May 11, 2018 Latest post:
May 16, 2018
May 9, 2018 is the date my life flipped upside down. But before I can talk about that I have to talk about how I got here. Back in 2012 I went to the doctor for what I thought would be a normal yearly exam. I left the doctor that day thinking “Whew, got that off my plate for another year” and went on about my business. Little did I know I would get a call a week later telling me “your pap came back with abnormalities” and we need you to come back in for a Biopsy. Biopsy? What is this word? What does that even mean?? Reluctantly, I went back, had the dreaded biopsy and left the doctor that day thinking UGH, I never want to do that again. When I got the call a week later that my biopsy came back with slight changes, and we would need to keep a watch on them, and I would need to come back in 6 months for another PAP, I was frightened but easily shook it off, that’s over I thought, it will go away. However, that biopsy was still fresh in my mind. Fast forward that 6 months to when my doctor’s office starts calling me to make my appointment, I don’t call them back. They send me a post cards, I don’t reply. I have decided I am just going to ignore this problem, surely it will go away, what you don’t know can’t hurt you, Right? Now fast forward to November 2017. Nothing has changed in my life, my diet, my habits, or my exercise regimen. However, I am gaining weight. Rapidly. Now, for those of you that don’t know me well, I turned 40 in 2017. So many of my friends said “oh, it’s the big 4-0 that got ya” and things like “we just have to try harder to lose weight after 40”. I let that sink in but I wasn’t really trying to lose weight, I just didn’t want to GAIN weight. Then a nurse friend of mine said to me “I bet it is your thyroid”. BINGO, I thought. My mom has thyroid issues. Chips mom has thyroid issues. I know dozens of people with thyroid issues. That is it! Problem solved! I just need to go to the doctor and they will put me on thyroid medicine, get me back on track, and this will all be resolved. I’m not thrilled with the scary part of having a thyroid issue but I reassure myself, this will be “no big deal” they will fix me. So in typical Sarah fashion, I put it off until 1st of the year. So many excuses, I have so much going on, so busy at the holidays. All the things I tell myself when I don’t want to address something. So in January I finally make an appointment to go to the OBGYN. I decide I will do the blood work, PAP and Mammogram – hey if I’m gonna go, might as well do it all. I go for the PAP in February and get that dreaded call about a week after my PAP, same conversation as 2012 but with more meaning, you MUST come back in to do a biopsy, your blood work is okay but we will talk more when you come in for the biopsy. BIOPSY? Not a word I ever wanted to hear again. What about my thyroid I say, totally normal is her response. I am pleasantly surprised and relieved, not my thyroid! Great news! I just need to adjust my diet, exercise more, watch the carbs. Got it! I go get the mammogram, not entirely pleasant but not as bad as some horror stories I’ve heard. A couple of days after the mammogram I get the letter from the hospital, I am all good. YAY, check that off the list! However, the biopsy is in the back of my mind, scheduled for March 14. Now for anyone who has had a biopsy, you know it is not the most pleasant thing in the world. For me, with extra anxiety, it was dreadful. But I did it. I was proud of myself, I kept telling myself, NOW let’s put this behind us and keep on trucking. About a week after my biopsy I got the call that I needed to come into the office, we need to talk about the biopsy, we need to make a plan of action, this is not something we can ignore. WHAT?! I plead with my doctor. I have PLANS for the month of April! Cam has spring break and a birthday! I am going on a vacation! I am turning 41! I have birthday celebrations! I have PLANS! We talk about “pre-cancerous” cells that need to be removed and she indulges me by allowing me to make my appointment for a LEEP procedure to be done the very first day of May, I will give you April she says… On May 1st I have the LEEP done. I feel horrible. I am anxious, stressed and irritable. After the procedure I reassure myself, THIS is it. THIS time WE DID IT! No more doctors for a year! High five! Look at you adulting! GO GIRL! Now, we are at the current date. The date my life changed. May 9, 2018. The day my doctor called me to come into her office, the day she said to bring someone with me, the day she told me I have cervical cancer. Cancer. She said words like oncologist, surgery, radiation, choices, cancer… Cancer! May 10, 2018, THIS is day One. Day one living with cancer. I don’t even know what that means. I am scared. I am anxious. I find myself beating younger Sarah up, the one from 2012 that didn’t follow up with her doctor. I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to address the next steps. I just want to give up. But I know I can’t. Knowing and wanting are very different and that is very real to me. So, this I say to every woman I know. GO HAVE YOUR ANNUAL PAP! Listen to your doctor IF they say to come back. Listen to your body, don’t put it off! Don’t be like me! Be smarter! Be stronger!