Sunday, April 5, 2009

Background Story

In 2000, before I had even graduated high school, I had an abnormal pap smear that showed dysplasia. A colposcopy was performed to remove the abnormal cells and everything came back "normal". Fastforward 8 years (8 years of normal pap smears), I'm 18 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child and I'm bleeding (the scary heavy bright red blood that you call the doctor on). My OB found polyp on my cervix but said it was nothing to worry about and that I could expect some bleeding throughout the pregnancy and it would eventually go away on its own. I did continue having bleeding off and on. Our awesome son, Hunter, was born 13 days before Christmas. At my 6 week post-partum appointment in February 2009 my OB did not make any notice of the polyp and my pap smear came back normal. I continued to have post-partum bleeding which would range from really light brown to huge red clots. I chalked it up to the fact that Hunter wasn't breastfeeding as much as Bella had so my hormones were out of whack. When I was still bleeding on Hunter's 3 month birthday I decided to make an appointment with a different GYN (for numerous reasons which I'm sure I'll rant about at some point in my journal). She found the polyp right off the bat during the exam and said it was definitely the culprit for my bleeding. She removed a large piece of it to send off to pathology and put some silver nitrate on my cervix to stop the bleeding. I made an appt to follow up in 2wks so she could give me the path results and check on the bleeding-put me on the mini-pill in case it was hormone related. The two days following that appointment I bled very heavily and had increased pain. I finally called on Friday to ask if this was to be expected or if I needed to come back in. She didn't have the path results back so she said she would call me back after lunch. She called after lunch to see if I was still bleeding-yes-come in so we can try something else to get it to stop. I got there at 4:30. The lab faxed over the report at 4:37. I knew when she walked in with the head GYN that it was cancer. I have squamous cell cervical carcinoma, moderately to poorly differentiated. Squamous cells make up 90% of all cervical cancers. Poorly differentiated is Grade 3-Grade 3 cancers grow and spread very quickly. They are considered "aggressive." We don't know what stage yet or if it has spread. Luckily there is a gynecological oncologist in Fayetteville and they will be calling him first thing on Monday morning to get me in ASAP. At this point all we know is that I will be having a radical hysterectomy (we are totally at peace with this since we have been blessed with two amazing children!!).

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