1.10.2013

The things we don't talk about.

This is how I spent a good chunk of my day yesterday.




I have spent a lot of time contemplating writing about this post, but the truth is I felt really alone dealing with it. Not that I didn't have people I confided in, amazing people who were over-the-moon-awesome and positive and supportive, but other than that I felt like I was supposed to hide this. So maybe by writing it, someone out there reading it is dealing with the same thing and they'll realize they aren't so alone.

There's such a void when it comes to being female and having problems down there. Heck, if you're a guy they have commercials for every problem you ever experience every 7 1/2 minutes on nationwide television, but us ladies, we aren't quite so open.

So a few years ago when my doctor informed me that my yearly exam had come back showing abnormal cells, it was scary. Really scary. Because you know "abnormal cells" is like the code word for cancer.

It's scary to be a girl, of child-bearing age (although I do NOT need one of those any time soon) and know that it's not quite right down there. You spend a lot of time wondering if, when the day comes that you do want a little bambino, if it will even be possible.

We've been "keeping an eye" on those cells.  I swear see my lady doctor more regularly than I see some of my friends. I've had more pap smears (oh my god, I know, I just said that on my blog, gasp, get over it we all have them) and colposcopys than I'd like to mention.  I'm fairly certain I'm know at my doctors office as the over-dramatic chick, since I manage to pass out and vomit after nearly every colpo.

A few weeks ago I received a follow-up call from my doctor letting me know that the bad cells had progressed. They most recent tests were showing moderate to severe abnormal cells. Albeit, they believed they were precancerous, but still wanted to remove them as soon as possible.

I spent yesterday having a LEEP procedure done. Where they take this electrocharged looped tool and scrape out the areas of bad cells on your cervix.(If you read that without cringing, you are one hell of a woman) Thankfully, I was under anesthesia and felt nothing. Although I pulled my signature move and fainted when they first gave me the IV. (Hey, I like to keep those nurses on their toes!) 

My doctor said the procedure went well, I survived my first time being anesthetized (is that a word?) and now I'm dealing with the very crampy recovery stages. And keeping every finger, toe, and eye crossed for this to come back showing good results and maybe, just maybe, I can be done with this.

It's funny to me, the few people I have told end up knowing someone who has directly dealt with this. So why is it so faux pas to bring up? So I guess the point of this whole post is to let you know that yea, it is scary, but you aren't alone, and if I can get through it... I promise you that you can!

  Photobucket

40 comments:

Monica said...

Its such a good thing that your sharing this. I hope you have a speedy recovery and all turns up well! Lady parts give us such a hassle as it is!

megan jean said...

I've been through the SAME stuff. Literally it's as if I'm reading my own story from 3 years ago. It sucks like something fierce BUT there is a light at the end of the tunnel! I pray your results come back free & clear.

christin said...

I am SO in your boat girl. I got a call the day before my birthday two years ago that my pap was abnormal and then had a wonderful colposcopy, where I nearly passed out and wanted to cry all day long. Thankfully everything came back okay but I still get to go be violated on the regular. You're totally in my thoughts!

K said...

I think it is great that you are sharing this. You are exactly correct that we are raised to believe that we need to keep things like this to ourselves. I just found out that we have a whole history of lady problems in my family, and it was only because my cousin was going through it and actually talked about it. It would have been nice to know what I should have been looking out for. Hope that everything went well with the procedure and that they got those nasty cells out. Hoping for a speedy recovery!

Sandra said...

Thinking of you! These abnormal cell issues are unfortunately very common. I have a friend whose had that procedure done. And I'm headed in for a follow ups exam next week.

KRISTIN said...

You're so right, no one talks about this stuff! I have endometriosis and when I was going through it I felt like it was "dirty" to talk about (that was in HS), now I tell everyone I can because it's such a huge problem with women! I've also had a LEEP and they are not fun, but I am glad they kept an eye on everything and were able to get it taken care of ASAP. Hope you're feeling better!

Deanna Hoversten said...

I had the LEEP procedure done a couple years ago. Like you, I worried about it coming back or if it was going to impact my chances of having kids someday. Luckily, I haven't had an abnormal pap since and I'm now expecting. Hope your results are as good!!

Nikki said...

I hope you start feeling better soon and have a quick recovery!

Ashley said...

Hoping you feel better soon!! I am glad you are getting it looked after!!!

kourtney said...

Thinking of you!! I've had many many PAP smears & colposcopys myself for similar reasons. Thankfully, mine went away. Glad you and your doctor have kept an eye on it. Stuff like that can be so scary! Being a girl isn't always super fun, guys have no idea what they're missing out on ;) Glad your surgery went well and you're recovering! xo

Brandi @ Home Team Dreams said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I think that this is far more common than many of us know. One of my friends is dealing with this now.

I'm glad that everything went well during the procedure. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Chelsea!

julia rose. said...

Wow girl, it takes some major balls- or well, ovaries in our case, to publicly talk about something like this! Props to you for being so honest!
I've never dealt personally with something like this but it scares me just thinking about it. I cannot imagine the uncertainty and worry going through your head!
What I can imagine is the love and support coming your way- from me in blogland included! Keep your head high and know I will be praying for a great recovery and even better results!!
xoxo

Carolyn R said...

Oh my goodness! I hope you're doing ok!! I'm glad that you talked about this! I think it's so stupid that women are afraid to talk about this kind of stuff! :) Props to you! I'm sending good result wishes your way!!

PCM said...

I am so glad that everything went well during the procedure and hope you have a great recovery! Best of luck to you, Chelsea!

Melissa Jo said...

I'm so glad that you DID talk about it. Your not alone, at all. And it's hard to talk about 'down there' without being embrassed about it. I see my Dr, a lot a lot, I even drive over 100 miles one way to see a specalist at a women's hospital because I hate everyone else in my area. I'm in that continous cycle I get abnormal on my paps and then go back for col. then back for the paps followup and back for the col. The cycle has been never ending all year long for YEARS now. I havent had to get a LEEP done but I can imagine the anxiety that went along with it. I always want defintive answers and I hate that a lot of those tests just are a never ending cycle without any answers. It's a senstive subject for all women, but know your not alone. Praying & sending best wishes and recovery your way.

Melanie said...

So proud of you for being able to open uup and share this. I think women as a whole want to keep stuff that's negative or bad or worrisome under wraps, but it shouldn't be hidden.

Anywho- prayers for you for feeling better and those tests coming back with good news! Love ya girl!

Whitney Tomlin said...

I'm sure knews like that is scary! But it seems like you have an awesome support team, and I know you have supportive readers! I will be praying for you!

A said...

Mother effer!! What's up with lady problems??!! I have had my own set (which led to an emergency hysterectomy when I was 28) and I know how stressful and scary it can be.
I took am crossing all my appendages and sending you-better-not-effing-be-cancer vibes your way!!
It is scary but know that you aren't alone. We are all here for you and sending you tons of support and love!!

Kendra Nelson said...

Miss Chelsea,

I'm a reader who never comments. I love your blog because I feel there's many things we share in common. I also live in Indiana. I decided to comment on this post, because I've been dealing with these same issues since December 26, 2012. Due to being left with no insurance, I stopped keeping up with the progressions. After have the LEEP, I went back for the follow up and never returned to have another pap done. It's really scary and I just want you to know that I understand and you're not alone. I'm the crazy scared girl at my doctor's office, too. This post made me realize how important it is to get an appointment and go back, so thank you so much for posting, even if it felt like something you shouldn't write about. Get well and take good care of yourself! Thanks for posting.

Kendra

Kendra Nelson said...

*I meant 2011. This whole new year thing always throws me off for the month of January.

Renata said...

Oh my word. Proud of you for being on top of it. So many women in their early 20s just neglect those kinds of medical issues thinking they're too young for anything to turn up anything weird.

I more than cringed when you described the LEEP. Praise the Lord for anesthesia.

Whitney @ Everything Happens For a Reason said...

I haven't had a LEEP done, but I've had a colposcopy. A couple of years ago, I went to the gyno and had abnormal cells. I just knew I had cancer, because before that moment, I hadn't been in 6 years. Bad, I know. Luckily, after the colposcopy and a pap 6 months later, it went away. I'm pretty sure that this will happen to me in the future. I'm pretty scared.

Wishing you a speedy recovery!

Mindy said...

Glad to hear you're doing okay now! Thanks for sharing this too, you're right, we need to be able to talk about this stuff!

I had abnormal cells around 6/7 years ago. I had to go see an actual OBGYN (as opposed to my regular GP) and she monitored them and I eventually had them frozen off (I think, maybe burned off?). She monitored me every 3 months for 2 years and then I was released back to my regular GP. I'm sorry that your case was so much more severe, I hope this fixed the problem and you don't run into this again!

Amanda said...

I'm so glad you shared all the details with us on the blog. I've had paps come back with abnormal cells before, so I can relate to that scare. You're definitely not alone in this. Fortunately, nothing was ever extreme and it turns out that my mom has had abnormal paps too (pre-having kids) and she had TWO! :) There's hope. And I hope that you feel better soon.

Katie said...

Oh I talk about it although generally not with men! Sending you hugs.

Kelsey Lenay said...

I think it is so necessary to talk about this! You are so brave Chelsea:) It is also great that we have technology to be proactive about things like this! I hope you are not needing another procedure done, and I wish you the best girly:) Feel better soon!

Jen said...

I'm so glad that you are sharing this! :) Thank you! Sending you lots of hugs and prayers.

Brie said...

Hope you're doing ok! I haven't had abnormal cells but I have a troublesome enviroment down there. I just stared at my Dr. when she informed me of that because I thought maybe my bits were fighting with each other. I trust in my Dr. though and I hope you get better soon! Lots of virtual hugs heading your way!

Emily said...

You're so strong and brave to share this! I have known a few ladies that have had some similar problems and you are not alone! I'm glad you made it through yesterday and I pray that everything comes back with good results and you can be done with this.

Shelly said...

I will jump on the bandwaggon and say I have had the same thing! I actually had my LEEP done in office...not being put under, and it wasnt terrible. I thought colposcopys were much worse!! I hope your recovery is easy.

Michelle (michabella) said...

Oh my sweet friend. I am so familiar with all this. I use to see my gyno more then most would like. I've had those precancerous scares all to often. I've had multiple problems down there and once upon a time I was even diagnosed with HPV. I'm against those shots so I did a natural remedy recovery and I've been fabulous since then. I do think abnormalities down there ARE common....we just don't talk about them. Love ya girl. Hope it's a speedy recovery :) xoxoxo ps- when you posted this on IG it scared the shit out of me! Don't do that woman!!!!!

Aly said...

I'm so sorry that you're going through this right now. Hang in there, I'll keep everything crossed for you too! xox

Aubrey S. said...

Ah, Chelsea, I can completely empathize with you. My pap last year was abnormal, and the doctor promptly scheduled a polpo. I go for my next follow-up next week with fingers crossed that all will be normal this time around.

I heard the the words "abnormal" and possible "pre-cancerous cells", and there's no way not to jump straight to terrified. I'm lucky that my FIL is a pathologist so he read my results and was able to calmly discuss everything and explain all the possible scenarios.

Hope the recovery goes swiftly and smoothly and that this is the last time you ever have to deal with any of this.

tara said...

oh chelsea, i am so so sorry you are going through this, but i'm glad you decided to be open about discussing it. you're right, no one ever talks about this stuff and i think that makes it even more scary when you're uninformed and unaware how common abnormalities can be. so many people underestimate how important it is to get regular check ups. hope you're doing ok today! <3

Chelsea said...

Thinking and prayers to you sweet girl! xo

Sarah @ Scissors and a Whisk said...

I love you for sharing this.
You are a very strong woman, and (as I'm sure you've heard) it's great that you caught this before it could have progressed further. I'm sure it sucks, and I wish I could send you a little something. <33

Jamie Pickle said...

Sending thoughts and prayers your way. Hope you have a speedy recovery and all turns out well.

Nikki said...

Thanks for sharing this! Hope you are feeling better soon! Stay strong!

Mary said...

You're awesome for sharing this. I had a colp before and hyperventilated. So awful. I can only imagine what you're going through. Best of luck to you as you go through this. You're in my prayers :)

Christine said...

Ive had that same thing done. Not fun. Sorry you have to go through it yoo.