Kellie had an abnormal pap result in late 2015. Her gynecologist found this as part of a routine well-woman visit. Due to financial and ongoing health issues Kellie put off following up for almost a year. In October of 2016 she started to feel like something wasn't right and her periods became irregular so she made the choice to find out what was going on. As a new patient at this particular OBGYN, they didn't get her in until November. After looking over the other doctor's results, this new doc told Kellie that she had an abnormal cell on the outside of her cervix which did not belong there and that they would have to do a intrauterine scraping procedure to find out why those cells were there. This was done right away, the very next week, and was one of the most invasive procedures that she has ever had done; it was very painful.
The following week Kellie was at work when she received a call from her doctor. She knew the results were not good as her doc asked her if she planned on having children. She told Kellie it wasn't cancer (which was actually untrue), but they wanted to remove part of her cervix because they found Adenocarcinoma. Her doc wanted her to see a specialist specifically because Kellie said she did want to have a child if possible.
After doing some research Kellie chose Dr. Borst, an oncologist who specializes in female reproductive cancers. It was terrifying for her to go by herself to see him but Kellie doesn't have a partner, her parents live out of state, and she didn't want to burden or worry anyone unnecessarily either. This doctor used the word CANCER when he went over the other doc's results. He said that while it is a non-invasive form at this time, that it could switch to invasive at anytime and needed to be removed. He decided to start by trying to do a cone biopsy removal considering her desire for a child, letting her know that within 5-10 years she would still likely need a hysterectomy. Kellie cried as it wasn't what the other doctor had told her and she wasn't quite prepared to be told she had cancer and she was terrified.
He did his own testing just to confirm and found the same results so he went ahead with scheduling the cone biopsy which was done in December 2016. The hopeful outcome of this procedure was to remove all the bad cells and leave Kellie sill able to have children. Sadly they found that while they got everything on the outside, farther inside the area of removal there were still cancerous cells. They could try another cone biopsy, which had a 50/50 chance of getting all the cells and may damage her cervix enough that she would be left unable to have a baby anyways or she could have the hysterectomy which would completely remove all the cancerous cells, though she would definitvely never be able to have any of her own children. Because they were unsure of when the cancerous cells started to grow they had no idea of when they could become invasive. This type of cancer has a 3-5 year turnaround period so she really had to weigh the options.
This was not an easy choice by any means. But considering the questionable timeline for the cancer, the doctor's advice, and the fact that she was nowhere near ready to have a child right now; she was single, on a very tight income that barely covered herself. She couldn't imagine forcing a child to live in poverty with her without a dad. That sounded selfish and irresponsible to Kellie, especially since she is 38 and that puts even more risks on the child and the pregnancy so with a heavy heart she scheduled her hysterectomy.
On April 5th Kellie headed to the hospital. She cried while they prepped her, mourning her decision but knowing it was the right one. During her surgery there was a complication that resulted in a pretty substantial tear. About 2 hours after surgery the tear, which had been stitched up, had formed a large hematoma which was becoming painful. The doctor decided that it had to be removed and told her he could not put her back under for it. What followed was the most painful procedure she has ever endured. They numbed her with lidocaine but she still felt it and it was invasive after having just come out of surgery. They restitched the area and this added an extra day onto her hospital stay as they had to be sure it wasn't going to get another hematoma. The good news is that the hysterectomy was a complete success and the cancer is totally gone.
AFTER AND HOW YOU CAN HELP:
So now comes the after effects. Kellie feels guilty having deprived her parents of grandchildren and her brother of being an uncle. She regrets not going to the female doctor more often as they may have caught the cancer early enough to have been able to prevent it from spreading to where it did. She will never get to be a biological mom and enjoy all that comes along with that. She wasn't able to process all this before the surgery as she had to keep her emotions under control so she could keep working to keep her health insurance. She doesn't have enough money for therapy currently and so she has to just work through these things slowly on her own.
She is expecting 5 bills total at this point. The doctor, his assistant, the anesthesiologist, pathology, and the hospital. She paid over $3200 out of pocket just for the cone biopsy and that was an outpatient procedure. She doesn't know how much this will be but she's gotten one bill so far and that was $614.64 for the anesthesiologist. She will have to get a second job just to make ends meet. She doesn't know what to do so friends asked her if we could start a fundraiser for her and so here it is. This woman has been through the ringer. Even though she lives paycheck to paycheck, she has managed to financially help many in bad situations and she is an amazing friend and would literally give you the shirt off her back. Any amount you can give will help and be more than appreciated. Thank you for taking time out of your day to read her story.