I haven't talked about this with any of my friends besides Max yet, and this isn't exactly the place for it. However, I'm going to tell you about the biopsy I had today.
At my annual gyn visit a month ago, I had an abnormal pap test. I was told over the phone that I tested positive for HPV, the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus. I was also told that I needed to have additional tests done since it seemed irregular even for the HPV.
First off, the sexually transmitted part of this is a horrible thing to think about. Neither Max nor I were virgins when we met. So, somewhere along the way, one of us got this virus. The totally unfair part of this, as far as I can tell, is that symptoms don't manifest themselves in men, there is no test for a man to be able to tell if he's a carrier, and there is no treatment available for men. So basically, men can have this without knowing and continue to pass it on. For women, on the other hand, HPV can eventually lead to cervical cancer. That doesn't seem quite fair, does it? Most HPVs usually 'disintegrate' over about two years. That is the hopeful outcome here.
So, today I went in for a colposcopy ... basically a closer look at my cervix. The 'colp' part of the word comes from 'womb.' I've been doing my research. First, right there in the room, they did a test of my cells which came back as positive for some unknown something. Then, they pinched out some of my cells as a biopsy to be sent for further testing. I should know something in about 10 days.
I've spent a lot of time crying. First, this makes me feel like a dirty whore. Second, I'm worried about what I've done to my body and how things might be affected in the future (childbearing, cancer, etc.).
It's slightly comforting to know that HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease. It's also slightly comforting to know that one of us may have had this in our bodies for years and it's just manifesting itself now. It is not, as my doctor explained, a recent transgression from my boyfriend like other STDs would imply. However, the truth is that if I'd never had sex, I would not have this virus and these possibilities.
Max has been awesome. He took me to my appointment today and has promised me that we'll get through this. I'm confident that he's in this for the long haul, and that I have his total support. I have cried, huge sobbing shaking-shoulders tears, and he has been there. For weeks. The worst part has been waiting. It's been nearly a month since I made today's appointment.
I'll share this with some of my friends when I know something concrete in a couple of weeks. For now, it's just so good to get this off my chest without having to inundate Max with my tears AGAIN. He's so cute and clueless, but he's been totally amazing. I'm lucky to be with him. It's sad that he's blaming himself for women that he slept with before me. We've made the decision that since we can't tell which one of us had this in the first place, we've got to move on from blaming ourselves.
As for weight, I'm pretty afraid of Wednesday's weigh-in. I've been snacking a lot just because it keeps me from thinking about what I've got going on inside of me. That's a terrible excuse, so I'm going to make a true effort to not have those types of eating 'episodes.'
On a totally unrelated topic, can you believe it's July already? I decided to use some of the money I made from teaching summer school to buy a new digital camera. I can't wait to go pick it up tomorrow! New pix soon!