I haven’t talked about this before on here, but my next project is not about running…well, I will totally make it about running LOL but that’s not really what it is.
In late 2020 I had an abnormal Pap test, which is very common and half the people I know have had one of these. The following colposcopy showed the extreme end of pre-cancerous tissue. After removal of that tissue via LEEP (laser electrosurgical excision procedure) in early 2021, tissue examination lead to a diagnosis of stage I carcinoma of the cervix! What a phone call to receive while on the treadmill. Following lots of conversations at home, as well as with my original and current OBGYN and surgeon, I am scheduled for a total laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingectomy next month. Wow.
This will be my first major forced rest period, and I am actually looking forward to the down time in a way. But, on the other hand, I am both nervous, curious and scared – about my mental health, loss of endurance and speed, scar tissue, how long it will actually take to recover and not knowing when I will be able to run, swim and bike again?.. all of that. Thankfully, I have a few IG runner friends who have had the same operation and I have seen them come back strong!
Why am I writing about this on the internet? A few reasons. Primarily, I want everyone with a female reproductive system to GET YOUR PAP SMEARS REGULARLY. I had a delayed exam due to the freaking pandemic. Now I’m preparing for a hysterectomy…
Secondly, I know I am not the first endurance athlete who has gone through this and I will not be the last – someone may find it a helpful resource to follow the detailed recovery timeline. Personally, I have found a little bit of helpful info, but nothing overly specific! So I’m going to carefully document the process, which will give me something to do and will also, hopefully, help out others in the future!
I am feeling really thankful. Things could be so much worse. I do not have any cancer right now (as far as we know), I don’t want children so I’m not dealing with most of the emotions that many experience regarding hysterectomy, and I am so, so lucky to be fit going into this and have the best husband ever who will be with me each step of the way. I also get to keep my ovaries, thank god!
Stay tuned for LAVH Recovery as a Marathoner. Surgical screening tomorrow, surgery date in a month. Kelowna Midsummer 8k two days before surgery, woo!