This time last year I was in the thick of finding out that I had abnormal cell growth on my cervix that was slowly moving towards cancer. In October, two days before I had the cells removed through a LEEP procedure, I wrote a post about it. I was very hesitant to write about this because it was really stressful and personal. Writing turned out to be very cathartic and I am still shocked at the response from readers; I get emails and comments almost daily from women who have been in similar situations.
Here are the four previous posts in which I’ve written about my experience with cervical dysplasia (abnormal cell growth), my fear of cervical scar tissue causing issues with pregnancy and delivery, and recovering from the LEEP procedure.
My first post on cervical dysplasia and the LEEP procedure
The issues with cervical scar tissue
LEEP recovery; one week and two months
After the LEEP last October my doctor recommended a three month follow up pap. I was very anxious at the appointment in February and while waiting for the results. It came back ‘normal’ and my relief was palpable.
The doctor again recommended a three month follow up pap but I decided that my cervix had been poked, swiped, and messed with quite enough for a little while. This was a personal choice, I am not backing my decision with medical research but to me it made sense to give the tissue time to heal.
Last week, 7 months since my ‘normal’ pap, I decided it was time to follow up again. Last night I got the results back; ‘normal’ again. No dysplasia. I felt a relief of tension and stress that I didn’t even know I was holding on to.
Unfortunately, dysplasia can always return so while the stress of the situation and the physical ramifications are fading I am determined to stay focused on preventing a re-occurrence
Here’s what I’ve been doing over the last year, and plan to continue, to decrease my chances of health issues due to cervical dysplasia.*
- Up my folate (natural sources of folic acid) by eating lots of greens and beans everyday.
- Increase my selenium by eating a brazil nut each day. Women with dysplasia often have low levels of selenium and adequate selenium levels have been successful in preventing cancer. One brazil nut supplies nearly 100% of the RDA for selenium.
- Decrease my coffee, alcohol, and refined sugar. None of these tasty things are stellar for the immune system.
- Drink green tea.
- Continue eating fermented foods to boost the ol’ immune system.
- Take turmeric.
- Eat shiitakes. Shiitake mushrooms are super powerful immune boosters and delicious.
- Get acupuncture and take Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs. I’ve had great success with acupuncture helping me with insomnia and preventing colds/flus in the past and feel that acupuncture is one of the best things I can do to boost my immune system. I firmly believe that the needles and the herbs have helped me calm down about the whole situation. Since starting treatment I feel much happier, more energetic, much more motivated, clearer headed, and less emotional. If it’s also boosting my immune in the process then bonus!
- Make sure to eat lots of foods containing vitamin A. These include greens and yellow/orange foods (easy now that it’s winter squash season!).
- Up vitamins C and E. Spinach, eggs, and sunflower seeds are great sources of E. Citrus and steamed kale are good sources of C.
*This information is not intended as medical advice.
Check out the comments to the above linked posts to read other about other woman’s experience with cervical dysplasia. As with most health issues, this one is not a cut-and-dry, one-size-fits-all, experience. I really appreciate everyone who has written in and shared their particular story and my heart goes out to any woman dealing with this. Our health can sometimes feel out of our control and I believe this is amplified when it pertains to the reproductive organs. Let’s keep sharing our stories, our experience, our knowledge.
So glad to know that we are both continuing with clear check ups.
So glad to hear of another clean bill of health!
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I am going through a similar experience, so it means a lot to me.
I’m so glad to hear your last pap was normal! Hooray!
Thank you for sharing your process and feelings through your procedures. I am 3 days out from my LEEP and hope to have the same good results you did.
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[…] made big decisions about my health on my own. A few years ago when I dealt with the cervical cancer scare, I had the distinct rationalization that no one else could make the decision whether or not to […]