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Home Personal Perspectives Personal Perspectives I wasn't prepared to hear my diagnosis

I wasn't prepared to hear my diagnosis

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At 23 I was experiencing my first real heart break when I went in for my regular Pap test. Like most women I wasn’t prepared to hear “Your test came back abnormal and you’ll need to see a specialist”. The doctor I was referred to couldn’t see me for a colposcopy for two extremely long months.

At the new clinic, the nurse brought me back into the exam room, asked a few standard questions, then gave me a brochure on HPV. I was so confused and in shock: How can this be happening to me? The nurse said the doctor would explain more (I was hoping so, because I needed more than a brochure!). I have an amazing doctor. She was extremely informative and showed me the small area of the cervix that’s affected. She said the results would be back in a couple weeks and that most cases of HPV will clear within two years.

The nurse called me a little more than a week later to say I had precancerous cells due to “high risk” HPV. All I could do was cry. I’ve had my repeat Paps every 6 months with no change for 2 years. This past year I had my follow up colposcopy. I was hoping this time my results would be normal and that this would be over. Sadly it looks like I’m not one of the typical women that it clears up in two years. I’m still on “high risk” protocol and have exams every 6 months. I did have the Gardasil® vaccine to be protected against other types of HPV.

I promote and try and convince every young female I meet to get the vaccine and get her Paps. This website is a great place for women dealing with HPV.

--Submitted by a visitor to ASHAstd.org