MY SECOND OF THREE Kathleen

By Kathleen 

When I engage in cancer counselling or public speaking, I refer to my experience with HPV tests and cervical cancer as quite the opposite of how others may remember it. I never intend flippancy, and I do regard any (and anyone’s) STD cancer as a serious matter.

But in July of 1999, I had already undergone a mastectomy for breast cancer and was about to discover that I had advanced, terminal stomach cancer with a prognosis of less than six months left to live. So, in between these two dramatic and panic-laden, paralysing events, my short about cervical cancer was a picnic in Paris by comparison.

It helped that I had a kind and highly capable gynaecologist, referred to in my memoir as “Dr Crotchbuddy.” His proactive and preventative orientation guided us in determining that since my history with breast cancer now made me susceptible to ovarian cancer, a hysterectomy-and a total one at that-might be warranted. The STD factor Tests in my favour were that I had become menopausal due to the Tamoxifen medication I was taking then. I had long ago accepted my inability to bear children, and at 51, I was way past the age of bearing or caring.

Out they all came: uterus, cervix, tubes and ovaries. The incredible news came a week later over Dr Crotchbuddy’s phone call. The biopsy taken of tissue samples during my procedure revealed that I had early-stage cervical cancer.

“So… Doc,” I dragged out words as I gulped heavily. What does this mean? What do we do now?”

“Not a single thing, Kathleen. We got it all out. We got to the cancer in time.”

In other words, my hysterectomy-as-prevention had been the cure as well. Dr Crotch-buddy did go on to ask me if I had been “sexually active” in my youth and if I had an HPV Variant test at all. I guessed he was trying to figure out how I had gotten my cancer. I answered, “To be perfectly honest, doc, I was a steadfast, thoroughly committed hippie, communes and all, back then.

” He said no more, and that was the end of that subject.

But what wonderful news! It was the only time my husband Ed and I celebrated with champagne right after hearing the announcement that I had cancer.

That STD experience test, among others, gave me the strength, gratitude, humour and opportunity years later to write and publish a memoir, Becoming Warrior Woman: My Journey through Three Cancers. today, as a freelance writer, my website is www.Kathleensta-tham.com) I am a fiercely proud STD survivor. I am pleased and honoured to have shared my STD Panel test story while adding it to the revelations from fellow cancer survivors in this book.

I’M STRONGER BECAUSE OF THIS DISEASE

Bu Geneve

I was 20 years old and in a serious relationship with my boyfriend for almost a year. He was my first sexual partner, and we used protection; both got tested, and everything was fine. Or so I thought.

I had my first Pap smear that year, and when the test results came back, my whole world changed. The STD doctor called me herself. And let me know that I had an HPV Lab Test report. She told me I had a high-risk strain that could potentially cause cervical cancer.

The next couple of months were extremely hard on me. I was STD retested a few months later and found out there were abnormal cells on my cervix, and the doctor explained I needed to have the LEEP surgery because the abnormal cells were cancer cells. The LEEP surgery was one of the worst days of my life. I was in pain, and I was alone. My boyfriend was not there for me and did not support me. I went through the surgery and the grief alone.

And I made it through the surgery.

I would have to see the gynaecologist every three months to make sure there were no more cancer cells. Nave and a few run smears returned normal, and recently, my pap smears have been returning abnormally, as well as my home tests. I’m currently 26 years old, and the virus still has not cleared from my body. I’m no longer with my boyfriend because he decided to leave me. He never took responsibility and was never there for me throughout the process.

1 highly encourage every teenager or young adult to get the HPV vaccine. This is the most crucial shot you could get. But don’t stop getting an HPV Variant Test. You might get one that is not part of the vaccine program. This will prevent you from getting many of the different strains of HPV. I wish I had known this when I was 20; my life could be different.

I can say that I’ve changed into a stronger woman because of this disease. I’m very careful with my sexual partners, and it’s okay to share this information and STD Home test kits with a new partner.

My partner is now extremely understanding and supportive.

I still get sad from time to time and wish this did not happen to me, and I pray to God I do not have to get the LEEP surgery again in my life. I believe this HPV disease will clear my body as long as I stay positive and strong and take care of myself. The most important thing is to ensure you get regular STD checkup Tests and Pap smears from your doctor. Please spread the word to your family and friends, letting them know that getting the HPV vaccine can save you from many strains of this virus. If you are living with HPV testing, you will have a new normal one day. You can overcome this disease. I’m living proof of it.