Yesterday my doctor called to inform me that I have CIN 3 abnormal cells on my cervix. This means basically that I have stage 0 of cervical cancer. It’s not cancer, but could be eventually, if left untreated. The precancerous cells are just on the top layer or the cervix and haven’t invaded the surrounding tissue.
I don’t know how to feel right now. This condition is treatable at this stage, but I worry about it becoming reoccurring. After the LEEP procedure I am going to have in a couple of weeks, everything should be fine, right?
There is a part of me that feels like unless I do a lot of life changes and continue to build different thought patterns that this won’t be the last time I am in this position.
Thank god I have health insurance right now. It could have progressed even more if I waited another year or two. I read online that it can sometimes only take 10 years for these cells to develop into full blown cancer.
The worst part of all of this is that I had an abnormal pap 6 or 7 years ago, even before I was pregnant with Raj. I should have taken care of it then. Back then I had to pay out of pocket, and the doctor told me that in most cases, the cells clear up on their own, so I didn’t even think about it.
I think a lot about how my genitals and my sexuality have been abused over the years…if somehow metaphysically this is the outcome. That somehow this is my fault. That if only I had not had certain experiences, I wouldn’t be in this position. It really is messing with me. Unraveling a lot of work I have done over the last few years.
I read somewhere else that the condition I have can be reoccurring. That the cells can come back. I worry in 5 or 10 years where I will be, and where I want to be. I think about how I want to have just one more child. I think a lot about changing my diet and cutting back on work and taking better care of myself in a radical way. Sometimes I think I am doing a good job at taking care of myself, but then I realize I do an even better job at taking care of other people…
So I’m scared right now, I guess. I think life insurance policy and death wish list, and power of attorney forms and whether or not we can just get legally married already so all of that is just a given and I don’t have to worry about what would happen if something were to happen.
I’m probably putting the cart before the horse.
I’m going to be alright.
I guess maybe it’s a wake up call for things I have been ignoring. That cutting off all of these cells might be the last step in letting go of a lot of that pain and sexual abuse I experienced throughout my life. That right now I have the chance to change in radical new ways. That I can finally confront a lot of my stuffed down feelings about myself and my experiences. Sometimes I still feel like I’m judged for my past. That I carry a guilt with me for some of the choices I have made. As if that can change what happened.
Sometimes I think of my grandmother and how she died within 5 months of her cancer diagnosis. How I never really processed that experience and my experience in it. How I want to fight in ways she never did.
I don’t have cancer. What I have isn’t cancer yet, but I am, I don’t know, upset at myself for the idea that this could and can become cancer if I don’t take better care of myself. As if I am not important enough to take care of or something. That for so many years I haven’t taken care of myself, because I haven’t loved myself enough to do so.
How do I train myself that I am worthy and worth taking care of? That my needs are important? That I matter? Even now I feel guilty for sharing these thoughts and writing them down. I want to hide this experience away and brush it off as no big deal because I don’t know if I should feel grateful it isn’t cancer or worried that it might someday be cancer? Perspective is important.