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Update: Surgery *is* happening today at 2:20pm PST. Thankfully I can get it over with. Think happy thoughts of kittens & rainbows.

Hello all. I want to begin with a heartfelt expression of gratitude and amazement at your outpouring of support, shared cancer stories, and advice. I have been stunned by how “not alone” I have felt as a result of sharing my story. I figured I’d get a couple of messages from close friends or an “oh yes, I had that ten years ago” story or two, but the magnitude of your kindness has humbled me greatly. I’ve had a few hundred contacts and messages, which is astounding. Thank you!

To the few people who have contacted me saying that it’s horrible/shameful/shocking/icky that I’m telling people that I have cancer of the lady parts, you can go die in a ditch. I am genetically female. I have lady parts, including a cervix. Saying I have cervical cancer is no more horrible/shameful/shocking/icky than saying I have liver cancer or skin cancer. If you can’t deal with the fact that ladies have lady parts, perhaps you should reexamine your own prejudices and shame. And really–please do absorb all of that awful karma you just self-inflicted by criticizing and trying to shame someone with a disease. Just soooooooak it up.

My surgery was scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday the 13th in the afternoon (2:20pm PST). However, some complicating symptoms have arisen and the surgery may be delayed until Monday the 17th at 2:30pm PST.  I won’t know until tomorrow morning whether I’m on for surgery or not.  I will update here, on Twitter, and on Facebook when I do know.

More updates:

  • Whenever surgery happens, I am still planning on live-Tweeting it out (and feeding it into Facebook) as long as my hands can stay steady enough to type on my phone. You can follow along on Twitter with the #SarahVsCancer hashtag that I’ve been using.
  • My doctors have said that this cancer is “an aggressive little bastard.” I have also been called that, from time to time. I think I’m aggresive-r (yes, that’s a word) so I will win this little tête-à-tête.
  • I was offered the opportunity to watch the surgery live on a monitor. I declined.
  • I’ve had inquiries about exactly what I’m having done. Without going into too much detail, I’m having a LEEP procedure to remove the cancer. If body part or surgery stuff grosses you out, don’t click on that link.  I’m lucky that we caught the cancer early enough that we can use this procedure instead of a more invasive one.
  • And finally, check out LetsFCancer.com. The image below came from them. They’re using social media as a way to raise awareness about cancer among young people. I like their approach. Be aware, get all of your tests and screenings, and remind those you love.

letsfcancer

“Cancer: I Will Punch You in the Feelings”

  1. Christine Says:

    In addition to cheering you on my hope is that your post will encourage more women to get yearly gynecological exams, including pap smears. Cervical cancer is aggressive and only with early detection (like you!) do women have a good shot at beating it. Cervical cancer aside, there are a lot of things that are treatable if you catch them early but women don’t because they simply don’t go to the doctor.

    Putting your lady parts on display and having them poked, scraped, and prodded is not the most pleasant thing ever. But, I feel like the trade off is worth it.

    Best of luck on the surgery!

  2. Jonathan Says:

    Good luck Sarah! Hope the surgery goes well!

  3. Alisha Says:

    You are awesome. Thank you for your courage to share your experiences with this terrible disease. And, thank you for your total badass response to the weak minded saps who criticized you for that courage, Shame on them. And more power to you. Stay strong.

  4. Sally_K Says:

    Sarah thanks for sharing your experience. Thinking of you and know your tweeps are here for you.

  5. Coral Says:

    I can’t believe there are people being awful. I’m really sorry, on behalf of humanity. For my part, I was really impressed at your openness, and I think it’s great that you’re live-tweeting. More information for everybody: great! Other people going through the same thing will see it and will know better what to expect.

    You’re brave and tough. You’ll absolutely win.

    I’ll keep my thumbs tucked for the surgery!

  6. Jo Says:

    Sarah, you are an inspiration!!! Sending you positive thoughts about your surgery —- kick that cancer’s ass!!!!!

  7. Jill Brown Says:

    I am overdue for a Pap. Thank you for sharing your story and raising awareness. You’re in my thoughts!

  8. Shaula Says:

    Sarah, you will fuck cancer up, I can feel it! And let me point out that an archivist just wrote what is likely a grammatically incorrect phrase in support of a librarian. That is all kinds of wrong.

    Obviously you have lots of people pulling for you, so here’s one more. I hope they can do the procedure tomorrow to get this taken care of. My thoughts are with you and I look forward to lots more of your posts.

  9. Sarah Houghton Says:

    Thank you everyone…for your kindness, your swearing, and your bad grammar ;)

  10. Lauren Says:

    Good luck! My aunt is now five years cancer free from the same thing. Thinking of you…

  11. Melissa Says:

    Longtime reader, first-time commenter. I am so sorry that people are being misogynists. It’s great (inasmuch as anything about cancer is great) that you caught it early – I know a bunch of people, including my husband (testicular cancer ten years ago) and my father (bladder cancer all of twenty years ago), who survived an early-caught cancer. Kick its ass!

  12. Catherine Voutier Says:

    Good on you for sassing those people ‘shocked’ over you mentioning lady parts. I mean, come on! What century are we living in? Not that long ago, these things were not mentioned at all. I’ll never forget my gran telling me she thought she was dying when she got her first period. No one talked about anything. We do not want to return to those days. Breasts! Vaginas! Cervix! Ovaries! Talk and be tested. I’m with you chanting ‘out out out’ during your procedure. Pew pew!

  13. J. Says:

    The Lord bless you and keep you;
    the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you;
    the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you his most precious gift, the gift of peace.

  14. Bec Says:

    Hi Sarah – just wanted to wish you all the very best for your surgery. I consider myself very lucky to have met you, you’re a total legend and a bloody rockstar and I know you’re going to kick this thing’s ass!! Good on you for being brave and sharing, and I agree – those who have given you grief can die in a ditch. Well said!! Sending shitloads of love and support from the land of Oz xx

  15. HM Says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Best of luck and best of health to you!!!

  16. EthanDF Says:

    Best of luck! Your approach to this is inspiring on many levels.

  17. Jamie M Says:

    Vagina! Cervix! Ovary! Fallopian Tube! Uterus! Clitoris! Whoever is offended at that can die in a ditch, too.
    :)

  18. John Boggs Says:

    What makes people so twisted that they can’t handle the mention of cervices? (Is that the plural? My spellcheck likes it, so maybe…) “Cancer of the lady-parts,” that’s funny! (Strictly linguistically speaking, that is.)

    Wishing you a smooth surgery.

  19. Annie Seiler Says:

    You will kick this cancer’s ass SO HARD! You’re a badass, and you have so much strength to get through this. Thank you for sharing your experiences – it’s so heartening and encouraging for everyone who reads it. And fuck the people who are being horrible, they are just bitter old bastards in their crusty hearts and have probably pissed out their souls at some point or another. Good luck in your surgery, and stay positive!

  20. Kristin Freeman Says:

    Hurray for strong-willed, stubborn people! You will conquer this beast and are the best for sharing openly with your readers. Hurray for you! Those who are not able to be open, honest, alive, real and caring will find their footsteps following a path very different from the one you travel. Be assured that you have many fellow-travelers along with support, love and deep affection for you as this journey unfolds day by day, and hour by hour. Sending my heart-full energy of love and affection for the travels to be gentle and the bumps to be managed with the skill of a master winner of all things. Namaste

  21. Jen Lingo Says:

    Hi,

    it still shocks me that people say the wrong thing when you share about Cancer. I am a ten year survivor of Lymphoma. My last procedure a autologous stem cell transplant gave me a 40/60 chance to live.

    I made it! I will hold you in my thoughts and prayers. May you be well. May you be happy. May you hold on to make it through.

    Jen

  22. SAW Says:

    Thoughts, prayers, best wishes, etc. being sent out for you and your recovery.

    On a side note, people suck. Of those complaining how many did you chain down and force to read your blog? I’m guessing none… I applaud you for sharing your story. Now, maybe a young women who would normally skip an exam will get one.

  23. Kate Says:

    Logged in at 2:35 on Thursday. Praying for you, the doctors, and a very quick recovery! Aggresiver-r. I like that descriptor. You go girl.

  24. gabrielle Says:

    Complete stranger dropping in here (I saw your post on Twitter through a random Twitter friend) to say that I had this same procedure done almost 10 yrs ago, also for an oddly aggressive strain. I had two LEEPs done (one recurrence within the first year) and have had no other recurrences for over 8 years. I am very hopeful you will have the same outcome and will kick cancer square in the ass. Hope your procedure was smooth and uneventful, and best wishes for a quick recovery!

  25. Cynthia Says:

    Good luck Sarah! What does your doctor think about you Live-Tweeting if I can ask such a mundane question? Will he/she feel “on camera”? Hope you have a swift recovery too.

  26. Sarah Says:

    I promised the doctor I would not mention his/her name nor the name or location of the practice. As long as I stuck to that, they seemed more amused by it than anything. They also commented, once it was over, how they couldn’t understand how I could concentrate enough to write while in such pain. My answer was “Oh hell, after you dislocate ribs and hips, this is nothing.” Kind of a lie–it was something. But I do think my chronic pain has built up a tolerance in me that made this possible. I only hope my coverage and publicizing of this helps other women be less scared to get screened and get treated.

  27. harry Says:

    Sarah: I have lived with Cancer for 25 years, the most recent from 2008, now 4th Stage renal. Even though we knew each other only on the surface (from SJPL) I admire and respect your courage and your frankness. It is not the fear of dying that we live with, but the fear of not having lived and you live with such fire and integrity that it is an inspiration to everyone, even those who criticize. I will send you deepest affection and boundless determination. We must all survive as we can if for no other reason than to fulfill the old latin phrase:
    NON BASTARDUS CARBORUNDUM (TRANS: DON’T LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN)
    I love it that you bring all your skills to the fight. I was too timid (!)…but now I wish to be your brother in arms.

  28. Sarah Houghton Says:

    Thank you so much to everyone. And to Harry, I will gladly be your sister in arms.

  29. Sydney McCoy Says:

    Hope you are doing well. Sending good vibes your way!!!!!

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