I didn’t know that when I changed gynecologists I would be in for the shock of my life. I thought I was going to have my yearly exam. Just power through the awful pap and poking and prodding, get my mammogram order and move on.
The poking, prodding and pap happened. But not until after my new gyno, a man who looks to be about five years old and nine feet tall, broke some very disconcerting news to me. My old gyno, a man who until that very moment was the most awesome gyno I’d ever had, screwed up. Royally.
Old Gyno never told me I had something called endometrial hyperplasia (a condition in which the endometrium of the uterus just keeps growing and growing because of exposure to unchecked estrogen), something many women with PCOS are prone to. I had presented to him with heavy, 17 day long periods that were interrupted with a 5 day break, only to begin again. He evaluated me and blamed my suddenly-even-more-horrendous-than-usual periods on my recent weight loss. He gave me an endometrial ablation to stop this, a procedure where the doc burns the lining of your uterus to hedge the bleeding. 50% of women never have a period again after that. I wasn’t that lucky.
An ablation is the absolute LAST thing your doc should do to take care of that. Why? Because endometrial hyperplasia is a pre-cancerous condition. It often leads to endometrial cancer, the fourth most common cancer among women, and the most common reproductive cancer out there. An ablation covers up the biggest indicator that the hyperplasia has turned to cancer–heavy bleeding.
So, for three years my endometrium has been growing, unchecked, behind its cozy ablation-induced scar tissue. New Gyno signed me up right away for a hysteroscopy where he would go in and extract some tissue to biopsy.
That was a week ago.
Still waiting to hear if I have cancer.
Next step for me is a hysterectomy, an operation I asked for before the ablation since I was done having children.
I have to admit that I am equal parts frightened and pissed, all for the obvious reasons. This is my third cancer scare in about as many years. May this one be just another “Sorry, we overreacted” kind of thing.
Regardless, never ever let someone tell you that PCOS is not that big a deal. It rules our lives, invisible to everyone except the lady who has it.