Thursday, January 24
I saw my gynecologist and crossed my fingers that this pap test would come back normal, eliminating my increased risk of cervical cancer.
“The part of the cervix susceptible to HPV is small and gets tucked up inside as women age so they don’t contract HPV anymore,” Dr. Shall said. “In younger women, it’s spread out and open for attack. If HPV doesn’t go away on its own, which it mostly does, it can turn into cancer.
“What I’m seeing mostly in divorced women is herpes,” she continued. “A lot of herpes. Sometimes my patients don’t know they have it because there’s no visible sore. It just feels like a paper cut down there.”
“I’m going to start wearing a chastity belt,” I said.
“Just be careful. Use condoms. A friend of mine just took her husband back, why, I don’t know. He was cheating on her and gave her an STD—and not HPV. I’m on my second marriage. I’m so much happier.”
Dr. Shall looked me straight in the eye and said, “Don’t take him back. He’s not going to change. He’s going to keep doing what he’s doing. You’re going to find someone who’s really going to love you and make you happy. You will.”
Tears filled my eyes. “Thank you,” I whispered.