Just the beginning...I am so scared

I am 38 years old and in stupidity haven't gone for a pap for 5 years. Prior to the last 5 years, I went religiously and never had an abnormal result. Not to make excuses but I have 3 children (my little sunshines) and life in the last 5 years has been really financially difficult (mostly without insurance). Unfortunately, I put myself last and now it has come back to haunt me. Well, my pap came back abnormal and my docter said to call the office to schedule a biopsy.

I went for a colposcopy & biopsy this past Friday and she informed me that my pap results came back severe level (not sure if this means severe dysplasia or cancer results???). She told me that worst case scenario is a hysterectomy with radiation and chemotherapy. She also said that I should prepare myself for the worst. I am jumping out of my skin.

Our conversation is starting to cloud over in my head, but I believe she said that she did not visibly see the cancer during the colposcopy (however, she did see the abnormal cells). My doctor took 3 pieces from me for biopsy which I will get the results this Monday.

I am soooo scared that I will not be here for my children and all I can think about is the worst case scenario (as she has instructed me to prepare for). Only my worst case scenario's playing in my head are far worse than hers. I fear that since it has been 5 years since I had a pap test, that this could have spread to other organs in my body. They say that cervical dysplasia can take 10 to 20 years to turn to cervical cancer, however everyone's stories that I have been reading seem to happen so much faster.

I wish I had been faithful with my paps, it seems so insignificant that the finances were difficult in the past 5 years now. Hard lesson learned is that I am no good to anyone around me (especially my children) if I am not taking care of myself. I also feel really bad for my husband because he feels guilty that we didn't have insurance.

I am not really scared of the surgeries or treatments (I know I can be strong enough to do this) as all you beautiful strong women have been. It's the thought of leaving my children and family that has me going crazy!!! If anyone else has a similar situation, I would love to hear from you.

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I went 10 years with out a pap...Big mistake...due to the same situation why you didn't go for 5 years. I was diagnosed with 1b cc on October 17, 2008. Nov. 4, 2008 has a full Hysterectomy 1 Lymph note involved. Had chemo and radiation for about 5 weeks. That wasn't easy. As of today still cancer free. I have CT scans right now every 6 months (was 3 months) Last one was the 7th of May and all is clear. I know me dealing with this has not been easy and i still cry wondering why this has happened to me and what did I do to deserve this. I have 3 children of my own, and being a single parent my thought of what are my kids going to do made it really hard for me. Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with. Love and prayers to you.

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Hi - I'm sorry to read of your situation but please remember there are a lot of us who have been diagnosed with cervical cancer that are still here years later. This is a tough time you are in right now - the not knowing exactly what is going on was difficult for me.

Don't beat yourself up over missing the paps - allow yourself to move past that and focus on getting you better.

Once you know what your situation is and your recommended treatment feel free to ask any and all questions. Chemo/radiation isn't a walk in the park but for me it was totally do-able.

Take care

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I too am sorry to hear about your situation but... I am outraged at your doctor telling you to be prepared for a worst case when she doesn't have the results. If indeed you are diagnosed with cancer and the treatment is a hysterectomy, then you are only stage I. They don't normally give hysterectomies for advanced stages unless chemo/radiation (internal & external) have failed. Was this your gyn or an oncologist who told you to be prepared for the worst case? Either way, I would look at getting a different doctor.

One of the worse parts of this is the not knowing. Once you know what you are dealing with, you have a plan of action. For the doctor to scare you like she did is just plain wrong...

As others have pointed out, there are plenty of cancer survivors on this site. I am stage IIB and am currently going through chemo/radiation. I just finished my first set of internal radiation... not a lot of fun but not horrible either.

Please remember we are here for you thinking POSITIVE thoughts.


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Thank you all for your positive thoughts, I have felt so lost this week. Every time I find myself laughing or enjoying myself, I have a sudden surge of fear at feeling happy. Maybe that sounds silly ~ I don't know.

Your kind words are very helpful and I wish the best to each and everyone of you.

Peace, Hope, & Luck to everyone!!!

To Bethg727, it was my gyno that told me to prepare for the worst case scenario due to my severe pap results. My colposcopy results have not come in yet.

Words I am trying to live by this week is that every setback is a setup for an even greater comeback.

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We are all here for you sunshine923! There are plenty of cancer survivors - not a death sentence!! Stay strong, eat well, get rest & don't stress!! There's nothing you can do until the results are back - sure, prepare for the worst - research your options and be ready for your fight! You may not even be in the worst case scenario. Please keep us posted when you get your results - keeping you in my prayers!! Stay strong!!!

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Hello sunshine923... I do not know why our doctor said that to you. You will not know for sure until all test are done. You just have to stay focus and positive. I had a Colposcopy done in February and the biopsy came bad, than I had a Leap Procedure in April and the biopsy came bad too, then my gynecologist send me to the Oncologist and he was the one that diagnosed me based on the biopsies and all the tests done. I just had a radical hysterectomy on the 18th and the tumor had been in the cervix only, didn't spread to nearby organs and the lymph nodes and ovaries are clean too. I was freaking out at one point but then sat with a cold head and thought about the tons of possibilities and treatments available. Cevical cancer is one of the most curable ones at this time. Be strong girl and we are here for you...

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I too went 5 years without a pap for insurance reasons. My pap came back severe dysplasia (carcinoma in situ) and the biopsy came back that I was at least carcinoma in situ if not cancer. They weren't sure so I did a cold knife and with that they found out it was carcinoma in situ and the margins were clear. They got it all. It's hard to be prepared for anything when you aren't sure what you're preparing for. For me, I just tried to focus on my kids (I'm a single mom too). There's nothing like the stress of not knowing. I hope you get your results soon. Let us know when you get them!

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Sunshine, I also wanted to be mad at myself for skipping a PAP when I knew I was high risk. Then I tried being mad at my GP for not reminding me when he was the one who did an endometrial biopsy. But that anger doesn't do anything except upset you, so why waste the energy? Focus on getting well.
In terms of the worst case scenario, my surgeon painted too rosy of a picture and we were devastated when I had LVSI. We just SO wanted to have a hysterectomy and be cancer-free that we hadn't prepared for bad news. So try to not freak out about those scenes playing out in your head but keep learning about all the options for treatment we have. I love the slogan "Fight like a girl"!

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Yeah.......don't waste your time being angry about the "coulda~shoulda~ wouldas".....Alot of us , including myself, have made the mistake of not getting our yearly exams. I find myself laughing at the irony..I hated getting "violated" so much ONCE a year that I avoided it and NOW I get the pleasure of being poked and prodded 4 times a year..........lol....Oh the irony...
Anyway, don't worry yourself too much until you get the entire diagnosis. Your Dr was wrong in scaring you as she did. Did she send you onto a gyn/onc???
Please hon seek the medical expertise and care of one in the event you DO have cancer.
Also, keep in mind that cervical cancer is curable if caught in the early stages. there is a blog of a gal that was diagnosed way lated and her ureters and kidneys ripped..........she finally got someone to listen to her complaints and she was stage 3b...she is alive and well.....her blog is called " I kicked cancer's ass"....a great read...gives alot of hope to the ones who are just starting their journey. There is another blog of a gal named Lori who was diagnosed with stage 4 andenocarcinoma...right after her wedding and she lived 5-6 years with stage 4....she chose to quit treatments. Just google lori and cc maybe her blog will show up becasue I was mesmerized with this woman's strenth, attitude and her pure determination to beat her cancer.
I found reading of other women's journeys through blogs etc helped me in the beginning as well as the support of the women on the few cc forums I am affiliated with.
CC is by no means a death sentence...I had chemo and radiation and flew through it with only a couple of minor issues. I do have post treatment issues but I am alive and I look at them as my battle scars. ( you should see the other guy..lol)
I LOVE that saying Raider........."fight like a girl".I have GOT to find a t shirt with that on it!!! If not...I will have one made!
So.......radier said it all.....fight like a girl and show cancer who the boss is!!!
We are here for you!! Sending you big ole cyber hugs my friend..........

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Sunshine923...I wanted to let you know that my situation was very similar except that I let more than 16 years go in between paps. My last was my postpartum check up after my youngest of three. An abnormal pap, then the colposcopy followed by a leep cone biopsy. I didn't get a diagnosis of cancer until after the leep, however, my presurgical tests all came back clear and I had a radical hysterectomy this past Thursday. I have the best medical team on my side and my family, particularly my husband, have been fantastic. Keep praying. I've found that the most helpful thing for me has been to ask questions. If you don't get a satisfactory answer, keep asking until you do. It's important to stay proactive. Good luck!

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Thank you Beth88 and everyone for your encouraging words. I hope that you recover well from your surgery, and all of you and your families are in my prayers.

I am hoping to find out my biopsy results today. Very scared but trying to keep positive.

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Dear sunshine923, and everyone, I received great news! My doctor called and said that the pathology from my hysterectomy came back with clear margins and the lymph nodes are negative, so I shouldn't need any further treatment. Thank you for your prayers and mine are with you and everyone.

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I am in a very similar position. I went 3 yrs without a pap. I went last year positive for hpv (not sure what kind cause doc didn't seem worried, therefore, neither was I) She did a biopsy and said to come back in 6 mos. I missed the 6 mos cause if insurance reasons and now 10 mos later I tested positive again (the high risk kind). i did my col & biopsy on Thursday and I am waiting for the results. I am also TERRIFIED and haven't left my bed in 4 days. i have a husband and 2 boys which I LIVE for. I also felt it's all over my body and can't help thinking the worse. What I have done is research and I have begun as of today to take vitamins, eat healthy and I will start exercising again. This site has given me much comfort and hope.I will keep you in my prayers and I wait for your results. PLEASE keep us posted

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Sunshine923, don't be mad. It won't do you any good. Just take it like I did. Another speed bumb in your life. When i got diagnosed with 3 primary cancers, 2 of which were cervical (one small cell) a very aggressive form. It had been over 5 yrs. sinc my last pap. I was doing the best I could. I was 39yrs old, had been married for 13yrs when my husband after the birth of our little girl just walked away with an 18yr old dancer. I was devistated for 5years I grieved, bareley getting through life as a single mom of a baby and two boys 13&14. At least I had a good carrer going but that was about to end. I was diagnosed with stage 1b2 cervical cancer and renal cell carcinoma of the right kidney. I had a radical histerectomy with some lymph nodes removed, at the same time they removed my right kidney. After surgery I went through Chemo and internal and external radiation. Guess what..... The first gyno onc. I saw did not give me much of a chance to live. I went to another MD and got a second opinion. I am still here!!!!! That was in 2004 since that I have had a mets to the brain and brain surg. and whole brain radiation and though I still have some issues resulting in all the treatments i have been through, I am still here to share my story to women like you who are scared!!!!! It is o.k. to be scared, it is not ok to camp there. That will do you nor your family any good. I have great faith to look to and laughter is my best medicine. We, Me and my children, always try to find something to laugh about in my day to day struggles. We pray and we love and we laugh. I hope this helps and I hope I will meet you at the conf. in oct. in Ga.

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Hi sunshine923: don't beat yourself up! Do you know how many well-educated, well-insured, urban, modern girls I know who miss their pap smears???

I do agree with Bethg727, but because in general, no doctor should make any kind of interpretations of a result that is still due to come! Imagine you going to the GP with a cough & they told you to prepare for the swineflu... see how absurd that is? ;-)

And I loved Beege's comment about the irony of "I hated getting "violated" so much ONCE a year that I avoided it and NOW I get the pleasure of being poked and prodded 4 times a year." HAHAHA That's so me!!!

I have avoided one of the doctor's I saw last year, when I was first diagnosed HPV, because that Peruvian (no offense!) village girl would start sermonizing about promiscuity and supposed moral values (SORRY??? I am married... happily & monogamously!!!) instead of dealing to treat the sickness...

The only thing we can do now is to spread the news! Educate those you are still too ignorant and to that way fight the disease!

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Thank you all for sharing. I am "so happy" to hear the good news Beth88. I had my pre-op done today and my pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound. This Friday (june 4th) will be my D & C and conization procedure. I am staying positive and it is in God's hands now. Thank you all for the prayers. <3

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Hi Sunshine!
I was diagnosed with Stage 3B cervical cancer in 1993 but I am still here 17 years later! Yeah! I went through chemo, radiation, and surgery. I went yearly for my paps and my doctor saw a "scaly patch" and wanted to keep an eye on it. This went on for 3 years. Right before my 3rd pap my husband started working in oncology at a major hospital. My last pap was at the end of August 1993. My husband mentioned it to the oncologist he worked for and he got me in right away. Within a week I was having surgery and had been diagnosed. If you are not comfortable with what you are hearing, please go get a second opinion. I wish I had!

My prayers are with you. Have faith in your inner feelings and recognize that doctors are not always right. Until all the tests are done there is no way the doctors or anyone else know what is in your future.

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