It Could Have Been Cancer For Me, But They Caught It Early
Those yearly well woman exams aren't any picnic, right ladies?
But they're so important! Cancer was brewing for me, but they caught it early. If I had waited another few months, things might have turned out differently.
I went in for my regular pap exam on July 7th and didn't think much about it. The kids were at camp that day, and I used my free afternoon to get fun things crossed off the to-do list, like a car wash, a trip to the grocery store, and a pap smear.
The following Monday, my doctor called. I've known him for years and he delivered my babies and knows me well. He said, "Hey, just because you're hearing my voice doesn't mean you have cancer, ok?"
Long story story, the pap was abnormal and he said I had to have another test called a colposcopy to check things out further. That test happened July 12th, and came back with what the doctor said were "significant precancerous cells." That meant I needed a short surgical (LEEP) procedure to cut them out of the cervix. I asked how long I could wait with this, and he said don't wait beyond August. I was there August 3rd.
The LEEP procedure was not a hoot, but I did get to spend the afternoon on the couch that day, and I still can't do any strenuous exercise for 4 weeks. I'm trying to enjoy the forced rest from running 6 to 8 miles every day, accept the down time, and hit the refresh button overall. I'm getting my teeth whitened while I'm at it.
The point is, keep getting those regular checkups! If I had neglected to make the appointment and put it off until next year because it was too much work to squeeze in to the schedule, I might have ended up with full blown cervical cancer. Instead, the pathology report after the LEEP procedure said "all severe precancerous cells excised," and the margins were clear. Thank God. I'll get another checkup in six months.
We're all aware of Mike Kasper's cancer story earlier this summer. He got the care he needed and kicked cancer's butt! We always hear that early detection is key, and it's so true.
So don't put it off, ya know? We can all beat it if we know about it.