"Of course, we'll borrow it if we have to."
Three months ago I went in for my yearly pap smear and came out not thinking much of it. I've been on birth control since I was something like 15 for acne and have had to have these exams for many many years. Its a nuisance but not much more. Until this year.
A week after that exam, I got a phone call from a nurse with horrible "bedside manner" who very short and curtly said "your pap smear test came back with atypical results so you'll need to come back in in three months for another one to retest." I was sick to my stomach but she didn't do much to calm my nerves.
I mentioned it to my family a couple days later and my sister said she'd gone through that, having retests every 3 months for a year and a half and now she's fine. So I let it go, deciding not to worry until worry was needed.
Yesterday the exam came around and, having an important stressful meeting the day before, I didn't give it a lot of thought. I walked into the doctor jittery not sure what to expect but thinking it was just a routine thing that lots of people do. (which is true)
The nurse asked the usual questions and then said "since its just a retest, you only need to undress from the waste down and put this [flimsy paper] blanket over you."
I did as I was told and then, to keep from stressing myself out and overthinking things, did what any normal blogger would do and took pictures and posted them to instagram while I waited.
He asked if he had talked to me yet about my abnormal pap smear and I told him that he hadn't, I had only spoken to a lady for 2 seconds on the phone and didn't really know what was happening.
And then he said it.
"okay well last time you had a pap smear, you tested positive for HPV." [holding back the freak out here] "this can eventually lead to cervical cancer." [don't cry. ashley. do not cry right now.] "there are a number of steps the body goes through before that happens and the majority of the time, the body being the amazing thing that it is, goes backwards and takes care of itself without anymore to worry about. but we have to take steps to watch it and be proactive regardless." [i don't feel any better. what if i can never have babies?!]
He told me that if this test showed my cells getting better, we would wait another 3 months and test again and go from there. But if it showed the same or worse, I would then need to have a colposcopy where they would look at my cervix under a magnifying glass. (I told him it sounded a lot like a colonoscopy and I had one of those and it wasn't fun so this didn't sound all that great either.)
I'll be honest, he had be freaking out a bit. He's usually so calm and reassuring and this time I just felt like he was trying to break the worst news ever to me gently. I didn't get this overwhelming sense of confidence that everything would be okay like I usually do from him and it really scared me.
We moved forward with the super quick exam (him doing his thing while I was trying to hold myself together just a little longer). He made his notes and left me to get dressed and go home.
As I walked out, I motioned for Mike (who was in the waiting room) that it was time to go. As we pushed open the door he asked me what happened and I just shook my head. He asked again as we neared the car and I just shook my head. We got in (thank goodness he drove) and before starting the car said "come on babe, talk to me" i just shook my head. He said "yes, you have to talk to me" and I finally said "no i can't. i'm okay but i don't want to talk." He said okay and started the car.
I cried the whole way home. Not the sobbing kind just the subtle tear running down my cheek kind.
We got home and Mike finally hugged me so I couldn't get out and made me speak. I said "I have HPV and could end up with cervical cancer." (yes, i do sometimes act a little dramatic.)
We talked about it. He immediately got on his computer and started researching. Found some statistic that 20million some odd people end up with HPV and go through this same thing and rarely does it become anything.
But all I could think about was my number one dream in life of being a mom and what if that can never happen. and yes i could adopt and i think adoption is amazing but i want at least some of my children to look a little like me and inherit my snarky-ness (just not when they're teenagers please) and what if that can't happen. and what if i do get cancer. oh my gosh. it is in my family a lot maybe its my time. i'm young but it happens young too sometimes.
This is the stream of consciousness going through my head all afternoon.
I got ready for the gym and asked Mike on the way out the door if we could freeze my eggs if it comes to that.
And then I let it go.
Because really, I don't have any control over this. I can't make the test results go faster and I can't see the future. I can only trust in Him. And I need to do a better job at remembering and living that.
I called my mom hours later when I knew I wouldn't absolutely lose it in a blubbering mess on the floor (what is it about moms that allow the emotions to run completely free?!) and told her everything. she reminded me to self-talk when the worry becomes too much and, as always, think happy thoughts. A phrase my mom has said to me since I was very very little.
And now I wait. For the next phone call. And I pray. A lot. And try not to freak the heck out. Something my anxiety makes it hard not to do. Sigh.
Here's to my lady bits working their ish out quickly and easily. please.
**Sometimes the only way I can deal with something is by writing it out. Its how I cope and avoid the anxiety causing my body to hold it all in. I'm sorry if any part of this post offended you or if you feel it is too personal a thing to write about. Its just who I am.**