This site is about my experience with cervical dysplasia, as well as anything else I might feel like discussing!

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The next 24 hours…..

Well, I am looking forward to it being this time Friday.  Tomorrow is the first day that I could possibly get my pathology results back, and I’m told by the nurses to hope for no call as “No news is good news!”.  My colposcopist only works two days a month at the clinic, so this Friday and next Friday will be a little bit nerve-wracking.  I use to hear about people who waited a long time for bad results and I questioned why they would sit and wait, even my therapist wondered how the clinic waits so long to call, but I think I now understand how people can wait.  You want to live in that bubble of time, almost a schrodinger’s cat situation, where you don’t know either way, it’s somewhat peaceful (on the days you aren’t filled with anxiety and fear).  Once I get the call there is no going back, there’s no being normal, but while I am waiting things appear much better.  It is better to know though, as ignoring it forever isn’t good either 🙂

So here’s to it being 9:30pm on Friday and no news being good news…..then I only have to wait one more week to be in the clear for six months.  It’s the little things, right?


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The Underwear Affair

I just started a team for the 2014 Underwear Affair in Calgary, which is a charity that raises funds for cancers below the belt.  It looks like it’s going to be a really fun event overall, and my team will be participating in the “Booty Hunt”.  If I am going to be serious about being more outspoken about women’s health, then this is a great place to start.  If you want information, or to create your own team if you live in Calgary please follow this link:

I love that I have  a great core group of friends, and that they tolerate these obsessions of mine!  I think it’s going to be a lot of fun running around downtown Calgary in our themed outfits, and showing the kind of super women we are!  The Lady Bits are here to impress!  I will be blogging often about our efforts, and about the affair itself.


Today was an amazing day…..

I can’t actually believe what happened, now that the day is over it seems a bit unreal.  Last week, I was dealing with some depression and feelings of hopelessness due to a family issue, but a few things have helped me break out of it and I am feeling a lot better.  It all began when I read the UToday email, which I do every day as I learn about some pretty amazing things from it.  I learned about a group that is involved in advocacy in regards to the HPV vaccine and how they are fighting the current negative perception that is out there about the vaccine.  It was a great conversation, talking with someone who really understands how I’ve been feeling lately, and how I feel when I read material on HPV vaccine.  I hate the idea that young girls are growing up and will one day go through what I have, that of cervical dysplasia, and the misinformation going on out there about HPV and vaccination is really hurtful.  I don’t mind honest debate at all, and differences of opinions, but I don’t like it when a fear campaign is waged solely to push an agenda. I know that I am going to meet this fear time and time again, and that I need to grow stronger and be able to face it without making it personal, but that is really hard right now as everything I’ve gone through is very recent.

This group not only is trying to spread the word about the facts on the vaccine, but it is pushing to have open and honest dialogues in schools, and with religious and medical professionals.  It has also put me in touch with a cervical cancer support group, and though I may or may not have that diagnosis (find out in a few weeks), I know they will accept me and understand what I have been through as of late.  Though my friends have tried really hard to support me, they don’t always understand exactly what I have gone through these past few months. I think it will be nice to talk to people about my situation, and even talk about how we can help other women who will face this challenge.  Together, I think we all can do a lot of good work and lessen the awkwardness that people feel when someone starts talking to them about feminine based issues.

It seems I may also be stepping somewhat into the fire with this blog, as there is a war being waged again on the vaccinate or not vaccinate front.  All I ever wanted to do was speak honestly to women about my situation, and provide a place that they could feel safe confiding some of their fear, and I will do that, but I may have to expect some flack from people who don’t respect those wishes. I am very much for HPV vaccination, mainly because too many women do not go for their regular pap smears, and when HPV does affect you it really devastates your life, so preventing this devastation is pretty important to me.  I wish that something like this had existed when I was younger, as I could have prevented a lot of suffering for myself.  I also hope that my story reminds women that they need to have their pap smear regularly! It’s very important! Unfortunately, not enough women do this regularly, as they may be embarrassed, afraid, or feel it is against their belief system, and it’s the best prevention tool that we have currently.  So if it’s been awhile make that appointment!

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I have some impressive classmates in ADL 310

Wow! I am really pleased by the quality that was produced by my classmates, and the variety in videos.  We had ones that used animation from videoscribe, ones based in powerpoint, and a few “how to videos”, and I think they all set out successfully to teach us valuable lessons and provide useful information. I think we all did an admirable job with a difficult module, one that really challenged our skill set. I love seeing how supportive we have all been of each other, and it doesn’t feel like false support or praise to make someone feel better.  Kudos to us all!  

I was relieved to know I wasn’t alone on was the issues with how long it took to produce the videos, and the issues uploading using podomatic.  I honestly thought I was doing a terrible job with it taking almost seven hours to produce and edit a basic videoscribe animation, but realizing that it was really that we all had a lot to learn in a short time made me feel better.  I’m sorry you all had to suffer to make me feel better 😉

One point that worries me is the cost to produce these videos, as I noticed a few classmates had to purchase materials to finish the video, and I wonder if it is worth it.  Our text book is right, video is a powerful medium, but have there been many cost/benefit ratios done to see if it really is worth the time/money spent on buying equipment and software?  If you are producing videos to spread a message, or just because you love making videos then that’s one thing, but if you are wanting to get customers and traffic out of it, does it actually pan out? Especially, when you compare cost/benefit rations to the other low cost social medias like twitter, Facebook, and even strictly audio podcasts.

Again, I’d like to say great job to all my classmates, and good luck with videos in the future.  

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Thoughts on posting and creating the video

I meant to post this earlier, but I had an internet malfunction that couldn’t be corrected due to a last minute trip to baby sit my friends twins (that’s a story in itself).  I’m really pleased to see the quality that was produced by my class, though I still don’t know how I feel about my video.  It could be that I didn’t really have a standard that I could compare to for someone of my technical skill, and the amount of time it seemed to take really frustrated me.  If I had something to show or teach, I think I would have enjoyed it more, but I did learn some valuable lessons about the power of videos in social media.  It took me way to long to write, produce, and edit a 2.30 min video, so much so that I actually wanted to quit and take an F.  Taking and F is something I never consider, even at the worst of times, as I love to learn.  I felt that what we have all done is more suited to a final project, as in we could have taken a whole class on visual media and slowly built up our skills so that we felt like we knew what we were doing.  I worry that my negative feelings may prevent me from ever attempting this again, even in Talking Head format, but hopefully that won’t be the case. Like my classmates, I am finding podomatic a poor choice for uploading, and I’m not sure if I should pursue sites where I pay for this kind of service, as my tech skills are quite low and I can’t always tell if it would be worth my time and money.  My sound quality was much better when I recorded it, and I thought it was ok when I transferred the file, but what probably happened is that I had listened to it for so long in editing that I could have “heard” it in my sleep.  I did find podomatic better for our podcasts, so maybe the extent of its use is audio and not visual?  Cost is also a factor when you consider the recording equipment you may need, and I’m not sure I am ready to buy a quality microphone as of yet, but I can see how it is necessary if you will produce videos all the time.

Did I learn anything positive?  Well, I have learned that there is a distinction between the various kinds of video, and that some are suited for professional use, while others are for personal use.  I really feel that power point is best to convey a business concept, or teach something step by step that isn’t complicated, and it looks great for professional use.  It also allows a business to remain professional and keep a distance between themselves and their customer, and no matter how much I am told social media breaks down that barrier, I think it still exists in some form. I think talking heads and “how to videos” are better for more personal use or small home business, not that they can’t be used by a bigger business, but they impart a feeling of intimacy and helpfulness that really allows you to get to know someone, and will have you coming back to learn more.  This is what I find with the YouTube video I posted of Lauren Luke’s makeup site, you listen to her talk, see her friendly face, learn something and think I would like to experience this again.  I also learned that I need to take more classes in not only video production, but in writing skills as well, so it has prompted me to look into classes in these areas.  Shama Kabani is right, it is the most powerful social media tool out there, and it’s also the one fraught with the most troubles and a high failure rate, which is not a coincidence in my opinion.


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I got it! Please don’t be too hard on me…

Maybe this christmas you will think about making tags like my classmate Janley!

Janley Holeha


Video – How to make a Christmas gift tag

So with the help of my great classmates, especially Scott for pointing out the mp4 thing, that got me there!  For some reason, it won’t let me share directly to YouTube from iMovie, but I’ll work on fixing that…

So here is my VERY amateur attempt at a scrapbooking video.  There are lots of similar videos out there and please, don’t be too hard on me due to my husband’s filming skills, or lack thereof and the darkness.  It’s a bit of rough start, but he gets better, please be patient. 🙂  He wanted to do it again but I wanted to learn about the uploading process, not photography skills right now and was worried about time. 🙂

Scrapbook Christmas Gift Tag – Again, I apologize for the dark room, it’s authentic since I’d be doing any of these activities in…

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More Videos in the Making

Thoughtful advice on video podcasts from my classmate Meldemac


This past week I got some honest feedback from my fellow students on how they liked my Nepal video – and how they didn’t.  My take aways from this were:

1. People (followers) will develop expectations on what content you should be providing.  If you stray from this genre, or brand, it will leave your readership feeling confused, short changed, and possibly abandoned enough to drop you.

2. Planning isn’t enough.  To make videos on a regular basis they need to be part of your mindset.  Everything you do or say, experience or what have you needs to be given consideration as a video contender where possible.  This was evident this weekend because now that I’m conscious of my needs as a video makers, I was going about my work and planning to include video footage along the way.  

All in all it was a good learning week and…

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