Three Years Later: Why I Don’t Need A Pap Exam


 

1229901_10201978039596473_1723513794_n
Super Stann:  Kicking Cancer’s Ass for the past 3 years

Thanks to Facebook, I was reminded the other day that it has been 3 years since I was diagnosed with uterine cancer.  Gee thanks Facebook?  But yasssssss!  3 years and counting CANCER FREE!!  The funny thing was this memory came right on the same day that I had my duck lip exam.  Yes, I still have to have an exam yearly because I still have my ovaries and I need my annual boobie squish.  But guess what I don’t need?  A pap exam.  And guess who just could not grasp that concept?  The medical assistant in the doctor’s office.  Seriously.

In case you aren’t aware, the pap exam is where us women get the oh so wonderful experience of having not only the duck lips inserted and cranking you open like you are on display, but then you get to get cells scraped off your cervix to be examined.  Guys, let us just say it would be akin to someone sticking something up your penis to scrape cells off of it.  There.  Does that give you a good visual? It is not pleasant and most of us dread this part of the exam.  The best thing about having had a hysterectomy three years ago?  I have no baby box.  My uterus and cervix were removed and so I don’t have to worry about things like pap smears or getting pregnant any more.  My exams just involve a quick look and feel by the doctor and I am sent on my merry way. Simple and easy.  Until this appointment.  This one was so not simple.

I sat and filled out the paper that they make you fill out every time about why you are there and all that business and then I got called to the back for my appointment.  The part I hate the most is the damn scale.  Why does the scale in the doctor’s office always weigh you heavier.  I swear I wanted to tell them that to make women feel better, they should weigh us once we get all naked with our little gowns and drapes on.  I mean then I wouldn’t feel like I had gained like 25 pounds with my jeans, shoes and purse on.  After making me feel like a giant cow by weighing me, I went into the exam room where the confusion about me needing a pap exam started.  The Medical Assistant (MA) asked me when my last pap smear was and I answered 3 years ago before my hysterectomy.  She looked concerned , made some notes in my chart and turned to me and remarked how long it had been.  Yup.  Because I had a hysterectomy.  I figured maybe she didn’t hear me or look at my paper that I filled out that said I had one, so I just nodded. She continued to prep me with things like blood pressure and the like while still asking me questions and filling out things in the computer.  Then this occurred:

MA:  “Since it has been three years since your last pap exam, I am going to set one up because you will need one.”

Me:  “No, I don’t need a pap exam.  I had a hysterectomy.”

MA (emphatically and now speaking to me like I am stupid):  “Yes, but it has been three years since your last one so the Doctor is going to want one. That is part of your well woman exam.”

Me with raised eyebrows:  “Yes, I am quite aware that it is part of the well woman exam.  I don’t need one because I had a hysterectomy three years ago.”

MA (insistent):  “I don’t think you understand what a pap smear is so I am just going to set it all up because you NEED one.  It has been three years.  We check for cancer with these you know.”

Me (uber frustrated):  “Yes, I am a nurse so I completely understand why you do a pap smear.  I. Had. A. Hysterectomy.  You know, where they remove your uterus and cervix? No need for a pap smear.”

MA (utterly confused by my words): “If you are a nurse, then you should understand how important a pap smear is and why the doctor will want one. What if you have cancer?”

Me (with the are you freaking kidding me look on my face):  “Been there. Done that.  I really do not need a pap smear ok?”

MA (shaking her head and sighing a little):  “So let me get this straight.  You don’t want a pap smear because you had a hysterectomy?  You know you could have cancer and this test will detect it and you still don’t want one.  So you are refusing a pap smear?”

Me (Done.  So done.):  “Yup.  That’s it.  I refuse.  You can tell her that yourself.  That I refuse because I had a hysterectomy, ok?  Use those exact words for me too.”

MA:  “Ok I will.  Just so you know the risks about not getting one.  I will tell her you refused the pap smear because you had a hysterectomy and don’t feel you need one.  Now, I see here you don’t use birth control.  Why not?”

Face Palm.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did however realize that maybe not everyone knows exactly what a hysterectomy entails (a medical assistant should though) but I didn’t die. I am Fat Girl Super Stann still kicking cancer’s ass Running.  The experiment continues…

The Worst Superpower Ever


Apparently, there is actually a Superhero day in April.  Who knew?  I feel like that every day now has something associated with it, but Superhero day?  That seems weird to me. Why do we need to have special days for everything?  I remember when it was just things like Mother’s day and the holidays.  Now we have Left-hander’s Day, Sibling day and all sorts of weird things, like Superhero day. Don’t get me wrong…BFF and I are HUGE Superhero fans.  I mean, come on.  We dressed as Wonder Woman and Robin for Halloween.  But to have a whole day especially dedicated?  Nah.  We don’t need that.   This weird day though did lead me to think about a conversation BFF, Bubby, Pocket Fiance and I had about superpowers.  We were trying to think about what would be the absolute worst superpower to have if you were to be given one.  I mean we always ask people what superpower they would like to have and you are always granted with the answers of invisibility, flight, mind reading, etc.  But what would you consider the worst superpower?  Would it be not being able to lie?  Hmmmmm.  We were all thinking about this question when Pocket Fiance came up with the what we considered to be the worst superpower…the power of the vinegar smell.

Picture it.  You are in the car with your friends driving to a fun night out.  You see a robbery taking place and your friends yell at you to use your superpower to stop the crime.  You get so freaked out you release your superpower in the car. Vinegar smell.  In a small enclosed space. Way to be. Now everyone in the car smells like a giant douche and the robber is free.  Awesome.  How are you supposed to stop a robbery with your super power?  Are you supposed to overpower the robber with your acidic smell?  I mean, some people hate that smell, but maybe someone would be repelled enough by your smell to run away and forget the robbery. Or maybe they would decide to stop and make a salad or clean out their vagina if they are a girl.  Great.  So now you are the superhero that cleans out vaginas. Does this mean your name will be Vagina-Cleaning Man?  Supersalad?  Fermentation Woman? I mean the possibilities on your name are endless but most of them are not so great.

Can you imagine how annoyed all your friends will be when you release your superpower in such a small space?  Too small a space to bring that smell my friend!  Release that acid smell in the wild!  At least if you are going to release that smell, give people a warning!  Yell “vinegar smell” and do some sort of little dance so we know you are doing that.  It would be almost as bad as a person who lets out egg farts without a warning.  At least roll the windows down and say you are sorry.  Geez Fermentation Woman…way to ruin a nice car ride.  Or there you are at a party and someone asks you to show off your superpower.  Doing your vinegar smell dance and hanging your head in shame, you have now cleared the entire room.  I guess if you really wanted to have a one person party that is a good idea.  It is not like you can leap tall buildings, fly through the sky, hear conversations miles away or cut things in half with your laser eyes.  Although, if I were a criminal and I saw Vagina-Cleaning Man coming toward me, I would drop what I was doing and run the other way.  Why?  Because I don’t want to be that criminal in jail that smells like a giant salad.  The other criminals are gonna know who caught me just by the distinct smell.   I would get laughed at in prison and be made somebody’s love slave because I was the one caught by the vinegar smell of Vagina-Cleaning Man.  My family would be shamed when they came to see me because I am sporting new drawn on scary eyebrows and cornrows in my hair and a brand new home-made tattoo.  Nope.  I am running if Vagina-Cleaning Man comes to bust me.  I am outta there.

I think Pocket Fiance hit the nail on the head with the worst superpower ever of vinegar smell.  No amounts of cute dancing and warning can make that superpower tolerable. With this superpower you will never be as cool as Batman.  Lame.  Totally lame.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did realize how lame having the superpower of releasing vinegar smell would be and how I wouldn’t want to be caught by Vagina-Cleaning Man but I didn’t die.  I am Fat Girl not wanting to be someone’s prison love slave and sporting a new tattoo due to my life of crime Running.  The experiment continues…

 

I Believe I Can Fly and SURPRISE!!


Sometimes you discover new things about yourself through an event in your life.  It can be a minor event or a major one, or it can be a brief moment in time.  This is what happened to me when we went to Disneyland this past weekend for our annual We Hate Football So Who Cares About the Superbowl Trip.  In one fleeting moment, I discovered I was a superhero and could fly.

This trip was with Bubby and Pocket Fiance because of all the Star Wars: Seasons of the Force special stuff Disneyland has going on right now, so four little Geeks decided to make sure we got to see all the Star Wars things that were going on.  This included a special exhibit over in one of the buildings that contained props, movie clips, merchandise, and even photos with two characters from the movie.  We were super excited.  We could have spent a long time in this exhibit.  But one thing stopped us…the fullness of our bladders.  In the middle of meeting characters and looking at all things geeky, the girls all had to use the restroom.  So we went out to find the closest one to where we were located.  As we left the building, we had a conversation:

Me:  “Where is the nearest restroom anyways?”

BFF:  “I think by Space Mountain.  We are gonna have to sprint because I have to pee that bad.”

Disney Cast Member:  “Are you looking for the closest restroom?”

BFF:  “Yeah…by Space Mountain is the closest one.”

Disney Cast Member:  “You would be wrong.  There is one right around the corner.”

BFF:  “It’s like a secret restroom!  Score!” (she might have done a little dance or was just trying not to pee her pants)

As we walked down the steps to turn the corner, I stepped to avoid an older couple coming up the stairs.  As I did so, somehow, my right foot rolled underneath me.  And not just turned wrong.  It felt as though it turned completely backward and upside down.  I was waiting to hear a crack as I stumbled and tried to stay upright.  The pavement was coming straight for my head and all I could think was that I was going to face plant on the cement stairs and tumble down them, thereby ending our vacation as I would have suffered a severe head injury and broken bones.  I grabbed the banister as I flew through the air, did a pirouette type move, and might have remained airborne for a few moments.  I also might have thought “I CAN fly!” as I stumbled and tried to stay upright.  I heard Pocket Fiance gasp and say “OH NO!” and I heard BFF sharply intake her breath.  I stumbled through the air and down the stairs and somehow, I landed on both feet, a few stair steps down from where I started.  I turned and looked up at Pocket Fiance and BFF and saw the horror on their faces and the Cast Member starting towards me, so I looked down and saw my foot was still attached to my leg and was turned the correct way.  Whew.  It was still attached.  That would have been so gross if my foot was not attached to my body anymore or turned the wrong way like I had thought.  That would have put a damper on our vacation and might have turned Disneyland’s Star Wars exhibit into a real bloody battlefield.  Pretty sure I might have given the Cast Member who witnessed my flight a heart attack as well.  That would have been a mountain of paperwork for her.

I quickly tested out the ankle and even though it hurt, I was able to walk.   I have never seen people rush towards me so fast ever, as I was walking gingerly on my ankle towards the secret restroom. BFF and Pocket Fiance got on either side of me and BFF checked me out with her nursing skills.  She agreed my foot was still attached and she could not believe it.  I guess from where they were located behind me, it really did look like I flew through the air.  BFF told me she she actually thought I had broken not only my ankle, but also my leg and wanted to know how the hell I was still walking.  I had no idea.  I should have broken at least my ankle.  I should have fallen head first down cement stairs and gotten a head injury.  Instead, I was able to walk to the restroom…thank goodness.  My ankle was slightly tender the rest of the day, but strangely enough, there was no swelling or bruising.  Huh.  I guess I did fly for a few moments.  Also, all my classical ballet training must have come in handy.  Yippee for flexible joints!

One last thing….I met with Boss Bean while I was there and guess what?  Son of Sofa comes out on Sunday!!!  SURPRISE!!  Yes!  Valentine’s Day!  The perfect gift for that person in your life or you tell your sweetie that it will be here just in time!  No joke… it will finally be here for you all to read to your heart’s content.  I super hope all my readers love it and share the love.  Boss Bean told BFF and I that people were emailing her asking about when it is going to release and that also thrills me to no end.  This mean you all are just as excited as myself.  Feel free to download and share the graphic with everyone you know.  And feel free to share with me when you get your copy!  Post photos on my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram and Twitter!  I want to see you with my book!!  Whoot Whoot!

12666421_10153855410469242_499602710_n

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  Instead, I discovered that I could fly and that I am super glad I was a ballerina in a past life but I didn’t die (or break anything either).  I am Fat Girl believing I can fly with a book coming out on Sunday Running.  The experiment continues….

 

Super Stann Kicks Cancer’s Ass!


Super Stann’s story continues….she showed up three weeks ago prepared to kick some cancer butt and boy did she ever.  Pink cape on and Uterus of Justice in hand, she kicked cancer’s ass!  It has been a long three weeks since I went in for my hysterectomy, but I have this to report:  I AM CANCER FREE!!  Yup.  You heard me scream that loudly!  The cancer was completely contained to the lining of my uterus and did not extend into my muscles, tubes, ovaries or anywhere else so I am in the clear!  I about hugged my surgeon when she reported it to me and BFF and tears were shed over it.  Thanks to all who gave me positive thoughts, prayers, good ju-ju, wishes and hopes.  I am blessed to have some wonderous family, friends and readers.  So let me fill you in on my journey the last three weeks.

The morning of surgery, BFF took me in and graciously put up with my nervous babbling and a couple of tears as we waited for anesthesia and my surgeon to finish up a c-section.  One good thing about having surgery in the facility where you work…I actually had nurses fighting to be in the OR with me and take care of me.  My surgeon was even instructed by the labor nurses to take good care of me and get it all out with surgery.  I don’t remember a whole lot of what happened after I was given the lovely versed cocktail, except for my surgeon laughingly telling me that I had already shave prepped for her…of course I did.  I couldn’t go into surgery with howler monkeys swinging around down there in my jungle of girly parts.  I wanted her to see what she was doing!  After surgery, I was wheeled up to BFF’s floor and doted on by some wonderful nurses and techs up there.  They even decorated my room.  Here is what was awaiting me in my drug induced haze:

20131014_144515
Seriously I love my friends…without their sense of humor and love I could not have done this.  Some of the messages on this bear are not the most appropriate and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
20131014_144421
Notice the “no uterus” medical picture…I think Hallmark could use this as a greeting card

The first day in the hospital was not a fun one for me…let’s just say my worst fear as a nurse and my friend K’s as well, who took care if me, is vomit.  I made all those fears come true for her and me.  I have a wonderful BFF and some wonderful friends who took care of me  while I barfed my guts out while sobbing for HOURS.  I felt like kaka to say the least.  And barfing after abdominal surgery is NOT a fun experience.  I publicly apologize to poor K for making her worst fears come true.  It was truly not on my agenda for the day.  Poor BFF had worked the night before my surgery and still took care of me.  The next couple of days is filled with drug induced memories of people visiting me, the nurses discussing my urine output, feeling like a giant pile of elephant poop and just wanting to get home.  In fact the first week, I pretty much felt like a herd of wildebeests had trampled me in the abdomen and left me in the middle of the Serengeti to die.  I do not recommend abdominal surgery if you can avoid it.  Walking even to the corner of my street felt like freaking marathon.  I have spent a lot of time the last few weeks watching Who’s Your Daddy on Maury, weird movies on Netflix and surfing the internet for the best midget porn sites.  A girl has got to have some entertainment.  Guess I should clear my internet browser before letting someone borrow my laptop…

Here is one thing you would realize pretty quickly after having abdominal surgery:  what you ACTUALLY use those muscles for in your everyday life.  Getting in and out of bed, up and down off the couch, sneezing, coughing and the biggest one of them all…POOPING.  For goodness sake, I never knew how bowel obsessed I was until I couldn’t poop from all the pain killers and my muscles not cooperating.  I was miserable until I had my first poop and let me tell you I wanted to jump up and down but refrained because that also hurt.  Colace has become my friend ever since the hospital.  Seriously, you do not want to spend hours sitting on the toilet wishing to whatever God you pray to that you could poop.  When you can’t poop and need to, you actually contemplate how in the world you are gonna accomplish this feat.  It can consume you.  I am not kidding.  I was miserable.  Three weeks out, pooping is still a challenge to use those muscles but much easier I must report….was that TMI?  Oh well…I am a nurse after all.  And apparently, bowel obsessed.

I must thank my alter ego, Super Stann for kicking cancer’s ass…I never doubted I could do it, but there were a few tears shed with my BFF over the “what if”.  I must publicly thank all the nurses, techs, friends who lovingly brought me food and company, my BFF, Bubby and Pocket GF and my Momma for everything you all have done for me while I recover.  Words cannot express my gratitude…so I will let Natalie Merchant do it for me:

Oh yeah…I didn’t die today.  I felt like I might right after surgery but I didn’t die.  I am CANCER FREE Fat Girl who needs to go poop Running.  The experiment continues…

Super Stann vs The Big C


It was a dark and stormy night…wait….maybe just dark since it is almost midnight.  I am about to embark into turning into my alter ego, Super Stann, to fight the Big C tomorrow.  I have kept busy the last few days trying to prepare, even redecorated the craft dojo since Bubby finished all the painting in there.  To become Super Stann takes some prep work, but to fight a big battle like the Battle Against the Big C requires even more work to transform into the superhero I know I am.  So here I go…

First off, after cleaning my lair…AKA The Fortress of Attitude… I need to pack a bag to turn into Super Stann.  I mean I have to show up as a normal everyday patient, but I need some supplies.  Along with the normal slippers and jammies, I have to pack the essentials.  Pink Cape of Courage….check.  Uterus of Justice….check check.  The Uterus is my secret weapon that was sent to me by two of my friends.  One of them actually knitted me a new uterus and this one is cancer free.  Seriously, who makes someone else a new uterus?  My friends. That’s who.  Remember how awesome I said my friends were…this just proves it.  It is one of the funniest things I swear I have ever gotten in the mail…and I am pretty sure it is real uterus sized.  The Uterus of Justice can be used to throw at people and watch out….you never know who I might throw it at!  We even tossed it around the nurses station at work my last shift before I went out on leave.  Yup.  My friends rock.

1278775_10202061098512871_1923958558_o
My superhero accessories…see the Uterus of Justice there in the middle? Awesome friends I have…Thanks J and M!!

The next step in transforming into Super Stann in order to fight the Big C is to take a special shower that gets rid of the of all the microbes on my body.  I actually had to take a real shower and then coat my body in this special soap…twice…wait 2 minutes and then rinse off the soap.  I feel sanitized.  Oh…and I smell weird.  Like hospital weird.  I also must take one of these special superhero power enhancing showers in the morning.  Oh joy.  And did I mention, you then cannot use any lotions or deodorants.  Pretty sure I might need that second demicrobing shower in the morning.  I felt a little like Ethan Hawke in the movie Gattaca when he gets into that decontamination shower pod thingy to scrub his skin down.  I really did feel like I was in a sci-fi movie coating my body in this special weird soap that smells like antiseptic.  But, if it enhance my superhero powers, then more power to it.  I still smell weird.  Ninja Kitty doesn’t even want to sit with me.

So now, after guzzling a glass of water…because not eating and drinking now will also enhance my ability to fight….I am ready for the fight tomorrow.  I promise to get a picture of me wandering the halls in my Pink Cape of Courage.  After all, it will cover my flass in that oh so sexy hospital gown.  Here comes SUPER STANN!  I shall prevail against the Big C…of this I am sure.  It will not stand up to my powers!

Oh yeah…I didn’t die today.  I did, however, prepare myself for becoming my alter ego Super Stann in order to fight the Big C tomorrow!  I am Fat Girl with a Pink Cape of Courage and a Uterus of Justice running!  The experiment continues….

Sometimes Words Can Change Your Life or How I Learned I Have Mutant Powers


Words have an impact sometimes on your life that you had no idea they would have.  When you first hear I love you from the person you desperately want to hear it from.  When you hear that someone you love has died.  When you hear that you are pregnant.  When you hear you got a job.  When you hear you lost a job.  All these words have the ability to change your life in a way that is either good or bad.  Sometimes you have no idea how those words are going to affect you until you hear them.  Six weeks ago I heard three words that changed my life forever.  You have cancer.

When my doc spoke those words to me six weeks ago, I had no idea the impact they would have.  I went in for a routine follow-up from having a polyp removed from my uterus and did not expect those words to come out of her mouth.  I am pretty sure I heard nothing after those words were said.  In fact, not expecting her to say that, I think I might have sat there dumbfounded in my short little gown, sheet over my va-jay-jay, feeling completely shocked.  My doc even had to stop and ask me if I heard anything she said.  I looked at her and squeaked “I have cancer.”  That was all I could manage.  It felt so surreal then for her to go about doing a lady exam like she had not just told me that I had cancer and had to have surgery to remove the offending organ.  But let’s just stick our fingers up there to feel said offending organ and talk about my options like nothing had just occurred.  I felt like I was in someone else’s dream and expected to wake up at any point or to have a zebra run by in slow motion like in a dream sequence in a movie.  I walked out of there with an appointment to have surgery and disbelief on my face.  I immediately got into my car and called BFF because I knew she would understand about my uterus being inhospitable.  Yup.  It seems my uterus is an inhospitable place.  Well, according to BFF, it is hospitable to one thing…cancer.  Hey…it is not like I was using it or planning on using it anyways.  So out it comes…cancer and all.

I am not gonna lie and say I wasn’t upset about being told that I have cells that decided to mutate negatively.  I mean I was upset but then I got to thinking about the inhospitable environment my uterus has become and wondered how the hell those cells got there in the first place.  How did they mutate and do you think this means I now have mutant powers?  Wouldn’t that be cool?  I could be like my own superhero with the powers.  Maybe I could join the X-Men and wear a sparkly pink unitard with a cape and fight evil with my mutant uterus in my hand.  I could throw cancer cells at the bad guys randomly to defeat them.  Take that bad guys!  I can grow mutant uterine cells and you can’t mostly because you are bad guys and guys don’t have uteruses (or is it uteri?)!  Hi-Ya!  Feel the wrath of my mutant cells!  Take that stupid cancer!  Maybe my uterus could multiply like the cancer cells and then become a flaming ball of uterine cancer.  That would be rad.  I want to race Professor X’s wheelchair down the hallway and chase all the other mutants.  I wonder if they would let me fly the secret X-Men jet and if I could get Wolverine to use his cool claws to like open a bag of Skittles for me or something.  Then I would offer my new pal some and whisper all covertly to him “Taste the rainbow Wolverine”.  It would be the best day ever.

You might be wondering how I can be so cavalier about such a thing as cancer.  Well, why not?  We all have challenges in our lives and we have all had those moments when words change our lives, but I won’t let this freak me out.  I would rather let those words be fighting mutant words and let them change me that way.    We have the ability to decide how words will change us.  Only you can let words affect you.  This is just another hurdle for the Fat Girl to jump and jump I will.  With my mutant superpowers, unitard and cape on, uterus in hand ready to fight.  Just watch out…I am not sure of my jet flying ability.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did decide not to let words change my life negatively but rather keep on…well….running.  I am Fat Girl with a inhospitable mutant uterus but a sparkly pink unitard and cape running.  The experiment continues…