Both my "advanced maternal age" coupled with my cancer history have contributed to this pregnancy being classified as high risk. I don't mind the designation because it simply means that I have quicker access to the doctors and nurses. However, I do resent the diagnosis of "advanced maternal age." I just don't feel that old!
Because of my age, I have to go through a series of what I have dubbed to be "old lady tests." I am still in my first trimester, yet we've already had two sonograms. This baby is going to have quite a few pages filled in his or her scrapbook by the time of delivery.
Last week during my routine check-up the doctor discovered a small polyp on my cervix. Flashing back to my nightmare with cervical cancer, I immediately began to conjure worst case scenarios. My doctor remained calm and explained that these growths are not uncommon, especially during pregnancy. She took a small section of the polyp, in addition to my regular pap test, and advised me to relax, assuring me that there is no cause for alarm.
I am a worrier by nature, but I did a fairly good job of keeping perspective over the weekend. By the time Monday rolled around, I was busy with work and had managed to push the growth completely out of my mind. A message left on my cell phone created a tidal wave of panic.
I was dumbfounded, quickly followed by petrified, when I listened to the message asking me to call my doctor immediately to discuss some test results. The nurse ended by stating that they needed to talk to me because "it is an emergency." My heart began to race as I melted into a full-fledged meltdown.
Trying to keep my voice steady and calm, I called my doctor. It turns that the polyp which was biopsied contained a cluster of abnormal cells. The fact that the rest of my pap was normal is a good sign, but the doctor wanted me to now that they will be keeping a close eye on the situation throughout the pregnancy. The news took my breathe away.
After logging onto my Hotspot Shield VPN (after all, I'm sure that "pregnant amputee" would garner all sorts of unsavory attention) I set about researching for several hours, I began to calm down and put the situation into perspective. Although they discovered a cluster of abnormal cells, they are not cancer. I have to keep reminding myself of this because it is easy for me to jump to the worst case scenario. Finding abnormal cells is better than having them remain undetected, and I am receiving great medical care.