Last week, I got some scary medical news. I’ve been wondering what, if anything, I should say about it.
At first I thought, I won’t say anything. I won’t tell anyone. I’ll scrunch the whole thing up into a ball and swallow it and it’ll be like it never happened. Except, of course, that’s impossible. I don’t think I’m capable of keeping something this size a secret.
So here it is, as simply as I can put it: I went to see my doctor, and some routine tests came back looking a little funny. I am currently undergoing more tests to see if the abnormalities detected are because of cancer in my uterus and cervix.
I have been tested, vaccinated, and then re-tested for HPV, which is the biggest risk factor for cervical cancer, and I do not have any of the strains. Because of this, my doctor thinks that the abnormalities–she’s not calling them cancer yet, and neither am I–began in my uterus and moved downward. Apparently this isn’t totally uncommon, but it IS totally terrifying.
I had a biopsy on Wednesday to determine where on the spectrum of “wrong” these abnormalities fall. I won’t have any results back for a few days. Once I have a better idea of what I’m dealing with, I’ll know what to do next. The good news is that treatment for anything, even full-on cancer of this type, is fairly simple and relatively non-invasive. I say “fairly” which, to me, means no chemo or drug treatments that would LITERALLY render me poisonous. It’ll probably be a couple surgical procedures followed by close monitoring.
Emotionally, this has been a strange ride. I kind of feel like after a certain point, you can’t feel shocked by the sheer awfulness of events anymore. It just maxes out like a credit card. That’s where I was at when my doctor called and basically said “Yo dude, you might have cancer.” I was like, of course. Of course I might have cancer. This is just the CHERRY ON TOP of a FANTASTIC year.
And then I Googled it. Guys, if you ever hear a doctor say “cancer” to you, then follow up by specifically telling you NOT TO GOOGLE IT, take my advice and DON’T GOOGLE IT. You will see gross pictures and hear horror stories, and you won’t learn anything except new ways to be scared. Talk to your doctor first and ask if they can point you in the direction of good literature. It’s way less horrifying.
Anyway, I ran across the word “hysterectomy” on one site and lost my goddamned mind. I’ve only recently started thinking that I might want to have kids someday, and the fact that I might have lost the option at all…it killed me. I might have had a superfically funny but actually very serious tantrum about it: “I’m five foot ten, I’ve never had braces, I have a natural immunity to chickenpox and I’m a natural blonde! I’m a genetic goldmine! THIS CANNOT END WITH ME!” I now know that this would be the absolute last resort in the absolute worst-case scenario, and that my ACTUAL treatment for whatever this ends up being will not affect my ability to have kids in the future. So, phew.
The biopsy was weird and uncomfortable, but not unduly painful. As I was lying there, though, I just started crying. Hard. My doctor, bless her, was really worried–“Are you okay? Are you in pain? Don’t worry, this will be over really soon!”–but I wasn’t crying about any of that. I was crying because I was just. So. ANGRY. After everything, after this whole shitty year, how is this happening to me? What the fuck? Haven’t I had a hard enough time without being scared for my life? Which, don’t let the cavalier writing style fool you, I totally am. I mean, I know I’m not out saving the world or anything, but I really love life and I don’t want to stop living it any time soon.
So that’s my story. I know that, ultimately, I am going to be okay no matter what happens. Cancer, precancer, freak cells, whatever; I am going to get through it. This might be one of the scarier things that I’ve had to deal with, but I know that I’m equal to it. And I’ve got a wonderful safety net of friends and family who are backing me 100%, so not only do I know that I’m strong enough, I know that I’m never alone.
Loves you VERY VERY MUCH!