A brief break from Liam updates, I have some new pictures and news as well as an upcoming visit to see that cute little man tomorrow, so I will post everything tomorrow. But today. . .
I am mad! Madder than a wet hen! As I was getting ready to leave for work this morning, The Today Show did a segment on Pap Smears. New recommendations state that women should start getting a pap smear at age 21 and then every other year after that. I had planned on reading all about this “wonderful, new, thought out” plan but time has gotten away from me, so here is my story, my experience and my feelings on this suggestion.
I think it is bull. I don’t understand the reasoning behind it and quite frankly had I not had yearly pap smears from the age of 19, I might not be here (being a bit dramatic but hey, it is my blog after all). At the age of 24 I got the call that no woman wants to get. My pap smear was abnormal. They wanted me to come in for a biopsy and go from there. My biopsy showed irregular cells and a LEEP procedure was scheduled shortly after a meeting with my OBGYN. She was wonderful, going over everything from the causes, the outcomes, the treatments to how I was feeling emotionally about this. I was 24, scared out of my wits that I had cervical cancer. 24 people, I was young, not yet thinking about having kids and here I had to start thinking about the what ifs. What if I did have cancer, treat it, take everything out?
My mother had just a few years prior to this been diagnosed with displasia and hers was worse than mine. They froze off part of her cervix to annihilate the pre-cancerous cells. In hindsight, she had wished that they had gone ahead and taken all of it since menopause was not a pretty thing on my mom.
My biopsy showed these same cells but a milder case and off I went to have a LEEP. Basically the shaving of the first layer of my cervix followed up by pap smears every six months for the next two years I believe. I passed with flying colors and until this past May, always had normal results. This May proved to be a trying time. Now I was ready for kids and the potential to lose my reproductive organs scared me more than never getting married.
As a woman who has been able to have yearly pap smears, I will strongly say to anyone who says they are not needed annually or to women who “just hate going for this”
Sitting on an uncomfortable table, in an ugly gown, towel wrapped around my cellulite ridden butt and thighs, I will spread my legs each and every year for that five minutes of “uncomfortable” probing, prodding and generic chit chat. I will because I know the importance of catching this disease as early as possible. Cancer is not something that you play chicken with, you meet it head on, you get over yourself and spread the legs. Why? Because the statistics of one in three women getting some form of cancer is real. Cervical cancer is mean, nasty and I have seen what cancer can do. It can ravage a person, steal their youth, vibrance and take people from their families way too soon.
So, I apologize medical community, but your opinion on this topic is bull. My body, my life, my decisions. I arm myself with information when dealing with problems, including medical issues. And I for one value my life a bit more than what any research you want to throw my way.
So get your pap smear, mamograms or prostate exams and if your doctor shies away from doing it every year, find one that will listen to you. You hired your doctor to take care of your health, you can fire them as well if you don’t feel 100% about their practices.