Monday, January 20, 2014

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month- Auburn's Story

My name is Auburn Reed.
 At the beginning of my diagnosis I was 25, I am 26 yrs old now. I was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer on March 18, 2013.   I went to see a gynecologist at the end of November of 2012. The last time I had seen an OB/GYN was when I was 14/15 and had just gotten my period and my mom wanted to make sure everything was ok. After that I never even thought about going back. Throughout the rest of my teens and early twenties seeing a gynecologist was the last of my worries since I wasn't having sex. I didn't even have sex til I was 22 yrs old. 

I was getting ready to switch jobs and thought before I lose my insurance for awhile I will see a Gyno. Pap came back abnormal and they wanted me back in immediately so I made an appointment for second week in December. I cancelled that appointment because I got my period and told them I would call them after and we can set up an appointment. Well, my period didn't stop that month. I continued to bleed throughout January. I didn't get too concerned about it because my periods were always abnormal. I also figured it was stress from just moving to a different job and new people. At the end of January my bleeding got heavier and then the pain started. I have PCOS also so I was used to ovarian cysts and the pain associated with them, but this was something else completely. Blunt cramping is the best way for me to describe it. Finally on February 14, 2013 a co-worker told me to see a Gyno, I didn't have health insurance because I just went to a new job, so she gave me the number to Planned Parenthood.  I never even thought of that!! I called them that day an scheduled an appointment for the 22nd. I went in, got my Pap smear and they did a few other tests. On the following Thursday they called me and told me they got the results back and told me I NEEDED to see a regular GYNO and get more tests done. They called my Dr office for me and explained my "situation". I didn't even know I had a "situation." My dr said he would see me without my insurance because of my "situation." So on  March 5th I went in and he did another Pap and did a biopsy of two different areas of my cervix. I heard the word biopsy and my head started spinning, I only know that word as a dangerous word. After the appointment he said he wanted to talk to me in his office. I never go to his office. So I got dressed and sat across from him as he explained what he was looking for, to this day all I remember thinking was "why is he talking to me like this?" "What's wrong?" "I should of brought my mom", next thing you know he's next to me and telling me not to be nervous it could be nothing!!
His office called me on Monday the 11th I answered and they said I was to come in that week, it didn't matter what time or what day just show up and the Dr will see me. That didn't sound good. I didn't go in on Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday. My Dr called me Thursday night at 8 pm from his living room, I could here sports center on in the background. He told me to please come in by Monday or he will no longer see me. Haha, he knew it would make me come see him. I walked into the office on Monday March 18, 2013. The only word I remember from that appointment was "cancer." I walked out 2 hrs later a complete shell, I had no idea what I was to do next. I had papers in my hand that told me what my next step was,!but I just didn't know. 
I went on to do Radiation for 8 weeks Monday-Friday and Chemo for 8 weeks.    I was "clear" in July and had a couple months "off", haha but September 9, 2013, the day after my 26th birthday they told me I needed to do treatments one more time. So I did Chemo for 10 more weeks. 
Throughout the whole year everyone including my doctor kept asking me to have a hysterectomy and I knew deep down I should. That it would stop everything and I could have my life back but I couldn't do it. I know I have to make the decision very soon, but it's a big decision. I thought I could save my chances of having kids!!

I truly will say 2013 was a "journey." This whole road has changed my outlook on everything so much. I appreciate so much more and I love easier. Life is precious and we need to not take the little things for granted. 

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