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.
Hi Faith! Ive been reding your blog (its fantastic by the way) for a while but have never commented, after last night I knew I had to today….
First, I am so glad you got the very good news!
So..last night…Have you heard of Kris Carr? I’ve been reading her latest book Crazy Sexy Diet (she has a great blog too) and interestingly enough, last night after cathcing up on your updates on the LEEP procedure you had done, I turned a page in the book and read a testimonial from a woman who had a Pap test come back as precancerous. It didn’t go in to a lot of detail about what she had or the prcoedures she had done, but she did credit Kris’s Crazy Sexy Diet with healing herself and not having an abnormal pap since. Seems to me you are an indcredibly healthy eater, so I am certainly not suggesting you need to make changes at all! Its just that I would be remiss in not telling you about it anyway. Knowledge is power I say.
Sending you good thoughts, healing and suinshine!
Thanks Tracy, I am very happy to learn any info concerning this issue. Kris Carr is new to me but I look forward to checking her out.
Youre welcome! And thanks so much for sharing your experience! Johanna is right, women out there needed to hear it and the blog community benefited. Thanks again
So very glad to hear your news. It is so good for the blog community that you shared your experience so openly with others. There are women out there that needed to read what you wrote. I am thanking you for those who will not speak out.
I need to hear that because I had to fight the “this-is-too-personal/boring-for-anyone-not-dealing-with-it” demons in order to get those posts out.
It’s amazing what I learn from a quick glance at FB. Glad to hear such a good lab report, but sorry to know you’ve had to be going through this. It’s great you can just put this out there and share so much of yourself. Love and hugs!
Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count
Excellent news, Faith! Stay positive!
It is so refreshing, and comforting, to read your posts about your LEEP procedure and the entire process. A year and a half ago, I had my LEEP done at UVA – I was 21 years old. Definitely a scary time in my life, luckily my amazing boyfriend helped me every step of the way, but I was very isolated in the experience because I didn’t tell a soul – eventually my parents. It’s liberating for me to read your openness about the personal topic. Thank you!
Thanks for your feedback-I was super private for the first few months too and it was really hard. Writing about it has made me much less emotional and more optimistic/rational in my view on the whole thing. I hope you’ve had good, clear paps since then and you’ve been able to put the experience behind you!
Faith, I get your posts by email and have been meaning to write to you based on this issue. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us as I am not very knowledgeable as I should on these things. Just wanted to let you know I’ve been thinking about you.
The leg pain you spoke of, was it right after the surgery or like a mth after. I’m having pain in my thighs near my private area it kinda radiates down my legs. I’m worried now about cancer and blood clots.
The pain I had/have started immediately after surgery and lasted several months.
Thank you for writing, I am so sorry that you are dealing with this. Your comment, and some emails I’ve received recently, have inspired me to post again about my experience with all of this so I’ll be addressing some of the things from your comment in a post soon.
Most importantly, please take care of yourself. Figure out some ways feel empowered, like you are taking some sort of charge of your health and well being. This might be any number of things, from changing doctors to taking up meditation or a new form of exercise to doing your own research about this issue. I know for me personally I get super super stressed when I feel totally out of control, especially with my body, and stress is one of the worst things when it comes to disease and discomfort.
Sending you a hug and lots of healing thoughts,