Kristal

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


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Similarities and Sadness

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Every time I go to the support group I learn something about myself, and today it was that I’m really not so different in how I view the world.  For the past year, I’ve felt very dissociated from who I feel is the real me, a happier, healthier me.  She’s someone who anxiety doesn’t bother, depression rarely touches, and doesn’t have vicious mood swings.  I don’t know how to be her anymore, and maybe I’m wrong that she ever existed.  But no matter what, in my mind, she’s living a better life, and has everything she could ever want.  So it was startling to hear the group facilitator say those exact words, that somewhere her family was existing in another world very happily, and that she wished they could be that family again.  It’s amazing that we all have these exact same thoughts, and not from someone else’s influence.  It’s not something I’ve talked to with anyone I know, as I don’t want people to worry about me, but yet here we support groupees are, all are thinking these sad thoughts.

I do know that this current me, well it is me.  And I am generally happy, even when I’m feeling a bit sad.  I enjoy my friend’s company, exercising, and spending time outdoors in the sunshine….oh, and my new favorite show, Tabletop!  I know this is more about feeling like I am not getting better quick enough, and somehow I am failing, because I tell myself that it is all I am good at lately when I am feeling really low. Really, it’s that I am still mourning a more carefree me, one who hasn’t been touched by pre-cancer, and doesn’t have to worry about anything. It’s not like that can’t be my future in some way, it’s not like I won’t change again to another version of me, but I need to accept a lot of things before that will happen.

If you do see the real me on your travels though, could you ask her to call home?  I worry about her……

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Am I doing what I enjoy, or is there a problem here?

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I find that I am an extremely busy person, but I really do love my down time, and find I am panicky without it.  I also like to feel involved, like I have a variety of opportunities, and be a part of communities.  Lately though, I have tried to be respectful of my mental state and not do too much, as I get frustrated, upset, and overwhelmed fairly quickly nowadays.  I am aware I need to be kind to myself during such a mentally stressful time, but sometimes, I just don’t seem to be able to help myself.

Today, I ended up agreeing to attend a conference in October for 4 days for our union, and agreed to be an alternate for the monthly meetings.  There I was walking to the room for the AGM, saying I need to take time for myself, and then 30 min later I am agreeing to participate in some, to be fair, interesting stuff (and travel, I love staying in hotels).  It’s not that I am pushed, or I don’t want to do this, but I worry about the times that I will panic from feeling overwhelmed….but then again I get panicky when I think I don’t have enough to do!  It seems to be a damned if you do or don’t situation when you have an anxiety disorder.  And as long as they pay for my room service bill at the hotel…..I think I will find a way to be ok with this conference 😉


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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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One week since the LEEP

It’s November 10th, and it’s been just over a week since the LEEP procedure, and other than the panic of Thursday, things have been ok.  I worry that if I say I am doing ok that something bad might happen, but I realize it has nothing to do with cursing myself.  I’m not bleeding heavily at all anymore, though I know I need to keep an eye on it for the next few weeks because everything is still healing, and even if it isn’t blood it can be plasma leaking.  No one warns you about that part.  There is no sign of infection, which is good because LEEPs have the highest rate of infection for any cervical procedure to remove precancerous lesions.  I do notice that I have felt more clear headed and more energy over all, which leads me to wonder if this small area of pre-cancer was releasing toxins into my whole body.  I know it’s very possible that it was, but I have no blood tests to prove it, just this general sense of feeling better physically.

The one thing I am really struggling with is my frustration levels, like today when my computer was jamming up and taking too long to do something I wanted, I started to get frustrated and a little angry (which includes a lot of swearing and sighs!).  I usually try to walk away, but I was having an important conversation with someone and really needed the technology to just work.  I also find it hard to not be frustrated by people helping me, when all I really want them to do is listen.  I don’t need people to solve my problems, but they always feel helpless and want to make things better for me, but all I really want is someone to listen to me.  I do appreciate that they are sincere in their help, but more often just listening to me leads me to what I should do in any given situation.   I also want people (MEN!) to understand that this is going to be a long road to recovery, and that I am going to have to deal with a lot of new things.  I already had someone talking to me about sex, and that really upset me, as it is way too early to have those conversations.  Why do I want to think about something I might not positively experience again? Or that I can’t do for a few weeks minimum? I’m going to have a lot of scar tissue, but aside from that who would talk to you about such things one week out?  This topic is something I will explore more in the future.  I know my mental state will take some time to move down to my normal levels of anxiety, but it would be nice if it would happen sooner than later.  It really does help to write everything down, even just times where I ramble like this, like the stress is leaving my body and ending up on the page in front of me.

I know people who have had partial hysterectomies, but no one like me with a scarred cervix, so I am trying to take it slow and listen to my body, so that I can understand what I am feeling.  There has been a lot of pinching and pulling, and that’s probably the worst, it’s like you might tear something at any moment. I don’t have anyone who has gone through what I have, so there is no real reassurance, except in calling the nurses.  Though posting my blog last week on twitter in #MondayBlogs did introduce me to a woman who has gone through the procedure and mentioned some issues I might face in the future, like painful periods that involve back pain.

No word on my pathology results yet, but I may not receive those until the end of the month.  I really hope it comes back with no surprises and clean margins (that they removed all the precancerous lesions, leaving a thin margin of healthy tissue around the biopsy), as I would really like to work on moving forward….again.


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Thoughts on podcasts

This is the module that overwhelms me the most, and I’m trying not to let it worry me so much.  Part is, what do I talk about?  I can talk about tv shows I like, or books, but what do I choose?  Or should I just talk about generalized anxiety and how something as small as speaking on a topic of my choice is too much choice, like going to a restaurant and having too many options for a meal?  It’s not that I haven’t spoken in public, I’ve done that plenty of times when I was working in archaeology, but those were 20 min sessions and I had months to prepare.  Maybe it’s that I hate the sound of my voice when recorded, all high and girly?  Whatever it is, I hope I feel better about them after they are complete.  I am struggling as well with the show notes, as I am not sure of the detail or content that is needed.  Quite often when I was presenting a paper I never actually wrote it all out, but provided myself with bulleted “talking points” so I would stay on track, but not sound so rehearsed.  

Do I think podcasts will become something I use in my blog?  I’m not sure.  I guess it could be effective as a way to connect to the readers, makes me more real, but realistically I don’t know how worthwhile it will be.  A lot of the blogs I’ve already seen about health don’t seem to include podcasts, and maybe it’s because it feels too exposed?  It might be a nice way to welcome people to my blog (in the about section) and tell them a little about myself……I will need to think on this a little more for the personal side.  For my job at UofC, I think podcasts could work very well.  I could interview some of the faculty and students and post it on twitter, as a way to have content that is meaningful and engage new students.  


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Update on my condition

I’ve posted a lot today, and I do apologize.  I thought I should update, since it’s been a rough day for me, though what’s happening is fairly common.  I started bleeding lightly last night, and it has just gotten worse this evening.  I have been in touch with the clinic, and they will see me tomorrow if it’s necessary…..I just hope it won’t be.  I know I will get better, but I was really scared last night, and upset most of today.  I have been taking it very easy, but like most, I spend more time blaming myself for things I shouldn’t have done, thinking it caused the bleeding, when I know none of it is true.  I just want to be healed, and move on with my life, and I don’t feel like that is possible today…..or fear it’s not possible to be more truthful.  On days where I have something that scares me my anxiety kicks into overdrive, and I can only focus on worst case scenarios.  But don’t worry (anyone who is reading), I have a lot of great people in my life, and someone coming to visit tonight, so I know that will give me something to focus on instead of my health.  As well I have a goal to participate in the underwear affair this year! (more details on that later)

Recovering from a LEEP isn’t easy, and I don’t want to scare anyone, but again i feel it’s better to be honest and upfront about my feelings, and where I am mentally.  I still find that I fall apart at the smallest event, like Monday night.  I had someone in to install wifi and he had no idea what he was doing, and it took an hour of directing him to get to my house!  By the time he was here, and working, I was already so upset, so when it took him almost two hours to finish (and it never properly worked anyways) I was an absolute wreck.  I can’t handle people frustrating me, and I know it will get better with time and therapy.  It’s nice to be able to blog about what I deal with on a daily basis, and get it out of me, instead of it festering inside my head 🙂


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My halloween costume….I’m Super Nervous!

Since last night I have been a bundle of nerves, just wish I could stop thinking about the LEEP tomorrow.  I don’t know how people can be so calm about things like this, and I know I shouldn’t worry about something I can’t control, but I do.  I know there is going to be pain, and I know I can deal with it, but I am tired of dealing with it.  Aside from the dysplasia, I have a ton of titanium in my knee due to a fracture, and a heart condition.  I would love to know what it’s like to be healthy and normal……..not sure if anyone knows what that is. 

As well, I don’t think any woman should have to go through any procedure like this fully awake.  I don’t understand how the doctors and nurses think it is “no big deal”, since to me it’s a huge deal.  I’m sure to many women it is too!  It might be bennificial for these same doctors and nurses to go through a colposcopy an a punch biopsy, just so they have an understanding of how uncomfortable and invasive it can be.  This would also work for men with their cancers and conditions below the belt.  And then we wouldn’t have to listen to them go on and on about how it’s nothing.  Well it’s not your life that’s threatened….so I am going to go with it is something, it is something to worry about, and want to avoid.  Though I will mention that when I am there the nurses are very supportive and kind, and they get me through the actual procedure, so I am not knocking them down.  And I know that maybe they are just saying things will be ok, because they hope it will.

I know I don’t have any choice but to face the situation, since it will only get worse if I ignore it, but I’d really like this to be the last time for a long while that I have to deal with any kind of new and horrible medical condition.  I will try and update people over the next couple of days, depending on how I feel.