As I knelt down to give Keaton a kiss goodbye I thought "I'm doing this for you."
Then I walked to the center of the kitchen where my mom was holding Hutton, leaned down and kissed his cheek and thought "I'm doing this for you."
In the car my eyes welled up with tears and I asked Collin, "what if this makes me loose a baby?" "What if I get cervical cancer?" He tried to comfort me by saying neither were going to happen, which only slightly helped. So I turned up the radio and tried to thump the nasty thoughts out of my mind.
After being escorted into Procedure Room B the nurse took my blood pressure and asked if I had any questions. In the reading I've done it has only said that electric currents are passed through a wire loop to remove the abnormal cells. I thought that meant that in essence the cells were being burned off. That was incorrect. The wire loop instead acts as a scalpel, actually cutting off and removing the part of your cervix with the abnormal cells. She told me to think of my cervix as a donut, they were basically going to remove a piece of the top layer. She then showed me a little cup and said, it will be small enough to float in here. And of course, I asked if I could take a picture.
There are a few other procedures that can be used to treat the abnormal cells but because my results were CIN 3 - severe dysplasia they needed to actually remove the tissue. The good news is because we have actually removed it hopefully the abnormal cells won't come back. Obviously nothing is for sure.
When the doctor came in the room he explained everything to me again. The abnormal pap that led to the biopsy, the biopsy results that led to this. He said because the biopsy came back reporting severe dysplasia I had to do this, I had to have these cells removed, there was no choice.
We talked at length about future pregnancies, about the risks from this procedure and he basically said that assuming all heals okay we could start trying again in about a month (we have no intentions of actually doing that, but the point is we don't have to wait for some certain amount of time). From what I understand this procedure doesn't necessarily increase my risks of having an early (first trimester) miscarriage, but it could increase the risk of having a miscarriage in the fourth or fifth month. I asked if there was anything I could do during the pregnancy to prevent this and he basically said no. They could check the cervix with an ultrasound one day, all could look fine, and it could decide to open the next.
His advice to me, which is the same piece of advice my old boss used to always tell me, was not to worry about what I can't control.
Of course you know I'm still going to worry.
After my feet were in the stirrups, the speculum inserted, and my cervix locked in place he used local anesthesia to numb the area. Before the loop was inserted he told me "now it is very important once this is inserted not to move because I've only numbed the area that will be removed." With that I took a deep breath and froze. Hell if I was going to even let that breath out, worried any slight twinge might cause the loop to knick a part of my un-numbed cervix.
Within, I don't know, seconds? he said "okay, we're done." And they lifted the plier looking thing that held a piece of my cervix up for me to see:
With that my doc said "wait, she wants a picture!"
(I have to be honest with you, the piece of tissue was larger than both Collin and I were expecting.)
After the removal was complete he cauterized the area. This was done for two purposes: 1) To burn off any remaining abnormal cells that they might have missed around the outside edges and 2) to prevent/stop heavy bleeding.
This was the worst part of the procedure to me. It wasn't necessarily painful, but it felt funny, I had some cramping, and it felt like it took awhile (though in actuality the whole thing only took 5-10 minutes). I didn't realize it at the time but Collin also said that the machine was pretty loud.
The nurse that brought me to the room and answered my initial questions suggested I take ibuprofen right away, before the doctor even came in. So by the time we left it had already kicked in and pain wise I felt better than I did after the biopsy. That doesn't mean I'm not gimp walking, but it didn't reduce me to tears, like the biopsy. It probably also helped that Collin was with me. But... now that I think of it... I did kinda snap at him as we were getting in the car and whimpered "Why can't you just be nice to me?!" when he tried to crack a joke, so maybe I was a little on edge.
Although that whimpering worked to my advantage as Collin took me through the Starbucks drive through for a Pumpkin Spice Latte on the way home - so if you ever have to have a LEEP I'd highly suggest the post-procedure whimper. I mean, if you like Starbucks.
We're home now and I'm camped out on the couch. I'm not in unbearable pain but it does feel better to just kinda sit here. So Mom's outside playing with Keaton, Collin's working on the basement, and Hutt's laying on the couch next to me - everyone is pretty happy!
(Look at the way he is holding his nuk. I love this kid.)
I go back in four weeks for a follow-up to make sure everything has healed correctly and will have a pap every six months until I have three normal results.
Thank you all for the prayers, emails, phone calls, etc. I appreciate your support more than I could ever express!