Monday, November 10, 2008

Men, look away now.

A few Fridays ago, I got a call from my OB/GYN's nurse. Apparently, during my last exam, he found something he shouldn't have.

I believe she called them "low grade squamous cells." Sounds disgusting. It's the "squamous" that makes me cringe, but it's just a name for a type of cell everyone has. In actuality, he found some abnormal cells covering part of my cervix.

So I have to go back on Friday, so he can do a colposcopy. That means he's going to look at my cervix through a microscope. Doesn't that just sound dee-lightful? She said he will apply an acid wash, and the cells should turn white if they're cancerous. So here's hoping for... pink? Orange? Chartreuse?

Of course, the second we got off the phone, I googled the terms she gave me. Here's some of what I found:

Having a low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion does not mean that cancer is present. Cancer is an abnormal growth of new tissue characterized by uncontrolled growth of abnormally structured cells that have a more primitive form. The presence of low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions represents changes in cells that may occur before cancer is present. Thus, low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions are sometimes seen by doctors as warnings that cancer of the cervix may occur at a later date.

Woo hoo.

Sometimes, low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions go away without treatment. The milder the condition, the more likely it will go away without treatment. Some doctors, however, may choose to remove low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions since it is possible for them to progress to cancer of the cervix. The results of the colposcopy will provide the basis for treatment.

The goal of treatment is to destroy and/or remove the abnormal cells on the cervix so that new healthy cells will grow over the area where the abnormalities were present. Squamous intraepithelial lesions can be destroyed by applying below-freezing temperatures to them, by using lasers, or by applying heat and/or electrical currents. If abnormal areas of tissue need to be totally removed, a colposcopy is often used as a visual aid during surgery. Removal of the tissue can take place during the biopsy or at a later time if the patient desires.

Isn't that great? Where do I sign up?

Joking aside, the nurse said my doctor probably won't do a biopsy until after the baby is born, if (after Friday's procedure) he thinks it's necessary. I may have to have the procedure repeated in three months (yippee!).

So, my point is to ask you to pray that he finds nothing abnormal. And that they knock me out and do it while I'm fully drugged. Which I doubt will happen. But I can hope.


Lisa said...


This can be scary stuff, huh!

I had some abnormal cervical cells and underwent the colposcopy (and pap smears scheduled months apart to watch things) and all this basically turned out to be nothing, so I'm hoping and praying the same thing for you.

Tracye said...

Thanks, Lisa.

Yeah, it's not exactly the news I was hoping to hear when she called.

And I *hate* pelvic exams more than anything else I can think of!!!

Thanks for your encouragement, thoughts and prayers.

Huse Yo Mama said...

Praying for you, my dear!!!!

Melanie said...

Pelvic exams suck ass!! I hope they only have to check it once so you won't have to keep going back. Eat all pink foods so the cells won't turn white. haha--just making stuff up. :)

Lori - The Simple Life at Home said...

Big hugs to you!!! That is scary, but try not to worry about anything until you know something definitive. I'll be praying for you. Keep us informed!

Erin said...

Can I give u a bit of advice? I used to work in OB/GYN office. So I have assisted in many of these..
I know this is easier said then done but try to stay relaxed and BREATHE!! If you are tense, it will be more uncomfie (not that it is not generally uncomfie!!). I am not sure if every office is the same but the "acid wash"? We used vinegar. And yes, this is a common thing. I know, no one like to hear anything being abnormal. Good luck with it!

Haasiegirl said...

yeah, that sounds like LOADS Of fun. i dont think i like that word either.
But its good you are taking care of yourself.


Tracye said...

Thanks, Rach. Praying for you, too!

Mel, you are soooo right! They do! I finished Tenley's cake topper last night, and I'll probably post pics tomorrow, so don't look if you want to be surprised!

Lori, thanks. I will.

Erin, of course! If you know something about crazy-scary-weird-mysterious pelvic stuff, share away! I asked the nurse if I could drink heavily before it, but she said no. The big meanie!

Trisha, I am just so excited, I can't wait! Probably the most fun day of the year so far! ;)

Thanks everyone for your encourgaing words. I'll let you know what he finds out.