About three months ago I started to feel tired a lot. I was under a lot of stress and just assumed that once everything settled back down I’d be fine. It started here, was followed by work stress then a lot of traveling and through it all I just kind of pushed through, kept my chin up and soldiered on and 17 other puns you don’t need to hear.
About two months ago I got REALLY sick. High fever, throwing up, BAD BAD BAD EVIL HORRIBLE flu. I was down for about four days but I noticed that my fever never really went away. It was hovering between 99.5 and 100.5 all the time. So after about two weeks of that I went to Urgent Care and was like, TEST ALL THE THINGS. They took blood and urine and a throat culture and were like, you are fine. No, 100 degree fever for almost a month is NOT fine. So they told me to make an appointment with my general practitioner but when I asked what she was going to do she said, “Probably exactly what we just did.” Ummm, okay. Thanks but I think I’ll pass, I’m sure I’ll get my bill in the mail.
I was frustrated and stubborn and decided that I was fine because doctors are assholes and I really didn’t see the need to go through all that all over again to be told NOTHING again. But the fever persisted, I was more and more tired and I could just “feel” that something wasn’t right. I decided that I was going to need more in-depth testing and we have a PPO so I don’t need prior authorization to see specialists and felt that getting a papsmear was the best first step. When I called to make the appointment the scheduler told me that it had only been 8 months since my last pap and my insurance wouldn’t cover it but we switched insurances so technically according to them this was my first pap EVER. Then she told me that it was kind of silly to have a pap after only 8 months because women my age are are recommended to come in every 2 to 3 years and at that point I wanted to reach through the phone and pull her larynx out. Instead I told her that I was running out of birth control and if she didn’t make the appointment I was going to become pregnant and send her the bill for the next 18 years of counseling and she was like, “We have an appointment on July 12th please come in then.”
I got the call about a week after the appointment that my pap came back with some abnormal cells and that I’d need to come in for a colposcope on August 2nd. I’ve had the colposcope before and normally I would not have been too concerned, they always came back fine and it just seemed like an unnecessary annoyance, but for some reason this time I was worried. I tried to keep my game face on but the tiredness was really starting to get to me and even though I was getting great pep talks from Ben, like I said before, I just FELT like something wasn’t right.
At the end of the colposcope the doctor, who I LOVE, told me that she really wasn’t concerned. There was a moderately large spot on my cervix but she was sure, having been only 9 months from my last pap, this was very likely a low to MAYBE a low/moderate dysplasia, she wasn’t worried but she could either call or email me Monday with results. I told her to just email me because I was sure she’s a busy person and everything looked fine. She said that the dysplasia COULD be causing the fever and tiredness but that would usually only present in the case of severe dysplasia or cancer so she said once we had the results I could go from there. In the meantime, boost my immune system stay on top of my multivitamin and up my antioxidants.
Then Monday came and went. I tried not to worry. Ben tried to get me to not focus on it.
Then Tuesday came and went.
Then finally on Wednesday I was in a meeting when my phone rang with an unknown number and I just KNEW it was the doctor. She left a voicemail saying she needed to talk to me and that she had gone ahead and emailed me too. The email was short: I left you a message, please call back as soon as you can, it’s severe dysplasia and the reason it took a few extra days is because I had two more pathologists check the results.
When I was finally able to get ahold of her that afternoon she told me that in the 10 years she’s been doing gynecology, she had never seen severe dysplasia present in 9 months. The first pathologist couldn’t believe it so he sent the colposcope sample to a second and when my doctor learned it, she sent it to a third. Whatever is growing on my cervix, it’s growing fast and it’s at the high end of the severe scale and cancer is inevitable and I need to come in and have the LEEP done. Sooner rather than later. She schedule me an appointment for September 13th which seemed WAY TOO FAR away for me but she wants me to have it done my a specific doctor and the only other time she has available is right when my body is NOT (girls get what I mean here). Also, this is probably EXACTLY what is causing my fever and tiredness because these cells are growing “aggressively” and my body is “reacting”.
She kept circling back to how this was really good news. It’s not cancer yet. I was proactive. I didn’t listen when they told me it was too soon to come in. If I had waited and not come in for another year, of course she can’t say for certain, but this would very likely have been MUCH WORSE than what we are dealing with now. Like: cancer. Like: Full hysterectomy, if not more radical treatment.
So that’s where I am right now. I really haven’t been online as much as I normally am. I’ve been tired ALL THE TIME. I come home from work and I am just physically exhausted. One day last week I didn’t even have the energy to climb the stairs to change out of my work clothes. I walked in the door, took my temperature, swallowed some aspirin, walked to the couch and was asleep in less than a minute. In my work clothes. It’s such a different scale of “tired” than I’ve ever dealt with. I was telling Ben the other night that I know my Depression Tired. Depression Tired for me is having the energy to DO stuff, just not caring and sleeping because it’s easier than dealing with life. This is a whole body, to the core, bones achingly, entire existence kind of tired.
But again, I push through as best I can. I still have Cassidy to take care of, dinners to cook, dogs to walk, laundry to clean, WORK. Things have fallen through the cracks and luckily Ben and Cassidy have been SO GOOD about being really supportive and helping out and I can’t tell you how lucky I feel every day to have the amazing little family I have. Until now only a small handful of people knew what was going on and I was just going to keep it to myself till after the LEEP but another huge part of me just wanted it OUT THERE IN THE WORLD.
So there. It’s out there. I’m going to be fine, the LEEP will 100% get rid of the cells. For the next 2-3 years I’ll have to go in for a pap every 4 months and *fingers crossed* this will never come back and I will be fine. If it DOES come back at some point, then I’ll have to take more aggressive action so we are just going to believe that it’s NOT GOING TO COME BACK, HEAR THAT, BODY!?