CSN Login
Members Online: 9

You are here

Abnormal Pap smear on my 2nd post chemo check up

Annabella Rose's picture
Annabella Rose
Posts: 59
Joined: Jan 2015

It's been a year since my chemo and radiation treatments ended in or about Feburary or March. I had a good first post treatment check up and Pap smear but last month for my second checkup and pap smear, I just got a letter saying to call his office because the Pap smear was abnormal and further action is required. I'm very upset right now. Does anyone have any encouraging words to help me through the night?

I have to wait till morning to call the office. I didn't get the mail until tonight.

Right along with the Christmas cards this letter from hell!

I can't even think about another internal or Pap smear because the last one hurt So bad! I asked him why It still bursts so bad inside my virgina and he said he didn't know but to him everything looked good inside and out and that should make me happy. But Now I'm wondering if the pain I had since the radiation is from cancer coming back. Why else would my Pap smear be abnormal? Scared!

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

It is not unusual to get an abnormal PAP smear.  It is not always cancer. There can be other reasons for it to come back that way.  I know you are worried, that is so natural, but don't panic.  Maybe this will give you a reason or why you have been having so much pain.  There could be something that your dr. couldn't see  that is the cause of the pain.  

Hugs and prayers coming your way. Lou Ann

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2827
Joined: Jun 2010

I know you're worried, but I would think if they were really worried, they would have at least called - not send a flippin' letter!  That's just not even nice.  Give them a piece of your mind whenever you get in touch with them.  Try to take one day at a time and please please let us know as soon as you touch base with them.  As LouAnn says, Pap smears can be abnormal for many reasons.  And besides, I've heard they aren't very reliable in picking up a recurrence.   I know your mind travels to the dark side because mine would too.   It's just been too recent that you endured chemo and radiation - all to fresh in your mind. 

Best,

Suzanne

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 1471
Joined: Jun 2012

abnormal paps since treatment.  Doc not concerned.  They explained it to my satisfaction.  Try not to worry.  I agree with Suzanne that they could and should handle it better.  You tell them.

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1645
Joined: Jun 2015

I don't have experience with that (yet!). Still going through treatments.

However, I wanted to tell you something that my radiation oncologist is going to do for me. I will be having 5 brachytherapies starting mid-January. And, since I have painful penetration issues, he is going to numb my vaginal entry and walls with lidocaine before he does anything. Not sure if you remember, but I'm the one that uses Orajel for "personal" numbing.  My point is, if you have to get another exam, you can use a Q-Tip and apply Orajel right before your exam. I promise it will help. Or, ask your doctor to do the Lidocaine (or get some yourself.) Lidocaine takes a while to work so you would need to put it on in advance if you do it yourself.  Orajel works in a minute but doesn't last long so needs to be done right before. Can you tell I have done this a few times?!!! 

I hope you were able to get some sleep. Cancer after-life is a challenge for us. I find myself wondering about every new pain these days and work to dismiss it before it takes over. Hopefully you will get good news and this will be yet another needless scare.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1981
Joined: Nov 2009

Dear Annabella:

It is not unusual that you got an abnormal pap smear especially since you have had radiation.    For one year, I got two back to back abnormal pap smears and they weren't too concerned about it.  This was just last year and many years after my treatment!    Your radiologist/onc will tell you that this happens.

Other reasons to get abnormal pap smears besides having radiation treatment is if you use any type of vaginal creams 48 hours prior to your pap smear.

I know how upsetting this can be when something says abnormal 

Hang in there!

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 1471
Joined: Jun 2012

your abnormal paps turned out to not be a problem.  Forgot to mention that after the 2 abnormals, mine has been ok.

Annabella Rose's picture
Annabella Rose
Posts: 59
Joined: Jan 2015

Thank you for the encouraging words. I called this morning to make my ppointment. They Said they can fit me in on Dec.29th. I also asked to speak to the nurse and ask what does this all mean. I never had a abnormal Pap smear. The secretary said the nurse is in with a patient but she will give her my message and call me back today. 

Surprise, she never called back

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 1471
Joined: Jun 2012

The nurse was the one who notified  me and immediately explained on the phone why I shouldn't let this upset me so I didn't worry for even one minute.  How cavalier to drop this on you and expect you to be in limbo for 2 weeks.

Lisa 00
Posts: 134
Joined: Jul 2009

Annabella,

The last time I saw my gyn/onc he said he was stopping doing the pap smear.  He said that many, many times the smear came back as not enough cells because of the effects of internal radiation.  That it was just more of a hassle for everybody than a good diagnostic tool. 

He also said that, in all his years as a gyn/onc, only once has he diagnosed a recurrence with a pap.  All other times there was bleeding that he could see that looked suspicious, then the pap confirmed what he saw. 

I wouldn't worry a bit.  Sorry I didn't see this post sooner!

Lisa

Annabella Rose's picture
Annabella Rose
Posts: 59
Joined: Jan 2015

I am so Thankful for your replys! You all have made this trial so much easer. After reading your posts, I feel I can enjoy the Christmas season not wondering if the cancer is back. For now I have some peace. When I have my doctor visit and go through another Pap smear, I'll deal with the matter further. I think the way my doctor and his staff handle the patients concerns are inconsiderate and with smile on their face.

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1405
Joined: Oct 2015

I agree, Annabella.  The way your medical team handled this is inexcusable and should be brought to their attention.  One of our local hospitals advertises on tv that they don't make you go through unnecessary waiting so it's not like they don't know what they're doing to people.  They're all chasing the same dollar - OURS!  I am lucky in that my team gets back to me the same day and is sensitive to my feelings. 

I am so glad your mind was given some peace.

Love,

Eldri

Annabella Rose's picture
Annabella Rose
Posts: 59
Joined: Jan 2015

I called again this morning to find out if my second pap smear came back and said yes, and it's again abnormal. The nurse said the doctor is sending me for a pet scan to see if it shows any signs of cancer, yikes!

the nurse said not to worry, they just have to make sure. That's what they have told every step of the way in this journey and it usually turns out cancer. I hope it dosen't again. My husband has not been the same since the bout of cancer I finished up this past spring. He is showing signs of depression so bad that it's turning into a type of dementia. I have to keep a close watch on him because he is starting to forget so many normal activitys that it could be dangous. Like forgetting how to use the microwave and burning up a pretzel causing smoke and a horrible smell that woke me up at 1:00 in the morning. He just said he dosen't know why.

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1981
Joined: Nov 2009

Annabella.   Since the paper came back abnormal did they then test it for hpv?    I had two back to back abnormal paPs.   If it is abnormal  send it in for further testing of HPV.    My first one the HPV was negative but the second abnormal pap came back positive for one or more of the high grade HPV.   but the docs didn't seen too concern about it

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 1471
Joined: Jun 2012

i, too, had 2 back to back abnormals.  They were tested for HPV and were negative.  Nothing else was done, I guess because my exams continued to be ok.  That was a couple years ago.

Has your husband seen his physician?  I feel bad that you have so much on your shoulders.  Do you have other family to help?

SettledSue's picture
SettledSue
Posts: 55
Joined: May 2012

When I had an abnormal pap a year after surgery my doctor did  a biopsy. It did turn out to be cancer but was very small and my doctors were able to treat it first by laser ablation and then with radiation. This was in the summer of 2013 and I have been NED since those treatments.  Good luck to you.  Sue

Abbycat2's picture
Abbycat2
Posts: 644
Joined: Feb 2014

Forgive my ignorance, but how is it possible to have a pap test when a woman no longer has a cervix? I no longer have one and it is my limited understanding that pap tests are used to assess cervical cancer.  I have not had one since I lost most of my female parts.

Cathy

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2736
Joined: Mar 2013

Cathy, I am so amused by the inconsistencies with all our treatments and follow up.  WTH?!  Right?  I have PaP tests every time.  Do to the brachytherapy it isn't always comfortable, but I know there are others going through worse.  (I think they are looking for atypical cells)

Annabella Rose's picture
Annabella Rose
Posts: 59
Joined: Jan 2015

Now I'm waiting to get the script for the pet scan in the mail and then I have to call and make an appointment. Then waiting again to get to the doctors to get the test results because my doctor dosen't give test results from pet scans over the phone. The waiting is a big cause of the stress we are all going through.

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

So sorry you have to go through all of this.  Waiting is the hardest part of this sometimes.  For me, once I know exactly what's going on my mind can start planning and I settle down.  I am sorry your husband is having such a hard time,  I do think that being a caregiver is a very hard path to be on.  You are both in my prayers, Lou Ann

SettledSue's picture
SettledSue
Posts: 55
Joined: May 2012

Cathy, I guess you could call it a vaginal swab. A sample is collected from the top of the vagina since uterine cancer often recurs there. Susan

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1981
Joined: Nov 2009

I've gotten Pap smears every time since my hysterectomy in 2005 until I got my new doctir in 2015.  He doesn't do them. he hays it doesn't detect recurrence  uterine cancer.   But I said I had two abnormal ones with a positive HPV.  He said that it would take ten years for cervical cancer to form.  My thought is what if I have already had HPV?    It doesn't always show up.  

 

Subscribe to Comments for "Abnormal Pap smear on my 2nd post chemo check up"