My time being gone when I was seventeen and fleetingly living with a man who the first night raped me left a physical consequence in that I contracted HPV which is also known as the Human Papillomavirus. Once I'd returned home and during a check up that involved a multitude of tests at my gynecologist's office the HPV showed up during a routine pap smear. Honestly, I was thankful to God that HPV was the only thing I contracted as it could have been much worse. My gynecologist told me I had to be vigilant in my check ups to ensure early detection of cervical cancer that is caused by HPV. I followed her advice and every year I made sure I followed through with regular pap smears.
Eighteen years later - February 2012
A routine pap smear in December 2011 at my gynecologist’s office came back abnormal which prompted my doctor to do a biopsy the following February... the results unfortunately showing pre-cancer cells. I knew my doctor was doing everything she could to look out for me and that early detection was key in preventing full-blown cancer. I had also done quite a bit of reading up on HPV and knew the statistics.
3, 909 women
died in the United States
from cervical cancer in
You don't have to have sex to contract HPV. Just coming in contact intimately skin to skin is enough to get it. A woman giving oral sex to a male who is infected with HPV means she has now infected her throat with it and is at risk for throat cancer. With infidelity rates sky-high in today’s society even young brides need to be immunized with Gardasil to protect themselves. For teen girls who naively believe oral sex in the back seat of their boyfriend's vehicles is a safe alternative to pre-marital sex they are gravely mistaken and the health risk of contracting mouth cancer is still there for males who give oral sex. Now, thankfully the HPV preventative vaccine is available to young men as well.
Typically in the past over the years since my diagnosis I hadn’t worried too much about getting cervical cancer, as I was very diligent about always going to my yearly check ups. Of course with anything it lingers in the back of your mind as a dark possibility. But now with this impending surgery… my violation was fresh in my mind. It was in my face, what he had done and there was no escaping it or shoving it under the rug. I began praying fervently for God to help me and not only that the surgery would go well but it would eliminate any future issues. I did something I'd chronically struggled with doing in the past... I asked for help. I couldn’t do this on my own. I needed support and I needed God. In turning to my friends I asked for their prayers. The outpouring of prayers, support, cards, flowers, and their messages with kind words was awe-inspiring.
The day of the surgery my husband took off work early and drove me. Once there, I was uncharacteristically calm and collected as I paid my portion, signed the necessary papers including waivers of risks involved such as infection or hemorrhaging and took a seat in the plush waiting room nestled in a burgundy upholstered wing chair to await my name called. I casually flipped through a Stella & Dot jewelry catalog as my husband fidgeted nervously on his cell phone. My husband commented how for once I seemed less anxious than him. That thought was hilarious to me and I laughed, appreciating the moment. Once tucked away in the surgery room an hour or so later wearing a paper gown as I watched the nurses finish setting up equipment, anesthesia and various surgical tools on a tray, I wavered. The room seemed to sway slightly and I felt a wave of nausea come over me. The enormity of what I was still being reminded of almost twenty years later hit me like a ton of bricks. My eyes watered but I firmly reminded myself that I had multitudes of people praying for me, that all was in God’s hands and He was looking out for me.
I knew God had this.
It was exactly one week later I received the phone call. Pulling over in my SUV as my cell began ringing I grabbed it off the leather passenger seat answering it. It was my gynecologist’s office. They had my results. I held my breath as the nurse spoke, quickly delivering the good news in a upbeat spiel. Everything they had removed had clean edges. They had removed everything bad. I was fine. I’d have a follow-up check up every three months for the following year. I thanked her and we said goodbye. A flood of relief washed over me and I profusely thanked God.
Once again God had intervened.
Once again He
had responded to prayer.
Once again He had prevailed.
Once again He had given healing.
God's love was greater (>) than
any reminder of my rapist.
His love never fails.
For more information on the facts about HPV click the link below:
image "Doctor Using A Digital Tablet” by Naypong“Doctor Using A Digital Tablet”
by Naypong via FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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