It has taken me weeks of editing to figure out exactly what I wanted to say in this post. 2018 has brought me some of the toughest struggles I have had to overcome so far. If you've followed my blog since the start, you already know that losing my job was just the beginning. Since then, although there has been positivity of course, it seems to have been the year of struggles back to back to back. Today, I'm here to open up to the internet about one of the biggest struggles I've had to deal with this year...
Back in February, shortly after I was wrongfully fired from my job, I was given another hurdle to overcome. At my annual women's health visit, I was diagnosed with HPV, or Human Papilloma Virus. Now first, I'd like to educate my readers by saying that yes, while HPV is technically a sexually transmitted infection, it is also so common that it affects over 80% of women at some point in their lives. At first, I didn't really understand what HPV was, and so I educated myself and now I am here to educate you. Quite possibly the most annoying thing about HPV is that it has little to no impact on men, but for women, it leads to cervical cancer if left untreated. Yet another thing that women get the shit end of the stick on... As if that isn't the worst of it, THERE IS NO TEST FOR MEN. You read that right, currently there is no test for men to diagnose whether or not they have HPV. So for all you male-readers out there, for the foreseeable future you will never know if you have HPV that you are spreading to women out there.. Typical.
Next, I would like to say that I am not embarrassed in the slightest to go on the internet and share my (literal) deepest viral struggles because to me, I'd rather educate other women before it's too late for them. I've had to endure some of the most painful procedures over the past six months that have made me very, very open about my diagnosis. While my journey to remain cancer-free is still a long way to go, I am optimistic about my future and keeping my health in check. Today, I want to take a moment to encourage all my female-readers to keep up with your annual exams. HPV is virtually undetected without a Pap and you could go months or years without ever knowing you are infected. If you do have HPV, stay on top of six month exams to ensure that you are monitoring the infection to prevent the pre-cancerous cells from turning into cancer. This is just one more hurdle of 2018 that I need to overcome, and I am on the road to do just that. To me, HPV doesn't make someone "dirty" or "infectious". It can happen to anyone, at any age.
Perhaps I should have gotten the Gardasil shot in my teens to help prevent HPV, but it is just that, a prevention. I know girls who have gotten the shot and still have gotten HPV. There is no cure, there is only prevention and monitoring. So for now, I just have to stay positive and monitor with six month check ups to make sure the infection remains an infection and doesn't develop further to become cervical cancer. For those of you reading that may have or have had HPV and understand what I am going through, thank you, and for those of you that don't, I hope you never have to. Be safe while having sex (sorry mom) and don't be ashamed of an HPV diagnosis because women are strong and that is why God made it so that HPV affects us and not men. Together we can pray for a day that HPV will have a cure, but until then, women can fight this, one cervix at a time.
Author - mallory
I've always lived a wild life, so here I am to document it for the world... be ready for some fun adventures, xoxo.