Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A different kind of leeping.

I haven't been very writely lately, I know. Things are OK, but I've been stressing out about a certain something and trying to write about anything else just wasn't working for me. I'd start stuff and never finish it.

Anyone who's been reading this blog from the beginning might remember that when I had my first OBGYN visit after finding out I was pregnant he did a pap smear (of course) and that there were abnormal cells present. He saw the results as serious enough to send me to Princess Margaret hospital to have a colposcopy done by a doctor who specializes in treating cancer during pregnancy.

So she did the colposcopy back in December and scheduled me to have another one in mid-March to see if the bad patches had spread. The big wrench in that plan happened when Essie was born on March 3rd almost three months early and I missed the appointment. As soon as I realized what had happened I tried to contact the clinic, but it proved very difficult, for some reason. Calling the hospital and trying to get transferred to the correct office was a bunch of fail because every time they'd transfer me I'd end up on a line that rang and rang but never went to an answering machine or was picked up by a human.

When I went to see my OBGYN for my post-partum checkup I told him about my difficulties and he gave me a different number to call. Awesome. So I started calling that number and it went to an answering machine for a few different doctors, at which I left pleading messages to call me back so I could make a new followup appointment. These messages went unanswered for quite a long time, then finally I called the general hospital number again and wouldn't let the woman transfer me until she could assure me that she was doing so to a number with real people on the other end.

Someone answered! And told me to call a different number, but this woman did go to the trouble of pulling up my patient number and giving it to me, instructing me to leave that information next time I left a message. So that's what I did, and I waited some more. I left maybe one or two more messages, but finally someone called me back and told me I could make an appointment! O, happy day.

I did so, and they scheduled me for September 8th. I ended up also getting my tattoo done on that day and was quite honestly more nervous about the tattoo since I knew that a colposcopy doesn't hurt in the slightest. So they did their thing and checked it all out and said that things weren't looking bad at all, but decided to do a biopsy for the sake of being thorough. That made me nervous but it ended up not hurting at all, either. The tattoo was much more painful!

I wasn't too terribly worried. The doctor had been quite casual about what she was seeing with her naked eye, saying it didn't look worrisome at all. So I was actually a bit shocked when I got the results and they told me I have severe cervical dysplasia, otherwise known as high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions or carcinoma in situ. All very scary-sounding. When they did the biopsy they'd scheduled me for a treatment in case things did end up worse than they appeared, and I'm thankful for that now. I'm going in for a loop electrical excision procedure (LEEP). That, my friends, is a loop of electrified wire used as a knife to cut away the offending pre-cancerous hot spots on my cervix. Also very scary-sounding, although they use local anaesthetic to make sure I don't feel anything during.

Dudes, I am so freaking nervous about this procedure. In the last year I have pretty much lost all fear of needles WRT them taking my blood, putting in an IV or giving me some kind of shot in my muscle. The thing I'm most nervous about for this procedure is the locality of the anaesthetic. OW. I'm not looking forward to the needles they're going to give me to freeze the area. Not at all. Not one little bit. I am what you call somewhat terrified. Electrified cauterizing wire used as a blade? I'm not going to feel that one! I'll feel the impalement of my inner bits and I'm sad.

I know. Suck it up, be grateful this was caught before it was full-blown cancer, be thankful there's treatment and I should be fine. I'm thankful, but still scared.


Candice said...

I don't blame you for being scared, I would be too! I hope it ends up be way less painful/irritating than you think. And of course I also hope after this you don't have to go through any more uncomfortable procedures!

earmstrong said...

Ladybug! This might sound slightly crazy, but I saw an Oprah episode (stay with me!) a while ago where a guy got this exact procedure. I found the video of it on the CRC awareness site. I think you should definitely check it out, they walk the guy through the entire process including video footage of the actual procedure, and I think it might reassure you: Will be thinking of you, let me know if there's anything I can do!! xo's

earmstrong said...

Forgot to mention - the guy is getting a colonoscopy, but I seem to recall they used the 'leep' to excise possible polyps, which made me think although the body parts are different, the experience might be similar...

KnittyBitch said...

Oh have every right to be scared. Hell, I would be terrified, even knowing that I should be thankful for early detection. Be thankful all you can, but don't feel you'll be a sissy for being scared.

kirschkernzeit said...

Oh, I feel with you, really. I understand that you are worried, for sure, this sounds very, very scary and you've your baby and are much more sensitive now, aren't you... I will visit your blog again, to see, what will happen- I'm gonna pray for you, dear mamie, that everything will turn out well! You are so brave and deserve any help and encouragement you can get! Hope there are some very good people around you!
bora from Switzerland