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!