Even though it is the source of my abdominal pain if I hadn’t been in pain I would not have learned of the more serious issue which is giving me almost no symptoms.
I went to the consultation with my OBGYN, Cynthia Bernal MD, today.
We discussed both issues: uterine and vaginal.
She stressed, beforehand, that it wasn’t anything to be terrified by. She told me this after she greeted me and asked, “So, how are you doing today?” “Terrified by what you are about to tell me.”
She slid the biopsy report onto the exam room counter and pointed out the diagnosis, which read;
“HIGH GRADE VULVAR INTRAEPITHELIAL NEOPLASIA III”
Oh yay! Sounds scary. My brain was dissecting that phrase as my doctor spoke. Basically, I boiled it down to, “abnormal vaginal skin cells that are advanced to a third stage.” That’s just a guess from my medical experiences and biology classes.
Dr. Bernal said that it sounds scarier than it is. “It’s not cancer but, could become cancer. I want you to see an oncologist. They will have to examine you to see what we are dealing with. But, you need to do THIS first.”
She meant that healing the source of my bleeding and pain would have to wait a bit. I have a polyp at the roof of my uterus. My uterus is trying to expel it. That’s why I have the muscular pain. The vaginal issue was more serious. Hmm, considering it houses ground zero for feminine sexual pleasure, I’d have to agree. Not that that particular ground zero is going to experience any traditional stimuli.
She explained that vaginal cancers are slow growing and not aggressive and this was found very early. Again, I’m grateful for my excellent luck.
When she told me she wanted me to go to an oncologist, it sure FELT like it was cancer. She stressed that an oncologist would know best how to beat this.
For the uterine polyp. I’m going to need a D & C. I’d figured all along one of those would be necessary. Basically, my uterus gets scraped out. It’s kind of like feminine Spring cleaning. I guess.
I had one back in the late 80’s when I had a cone biopsy for pre-cancerous cells in my cervix. The biopsy revealed that the abnormal cervical cells were benign and every PAP smear I’ve had since has been normal and every OBGYN I’ve had since has said, “Wow, your surgeon did an excellent job.” That’s good to know cause he was a cantankerous old man.
I’m pretty sure the D & C will be done by Dr. Bernal in her office. I’m actually looking forward to it because that means the really scary thing is being fixed.
Since the polyp is a teeny weeny blip on the radar of my feminine health, I’m going to have to tolerate abdominal pain for a bit longer. Oh goodie.
I’m relieved to know what it all is. I can move into goal mode and not float in nebulous uncertainty.
Dr. Bernal gave me info on two gynecological oncologists who are well regarded. They are both women DO’s.
I picked the one who has an office in Lake Mary. She also works in an office in Orlando. I did a map investigation and found that the Lake Mary office is about 7 miles from home while the Orlando office is about 16 miles away.
I called and got an appointment with Lorna Brodie DO. The two office people I spoke with were so incredibly nice. I go see her on Friday 4/9.
Time Forge, the Sprouts employee scheduling app, would not let me request the time off because it was fewer than 21 days away. So, I had to call my boss. It was the second time today I had a phone conversation with her and she was actually nice and cordial with me. That’s a shock because I’m pretty sure she hates me. I don’t really care. I voiced this to another cashier who has worked with our boss for over three years. That cashier said, “Oh, she’s like that with everyone.” I mentioned how it seemed to go from warm and fuzzy during the interviews to bitch post-hiring. This cashier agreed.
My boss was on lunch when I called so, I. asked that she return my call. She did and expressed it was no problem accommodating me. This morning when I spoke with her she agreed to let me leave work to get my COVID vaccine tomorrow and then return to finish my shift. And, she also split my seven consecutive day shift up the middle. “I gave you Sunday off so, you can just stay home and relax. Ok?” I couldn’t believe she was being nice. Later I checked and learned she gave away my smallest shift so it impacted my number of hours the least.
Today, I feel as if I’m at the steering wheel again. The news wasn’t great but, it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as it could have been. I am grateful.
Also, I realized I did a 180 degree change on the opinion of Dr. Bernal. I think my initial anger came from the poor translation of attitude given in a voice mail message. I decided I like her a lot.
It is a huge relief to know what I’m dealing with and that it isn’t terminal.