At the age of 23, my life changed. I went into my OB-GYN for a normal yearly Pap smear. Two weeks later they called me to tell me I had abnormal cells. At that time, it was just abnormal; the doctor told me he wanted to re-test in three months.
So, I waited, and when the time came, I was nervous, but another Pap smear was done, and the doctor reassured me that my body would fight it off and I was fine.
Then two weeks later the call came, I needed to come back in again, this time for a biopsy. After the biopsy, I found out I was at CIN 1. [Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN) is a precancerous condition in which abnormal cells grow on the surface of the cervix.]
The doctor again reassured me that I would be able to fight it off. At this time, I found out I had HPV 18 (human papillomavirus).
Three months later I had to go back in again for another Pap test. Within a week I got the results. It had now grown to CIN 3 and I needed to have part of my cervix removed. I’ve never been so scared. After the surgery to remove part of my cervix, my doctor told me he had to remove a lot more than he was expecting. He took over half my cervix and found cancerous cells.
I’ve now been cancer free for eight years.
Submitted April 3, 2019
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.