD ripped out and feeling sad and alone and sorry for yourself. 

And that's about the time that I started crying. 

The IUD coming out felt like a menstrual cramp. The injection of the anesthetic was pretty painful, but thankfully only lasted less than a minute. The rest was invasive, but didn't really feel like anything. I felt shaky afterwards and the nurse was really sweet about getting me some tissues to wipe away my tears and giving me some time to calm down before I had to get dressed again.

The doctor told me that I might experience some bleeding and cramping for the next two weeks and that I was to avoid using tampons or having sex. I have a follow up appointment in November for another pap smear and colposcopy to determine if the dysplasia still exists. Apparently 90% of non-smoking patients are cured following one treatment, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Assuming everything is okay after that, I'll continue to have paps every 6 months until I'm in the clear.

I'm a sensitive gal, and I left the hospital crying. I calmed down a bit after having lunch with my sweet friend Becki, but then spent the afternoon feeling sad and sorry for myself. I wasn't in pain (until later), but the whole thing had happened so quickly and suddenly and it definitely wasn't how I expected my day to go. 

It was all just a lot to process, and while I reassured myself that it's great that this is all being looked after so efficiently, it's really scary to think about the idea that it might be something more serious. The comments and emails and texts I received after my last post reminded me that so many people I know have gone through similar roads and treatments and I feel incredibly supported by the awesome people around me. I'm just a little startled, scared and sensitive after an unexpected series of events on what started off as a really great Wednesday. 

I'm beginning my Thursday with some little sister time and a yoga class... here's to a better day and positive test results to come... 


Nancy D said...

I had a very similar experience 12 years ago (minus the IUD). I remember how overwhelming everything was, as I wasn't prepared for having to have another procedure done so suddenly. I had follow-ups every six months for three years, and then back to annually, as I've never had a recurrence of abnormal cells. Even though it was so long ago, I still get a bit anxious thinking about it. Thanks for sharing your story--it will make it easier for someone else! xo

marie said...

I had a feeling you had to endure something like this when you mentioned it yesterday. That really isn't something that should be sprung on you so suddenly and you should be able to have someone there to pick you up as the procedure may be routine for health care professionals, it's so invasive for us and having a friend or a loved one there after is so helpful and sometimes necessary as we're not always feeling well. I'd also be upset about the IUD removal.

I hope you're feeling better today <3

Christine Estima said...

You are so brave to write about this, can't wait to see you in an hour and chat more about this. PS NO SEX FOR TWO WEEKS? I CAN'T GO THAT LONG WITHOUT SEXING YOU.... that's it, we're over.

Katie said...

Aw, hugs. Sounds like a rough day. Thank you for sharing the experience - I know a lot of readers will identify.

Anonymous said...

I don't even know how I would handle that... a few things were sprung up on me today at work but obviously nothing that compares. I'm so not a fan of being unprepared for anything, they most certainly should have told you to have someone there with you! Thank you for sharing such a personal experience, you just never know who you will help because of it.

Big hugs to you darling, I hope you had a restful, lovely day to yourself today :)

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