STD Tests HPV Insights and Long term Sexual Health Disease

MORE THAN MY BODY: By Natima

I got an HPV Test after experiencing multiple rapes; beginning at the tender age of nine, I struggled with my attempts to differentiate the act of sex from the meaning of love. Like a lot of rape victims, I initially blamed myself for the action of the rapists, had low self-esteem, and later became quite professional with STD Tests giving me an insight into hidden long-term health issues.

At 17 years of age, I became a mother and thus filled the self-love void with the love of my newborn baby. Less than two years after the birth of my newborn, my son had a stepdad.

Two years later, I was single again, but not for long.

This new guy seemed to be the perfect description of what a woman looks for in a good man, that is, until months later when he shared his STD with me. He was ashamed to admit he was living with a sexually transmitted disease. And he had been Testing for HPV. He continued to “live his life” and, like many men his age, preferred sexual intercourse without the use of condoms. His view of me changed once I accepted his explanation as to how I could have gotten this STD during our relationship, and so he began calling me “stupid” and “dumb.” I wish I could tell you that my journey of bad relationships ended there.

Moving on

Eventually, I discovered that I was living a pattern and that no matter the ending of previous relationships, I picked up a new abuse pattern at the beginning of the next. I also learned that I had HPV and was at risk for cervical cancer. Somewhere along this destructive path, I adopted the belief that “if a man accepts me as I am and says that he loves me, surely it is true love.” For a short while, I, too, was ashamed of the STD I carried and afraid of who wouldn’t accept me. I realized that there was nothing I could do about the STD and that I needed to focus more on accepting myself.

When and how did I rise from the victim’s path and onto the road of victory? I watched cervical cancer age and kill the body of one of my peers. Now, I was determined that her death would not be in vain. I decided that no one else’s love for me was enough, not even that of my son. This did not happen overnight, and thus began a journey of my healing process.

Finding love

No matter how lonely or deep the connection, I had to learn to love myself first.

Years ago, I began to tell it to myself regardless of whether I felt it. I spoke it into existence and started following up my affirmations with actions, one behaviour pattern at a time. I stopped being a victim and accepted my role in each situation. Once I realized and accepted that I chose to be in situations and relationships that were hazardous to my mind, body and spirit, I felt free to let go. Finally, I formed an STD test procedure as part of entering any relationships.

I changed my thoughts and standards and left, even when it hurt to say goodbye.

With the changing of my standards, I also learned to stop pretending I was in relationships with those who were not in relationships with me. I ceased giving more into a situation than I was receiving. I made better choices for my body, mind and spiritual self. Being married to a man totally in love with me and my demanding self. The best news of all: My doctor advised that I was no longer at risk for cervical cancer.

FIND YOUR ALLIES

By Karen

Your inner core gets sick of STD Profile tests and diseases every day. I don’t mean body parts because I’m missing many of those. I mean, who you are. What makes you tick, what makes you, you.

I didn’t cry until six months after my radical hysterectomy for stage 1b cervical cancer. Somehow, I don’t recall being frightened that I could die. I knew that I’d be all right.

Different, but all right.

I do know that I was exceptionally lucky with my early diagnosis at age 44. My annual Pap smear was damaged in transit to the laboratory, so I griped and moaned but went back in for a second time. And this time, when the sample was drawn, I started to bleed, which is something that had never happened. It struck me as odd, but I didn’t worry. HPV Testing was by far easier.

I worry more about bad things happening to the people I love. I was 26 when I lost my father after a courageous but terrible battle with stomach cancer. When he was diagnosed, my mind whirled like broken film on a movie reel. I felt helpless and was horrified that I could not help him. Each day of that journey was an exercise in compromise.

Diagnosis

Then the call came. You know, the “you have cancer” call.

I must have an internal switch with a lot of insulation because I slept pretty well after being diagnosed. My family laughs a lot about serious stuff. It’s wrong, but we make jokes to ease the stress of a positive STD Test result. When my cool gynecologic oncologist introduced himself and asked how I was, I replied by introducing myself and sharing that my mother had died just weeks before, and “Other than this stupid cancer, I’m fine.” He put his hands in his lap, laughed, and said, “Oh, you’re going to be one of those.” I knew I had found an ally.

And I did have allies. My sisters Mary Anne and Christine, tons of friends, my best friend Bob and my medical team.

They were just great.

So, SIX months after my surgery, it hurt. I mean, my lower guts hurt, and I had mentally had enough. Sobbing into the phone, I said to one of my doctors, “Well, it took six months, but you have finally made me cry.” It felt good to cry. To finally let it out. Medication now makes my guts feel better. I make me feel better.

Now, five years later, the medical team have become my friends. We laugh about a lot of things, including my HPV tests. My in-your-face approach forced them to treat me as a person, not simply a patient. I’ve often told them, “I couldn’t have done it without you.” You’ll find your allies. You’ll beat this disease; don’t let it beat you.

Scars and all, make sure to celebrate what makes you tick. Make sure you tell people that you love them. Avoid idiots. Life is full of them. You’ll make it. I did. Early detection saves lives. Save yours.

PAP AND other Exams

A Pap test is not an STD test. It’s a mysterious and painful experience. It’s attempting to find abnormal cell changes on the cervix (cervical dysplasia) before they have a chance to turn into cancer. A small brush or cotton-tipped applicator will take a sample of cervical cells. These cells are examined for abnormal cell changes. Experts recommend that Pap tests begin no earlier than age 21.

VACCINES

Being vaccinated against HPV makes it much less likely a woman will develop cervical cancer or have precancerous cervical cell changes. HPV vaccines don’t protect against all types of HPV, though, so women need to continue having Pap tests and, as appropriate, HPV tests even after being vaccinated for it.