Sharing a positive experience (because there aren’t enough of them on the internet)

Dr. google

Image credit to KCLR96FM News & Sport

So I admit it, I seek medical advice from Dr. Google. I like to prepare myself mentally before going into any medical procedure. I spend countless hours searching. And even after listening to close friends telling me not to worry, I keep searching. I need to know the worse-case scenario.

Why do I torture myself? The unknown can be scary.

It’s not always wise to look for answers on the internet. Not all sources have accurate information and you can’t trust everything you read. But when it comes to people sharing their experiences with medical procedures on the internet, I find that there are a lot more bad experiences shared than good experiences. I sometimes feel the internet was created so people can complain about everything they are unhappy about. We should share our positive experiences too.

If you recall from one of my previous posts, I decided to go for a second opinion after being told by my onco hospital that I did not need yearly pap smears. Sure enough, after receiving an abnormal pap result early this month, my GYN told me I needed to get a colposcopy to rule out cervical cancer. I felt scared.

I got my colposcopy done yesterday. Going in, I was terrified. I was scared because I did too much reading on the internet about other people’s experiences. Based on that reading, I was expecting this procedure to be painful. I was expecting to faint or throw up, because that’s how I react to pain.

I am happy to report that the procedure was a painless experience. My GYN used iodine to numb my cervix, which I highly recommend if your doctor is performing biopsies. I also took an Advil and an Ativan prior to the procedure. Even if your doctor isn’t performing a biopsy, the procedure itself is just a little uncomfortable, like getting a pap smear without the swab.

The ironic thing — a lesson I wish I would learn for the future — is that my obsessing about the procedure for two weeks online created much more pain and anxiety for me than the procedure did.

As it turned out, my GYN saw some minor spots. Then she took some biopsies from those areas in question. She also performed an endocervical curettage (ECC) to be thorough, because she is just wonderful in that way. ECC is a procedure in which the cervical canal is scraped to test for abnormal, precancerous conditions, or cervical cancer.

I am expecting to receive the results in two weeks, maybe sooner. I have scheduled an appt. to see a GYN oncologist at MSKCC. He specializes in uterine, cervical and ovarian cancers. I may not have cervical cancer but if further treatment is needed for me, he will take over the case from that moment on. I also want to speak to him about the possibility of doing a hysterectomy. Sounds drastic, I know. But, to be honest, I am tired. I already have the anxiety of getting frequently checked for my breast cancer.

I need to understand what getting these results mean for my health moving forward. Do I need to be monitored more frequently for this too? I also need to understand what my risks are if I decide to keep all my reproductive organs. I want a child but I am scared of facing a gynecological cancer. So here I am again, needing to make important big decisions. Who said we’re ever done with cancer?

We all know what the worst part of all of this is, right?

THE WAIT.

I will be sure to update you all about what challenges I may be facing next.

Now, let me go back to why sharing our positive stories is so important. I am sure there are thousands of those good stories out there but no one seems to spend time writing about them on the internet because most people want to move on after learning they are OK. But I think it is so important to share these good stories too. These are the stories that encourage people to keep going. They bring us hope. So I encourage you, if you have a good story to tell about a medical procedure you experienced, please share it. Go online and look to see who is scared out of their mind wanting to know about other people’s experiences and connect with that person.

The same goes for illnesses such as cancer. If you have a good story to share, please do so.

I had an idea today: I think there should be a website dedicated to only good experiences people have with medical procedures. You can go in and share your story so when others come visit that website, they can read them. The stories can be categorized by procedure type. This can help people with their anxiety and know they are not alone. Does this already exist?

Knowing myself, even if such a site existed, I would still search for worst-case scenarios through Dr. Google.

About thesmallc

I'm Rebeca. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32. But there's more to my story: I am an animal lover. I love to cook. I have a wonderful fiancé who doesn't mind walking my rocky path with me. We currently live in New York. ---------------------------------------- “Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'.” ― Viktor E. Frankl
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17 Responses to Sharing a positive experience (because there aren’t enough of them on the internet)

  1. Carrie says:

    I’m glad you got your colonoscopy today. I wish you didn’t have to wait for so long for the results. Waiting is the worst. But….in the spirit of your post, I will share a positive experience.
    I have always been terrified of surgery and always feared that I would be one of those people who they put under but still felt everything. So when I heard that the surgery where they insert my port was a semi-conscious one, I flipped out. FLIPPED OUT!!!! I couldn’t bare the thought of hearing everything and possibly feeling everything.
    Well, let me tell you…I’ve never done drugs but I could get used to whatever anesthetic they used on me that day. It was so divine that in the middle of my surgery I asked for more!!!! I didn’t want my surgery to end!!! Is that weird?
    I psyched myself out for nothing. I wish I had a permanent attachment in my port with whatever it is that they gave me. Surgery (the part where you under) is awesome!!!!!

    • thesmallc says:

      Carrie, what I got was a colposcopy. I know both words are so similar. I did get a colonoscopy after I finished my treatments. That wasn’t bad either — wasn’t awake for that one — but the prep sucked.

      I had the same fear you had about surgery! I was afraid I would wake up in the middle of the procedure or that I would feel everything that was been done to me. My lumpectomy was my first surgery but when I got the re-excision, it was so much better for me. I felt more confident. And I agree with you about those drugs! I still remember how I acted after waking up — I told everyone I loved them in a very drunky-way. I am glad your experience was not bad.

      I did not get a port for my chemo. Thank God I didn’t experience any accidents with AC.

      By the way, if I could have a drastic career change, it would be to become an anesthesiologist.

  2. Kimberly says:

    Yeah…I can’t Google stuff any more. Worst case stuff is all that comes up it seems. Keeping you in my thoughts for all good test results. xx

    • thesmallc says:

      Kim, I can’t deal well with the unknown so I force myself to look for “answers.” I need to keep reminding myself that we are all unique and experience things differently but I am just saying that now. Until the next procedure. Thank you for your kind wishes. xoxo

  3. Amanda says:

    I never google or read anything about what could be or might be. Thankfully I have this thing in me where I just prefer not to know ‘what could be’. I only what to know ‘what is’ and I get that from my surgeon or oncologist or doctor. My other half on the other hand reads everything he can possibly find.
    I hate that you have to wait so long for your results but we’ll all be here for you when they come through xx

    • thesmallc says:

      Good for you, Amanda! I think this works for some people. I kind of wish I had that too. I just make myself sick by reading things that may not even apply to me.

      I hate that I have to wait this long too, especially because our summer is short in NY and I want to enjoy what’s left of it. I will call next week though, perhaps they’ll have my results then. xo

  4. Poly batista says:

    Está experiencia es única pero Dios tiwnw control de todos.

  5. Poly batista says:

    Yo, la Luz, he venido al mundo, para que todo el que cree en Mí no permanezca en tinieblas.
    Juan 12:46

    No te alegres de mí, enemiga mía. Aunque caiga, me levantaré, Aunque more en tinieblas, el SEÑOR es mi luz.
    Miqueas 7:8

  6. Thanks for sharing. Throughout my journey, one of lessons learned was to avoid over-information. Yes, be informed and make joint decisions, well as best to your individual capacity, however, do not become stuck in a prognosis. Instead, be inspired and fulfil your life, and a means to achieving that would be the sharing of stories. Often, I watch YouTube clips to get a little excited 🙂

    • thesmallc says:

      I wish I can do that. I love information but I also see your point. Knowing too much sometimes can affect us. I like youtube clips too! There is so much to do to distract ourselves, you’re right.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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