More Interesting Mail

So, the letter we received from the cemetery is no longer the only piece of disturbing mail I have received since this began.  This past Friday, I cracked open the umpteenth envelope from Cleveland Clinic to fall through my mail slot the past couple weeks.  It was from the gynecologist's office.  The same gynecologist who saw this tumor with her own eyeballs during my exam and rushed me to the oncologist that ultimately diagnosed me with cancer.  Here's what the letter said:


Dear Ms. Nelson:


This letter is to inform you that your PAP done on 11/1/11 was normal.


Yeah.  You read that right.  My PAP results came back NORMAL.  And just in case you don't know exactly what a pap smear is, Webster's defines it as: a method for the early detection of cancer, especially of the cervix, that involves the staining of exfoliated cells using a special technique which differentiates diseased tissue. In other words, the doc scrapes some cells off your cervix and they test them.  For cervical cancer.  And my test came back normal.  But I have cervical cancer.

Wait, WHAT?

Brings up some questions, doesn't it?  My first question is: Did I have cancer 7 months ago, then, at the time of my last "normal" pap smear?  And I guess my next question is... Do these things work at all??

My mum told me a story about how her gynecologist learned that she saved a woman's life by doing a particularly "indelicate" pap smear years ago that did find ovarian cancer early enough to cure.  She told my mum that ever since then, she is never "gentle" when doing a pap.  I have to wonder, were the doctors doing my paps being too delicate?  Did the tests just not work because of how much I was bleeding?  I don't know.  I will probably never know.

I plan to ask the doctor about this during my appointment tomorrow.  I'll let you know what I find out.

Xxo, Phoebe

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