Fierce in Seattle: That Time of Year
a blogumn by Kelli Bielema
I’m not the best candidate to step on a political soap box, and especially when the topic is healthcare reform. I’ve worked in the industry and have seen people be turned away for the medical support they need. It’s super gross. I feel incredibly fortunate and privileged to have a current employer who grants me exceptional benefits. The thought of making an appointment for my annual exam isn’t even much of a big to-do. What is a big to-do is getting those test results.
My first year in Seattle I received a call from my doctor telling me the results of my recent pap test were negative. I had never received a call like that before and didn’t really know what it meant, but refused to panic. Abnormal cells were found. They used to call these “pre-cancerous.” You can imagine why they no longer say that.
Once in my doctor’s office she told me we would need to do a procedure which was a little poke here, a little scrape there and we call it a day, right? The Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure, or LEEP, is fairly disgusting, a bit uncomfortable, but really was not that big of a deal. Following this I was to have a pap every quarter, then every six months and now I am happy to say, annually. It’s annual time. I’m not necessarily freaked, but I can’t help but wonder what will happen this time. The only control I have over the situation is my attitude and worrying about any of this would not benefit me in any fashion.
I don’t think any of us remain naïve about cancer at a young age. While actress Christina Applegate has brought this reality to the public eye when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, I’d like you to check out this video from a former co-worker of mine, Christy. I hadn’t seen her in a few years, but we’ve reconnected on Facebook. While we are each likely to have known women over 40 to contract this disease, in your thirties or younger generally seems like a shocking surprise. Christy’s attitude is inspirational. Her story also reminds us that you can be young, adorable, and spunky and still get this shit. But as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Now if we can just get that cure… Until then, I’m going to ask my MD about getting a mammogram. So what if it’s a couple years earlier than the recommended age? I also wasn’t supposed to drink until I was 21…
See Christy’s video after the jump: