Real People Stories – Anonymous

HPV virus Test: Cytology will tell you the truth. My story began a few years ago with a routine STD Pap test. It turned out badly, and the doctor sent me to the hospital without a word. I decided to ignore them, but instead, I looked for a doctor to take another look at the results. On recommendation, I went to a celebrity gynaecologist. A professor of great renown and a specific manner. I visited him regularly for two years. And all this time, I was reassured in every way. The cytology result did not change; my portfolio was swelling with tests, and my wallet was shrinking. Eventually, my patience ran out, especially as the results worsened.

The virus was multiplying, and the Test doctor stubbornly repeated that the best thing for HPV recovery would be a diet and regular use of Heviran. After this STD treatment, I started having kidney problems, but the professor ignored them. Desperate, I found a cervical cancer specialist in Krakow. When he saw my results, he reacted violently. He shouted at me that I had a ticking time bomb inside me and that I needed to go to the hospital immediately. And maybe I would have gone if it weren’t for the lockdown announced a few days after this visit.

I was completely helpless.

Infection with HPV does not cause any symptoms, so it was difficult for me to motivate myself to go to the STD doctor again. In addition, all STD clinics switched to remote mode, and I kept hearing that they could offer me a GP Teleconsultation. And I urgently had to have a colposcopy, which is a thorough examination of the cervix using a colposcope.

I was bouncing off the wall. At first, I called the STD clinic every day, then once a week, and finally once a month. I started fooling myself that there was no problem. Then, my fiancé stepped in and told me to get on with it. Once again, I found the strength to look for an HPV specialist. On a recommendation, I went to see an oncology professor. Although he did not deal with STD gynaecology, during the visit, he made a quick phone call to the head of the department of one of the hospitals and told me to go straight to the emergency room. 

Things went on quite quickly.

At the hospital, I was scheduled for an electric loop procedure, which involves cutting out the infected place in the cervix. A quick surgery under full anaesthesia, after which I heard the well-known: “We’ll call you.” Again, no one talked to me, told me what the further course of the disease might be, how I might feel after all this. They did it and sent me home. After three weeks, the phone rang, and I heard that the doctors had removed the entire infection, and I was healthy.

I was not healthy.

But back then, I still had a lot of confidence in the HPV health test service. I felt that something was still wrong, but when I went for the examination, I was told that I was hysterical and that not enough time had passed to know anything. In the wake of my recovery, I agreed to have the coil installed by another gynaecologist, recommended, of course. Spotting may occur after the treatment. I bled non-stop for half a year. I was afraid to go to the STD doctor again, but I felt like I was teetering on the edge.

HPV testimonies on the internet convinced me that I should go through the health service again and fight for my health. I made an appointment with the next head doctor and ended up undergoing an electric noose treatment again. By the way, I heard that the gynaecologist who installed the coil on me must have been an idiot. This was the moment when I lost my footing and my trust in doctors. The procedure turned out to be impossible for anatomical reasons, and they had to remove my entire cervix. It was August 2021. I felt strange afterwards, so after two weeks, despite my fear, I decided to go back to the emergency room.

I was treated there.

The doctor suggested that I was imagining something and told me to wait in the corridor for a few hours. She came back repentant. It turned out that the lesions were cancerous, and they had to remove my entire uterus. Suddenly, it felt nice, and from a hysterical patient, I became a woman who needed STD care. The doctor asked if I was planning to have children because if so, I should get pregnant soon. I was okay with it. But I had a feeling it would end like this. I am the mother of a teenager, and I had no plans to have more children. So, I immediately decided to undergo surgery, which was the culmination of my several years of wandering. On September 13, I was put on the table, and after 48 hours, I was discharged home. Again, without a word.

Virus taboo

Fortunately, everything ended well. After a few weeks, the histopathological results came. The uterus was healthy, but it was removed as a preventive measure – sooner or later, the virus would attack. After the surgery itself, I felt good, but I was absent from work for several weeks. For a person who runs a catering company, this is a big blow. Besides, I couldn’t have sex for four months; after the surgery, it was different than before. Nobody talks about it.

HPV infection is still a taboo. When I described my story on Instagram, girls asked me in private messages what it was or admitted that they had never had a pap smear. Our knowledge is lacking. Cervical STD cancer, the main cause of which is HPV infection with the human papillomavirus, is diagnosed every year in over 3.5 thousand women in Poland. For more than half of them, it will prove fatal.

This is almost the highest number in Europe. 

My STD story was a lesson and a test lesson in humility for me. I found myself in the hospital corridors and felt what it meant to be treated like an object. At the same time, when I read the girls’ stories on the Facebook group, I knew I was very lucky. I didn’t need any chemicals; I didn’t have to fight for my life. The HPV disease will be with me forever. With me and my family, because this is an aspect that is rarely talked about. The entire tribe is sick, not just those who are directly exposed.