Yesterday I talked to the doctor who performed my LEEP about the results of the procedure.
Last Thursday, when he removed the pre-cancerous cells from my cervix, we discussed what the results would show. The most likely information to get back was that the cells were, in fact, severely abnormal (a sign that things could turn cancerous in the future if left alone). There was a small chance the procedure would reveal that cancer was already occurring in that area.
I braced for the worst and expected the “best”. I feel like ever since that first abnormal pap, over two years ago, that the information coming back from each test/procedure has been worse and worse. My natural optimist and my intuition said I was going to be fine but I’ve also thought that all along and been confused and disappointed with each new piece of information.
The cells removed were indeed CIN3, or severe dysplasia, which is kind of good news compared to the alternative. The really good news is that the margins were negative, meaning that the doc removed the entire affected area, and the dysplasia had not spread up the canal towards my uterus.
[Ladies, I didn’t realize how naive I was on the female reproductive organs until all of this-and my mom’s a midwife, uterus talk was par for the course in our house. I recommend you google a diagram and get at least an overview if you are in the dark like I was.]
The recommended follow-up is a pap in three months to make sure everything is healed and no more angry cells are working overtime.
Recovery since Thursdays LEEP has been about what I expected; fatigue and pelvic pain/discomfort. The thing I didn’t anticipate is this damn leg pain. My right thigh hurts nearly constantly. The doctor said to call tomorrow if it’s still bad, in the meantime I am frantically researching the possibility of a LEEP causing a blood clot or something. Most likely it’s a bizarre muscle strain but the timing is a little disturbing.
After five long months of daily worrying I feel like it’s over for now and that’s an amazing feeling.
The moral of the story is: stressing about my health is bad for my health. Stress often seems like it is a force that is out of my control, that it is something happening to me. While this is sometimes true, I fully believe that I am in charge of dealing with that stress. I can decide whether I handle the situation with grace and courage or end up a withering, sobbing mess. I’ve certainly chosen the latter more times than I care to admit but choosing grace is becoming easier. Acupuncture helps. Good, healthy, whole food helps. Exercise helps. An amazingly loving and supportive partner helps. Sleep helps…A LOT. Booze sometimes helps. A network of friends and family helps. Blogging helps.