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My shipment of Glo Bars finally arrived!  The US Post Office temporarily “lost” my package.  I ripped into an Awake Glo Bar in the car:


If I bought these in a store, I would be impressed.  But, I’m even MORE impressed eating them because I know exactly who baked it (Angela) and all the hard work and love that went into it… I swear you can taste that.  🙂


After my post office trip, I went to the doctor’s office for some follow-up tests.  I mentioned that I had abnormal results but not really what it was – well, it was a pap smear that identified “pre-pre-cancerous” cells.  This is not highly unusual for a pap smear; however, this is the second time into two years I’d have this result. (Just an FYI, I do not have HPV, although it is the primary cause of abnormal paps.)


While I was in the waiting room, I was flipping through a magazine and guess who I saw?!  Some of my favorite bloggers!





It was so cool to see the women I “know” in the magazine!  🙂


Then it was time for my procedure.  I had a coloscopy, which is when the doctor looks at your cervix under a microscope.  If she seems anything that looks odd, she takes a biopsy.  My doctor took about four biopsies, but she said it was more for a precaution and that everything looks normal.   It was incredibly painful, but I’d rather be safe than sorry any day!


Obviously, getting my cervix cut into is not the ideal way to spend a Thursday afternoon.  I wanted to share my experience because it’s so important to get regular pap smears and mammograms (or testicular and prostate checks if you’re a guy).  And, of course, get checked for STDs if you’re active! There is nothing to be shy about…. Ignoring health issues or weird test results does not make them go away. 


This blog post reads like a Sex Education PSA!  :)  Sorry!


After that awesome experience (obviously, that was sarcastic), I had lunch:


I was craving veggies so I made a two-egg omelet with cheese, onions, mushrooms, and green peppers. 


Plus, a pickle and grapes:


And an Arnold sandwich thin


I have a LOT of e-mails to catch up on! :)  Time to work, work, work.



  • Meg C. October 22, 2009, 2:12 pm

    I’ll add to your PSA and say “also, USE A CONDOM!” The people who think it is okay not to use condoms are precisely the people you SHOULD be using them with. (haha).

    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 2:22 pm

      hahah truth. use a rubber, people! and birth control, too.

  • Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life October 22, 2009, 2:13 pm

    That is really great that you are spreading the message of getting your “girly” exams! You really impact so many women and if it just helps one person it makes such a difference. This is something near and dear to my heart because my mom had cervical cancer and found out when she was pregnant with my sister. Your the best Caitlin!

  • Kristen October 22, 2009, 2:13 pm

    I hope everything comes back normal and healthy!

    Have a great rest of your day now that all that nastiness if over.

  • Adriana October 22, 2009, 2:14 pm

    Well, I guess I am done procrastinating. I have only had ONE pap smear since I turned 18. I am now almost 24. Thanks for motivating me to finally schedule an appt. with my ob/gyn.

  • Julie @savvyeats October 22, 2009, 2:14 pm

    Here’s hoping everything comes back normal! Way to go on getting this checked out sooner rather than later!

  • Laura @ FindingAHealthyBalance...after a 100+ POUND weight loss! October 22, 2009, 2:14 pm

    What magazine were all the bloggers featured in???

    Sorry to hear about your test results, great to post about the importance getting tested, I have since I was a teen!

    Oh, and that omelet looks amazing, I love them and just do not make them enough.

    Hope you are feeling better soon!

    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 2:23 pm

      fitness magazine!

      • Becky October 22, 2009, 4:42 pm

        I might be wrong, but was it Self that the bloggers were in?

        • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 4:44 pm

          maybe??? i read both at the doctor’s… i’ll have to ask one of them.

  • Diana October 22, 2009, 2:15 pm

    Yep, I used to be one of those who just doesn’t do stuff (go to the doctor for example) because “if I don’t feel anything, everything must be alright!”. I’ve grown up a bit and am now in the process of seeing if things are indeed alright. I actually talked about it on my blog some days ago.

    I hope everything is alright with you. 🙂

  • Lindsay Perrone October 22, 2009, 2:16 pm

    Hey Caitlin,
    Way to go sharing that personal experience. I went though the same thing and it totally sucked. Relax yourself today, you deserve it!

  • Lynne October 22, 2009, 2:17 pm

    Thanks for posting about this – getting tested is so important. You’ve given me the push I needed to book that test. You’re a star! 🙂

  • Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn October 22, 2009, 2:17 pm

    you’re very positive and bold to blog about this! cheers to you for rocking and helping women.

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing October 22, 2009, 2:18 pm

    Well that is never fun, but thanks so much for sharing! I think it’s super helpful for girls to know people who are going through similar ordeals. It can be scary to go through something like that but great to have support and people to talk to about it!

  • Runeatrepeat October 22, 2009, 2:22 pm

    Boo, that really sucks. I had a colo before and know it hurts 🙁

  • alli October 22, 2009, 2:26 pm

    i go to the “down there dr” yearly, and just last week i got my reminder in the mail, but i still havent scheduled my appt. i will do it today! 🙂

    i loved reading: “I was craving veggies…..”
    i see you’re likin’ your veggies, i’m guessing that challenge helped ya?!

  • j October 22, 2009, 2:27 pm

    Better to be safe than sorry! I’ve been through the same thing and it turned out just fine. I’m sure it will for you too!

  • Sana October 22, 2009, 2:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! I am a bit nervous about going for the first time :(!

    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 2:56 pm

      sana – don’t worry, an normal OB GYN appointment is not painful at all. it’s just weird and kind of uncomfortable, but it definitely does not hurt. you will be fine!!! deep breathing helps.

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) October 22, 2009, 2:30 pm

    I had to get that done a while ago too. It turned out to be nothing which was great but ouch it hurt!

  • Jenny Eastwood@ JennyLikesToRun, On a mission to run a marathon to fundraise for The Breast Cancer Foundation October 22, 2009, 2:34 pm

    Power to you for getting all the necessary check ups! You’re so right in saying how important it is for woman to take responsibility for their health and get mammograms, pap smears and other tests that might help.
    It’s all about having RESPECT for yourself, enough respect to make sure you’re safe and healthy. That’s my opinion anyway 🙂

  • Lauren @ Dragonflies Journey October 22, 2009, 2:34 pm

    I am so inspired and proud of you for openly talking about this on here. Such an important truth. Due to my conditions the nurses and staff at my Endocrinologists office are my “girls.” They call me regularly just to check in. And the tests are so important. Critical if you think about it.

  • Emily October 22, 2009, 2:40 pm

    I just had the same stuff happen about 2 months ago. This was also my 2nd one in about 3 years. It really scared me! I don’t have HPV either and my doc. said it was quite normal with people my age. It “flares up” when your about to start your period and also if you’ve been stressed.

    Mine was very painful as well and after about a week it finally stopped. I have to get checked every 6 months now!

    Hope everything is OK!

  • Rachel October 22, 2009, 2:42 pm

    I had the same procedure done about 3 years ago. I actually have to get my cervex frozen to kill off those cells. You don’t to do that…the smell is obnoxious. lol Everything turned out fine but it’s still scary. I went to the Dr. every six months after that to get rechecked. You can never be too careful!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 22, 2009, 2:42 pm

    I also had a coloscopy…also do not have HPV. It can be very scary. In other news, I also got my Globars and have had to ties my arms together so I do not eat the entire box.

  • Danielle October 22, 2009, 2:44 pm

    Coloscopies are the worst…so painful if they take biopsies. Sorry you had to go through that, but way to spread the message about regular check-ups!

  • Nicole (the other one) October 22, 2009, 2:44 pm

    Just in case you become a nervous nelly…I went through the same thing…and my results came back as cancerous. I had a LEEP procedure, which was actually much less painful than the cone biopsy. All clear after while it is SO important to follow up with these health procedures, even scary news can be fixed in a jiffy 😉

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat October 22, 2009, 2:45 pm

    I’m glad you shared your experience! A lot of my friends have gone through the same thing some with better outcomes than others. I hope everything with you turns out fine 🙂 It is so important to stay on top of our health screenings.

  • Evan Thomas October 22, 2009, 2:45 pm

    I hate it when packages get lost but thankfully it found its way to you!

  • Suzanne October 22, 2009, 2:46 pm

    I went through the same procedure about two years ago. It’s definitely not fun. Treat yourself for being responsible and getting through it 🙂

  • Sarah W. October 22, 2009, 2:49 pm

    I went through the same thing a year ago! Since then my paps have been good but 6 months (ok now 8months ago) I had a borderline so as a precaution they wanted me in after 6 months but now with the house, I put it off, but I really need to get in nowwwww!

    That procedure is AWFUL i never want to go thru again – it hurt like hell.

    did you know that sometimes having sex right before you go get a pap can give you abnormal results? I never knew that and i’m not sure i ever really “paid attention” to that!

  • Mellissa October 22, 2009, 2:49 pm

    Glad everything is ok, I had similar test results and my doctor actually said “You just have a unique vajayjay!” She is hilarious!

    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 2:51 pm

      hahaha everyone’s vajayjay is special 🙂

  • Megan October 22, 2009, 2:51 pm

    Jealous of your Globars!! And thanks for putting it out there–it’s always important to hear a reminder of that kind of stuff!! I’ll send good thoughts your way!

  • Dori October 22, 2009, 2:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing, not many people would. I have a question — what is the difference between an abormal pap that is not HPV and one that is?

    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 2:53 pm

      well, im not a doctor so this is just my understanding of it.

      HPV is a certain strain of virus, some of which cause genital warts and some do not. some HPV also causes cervical cancer. however, you can have cervical cancer without having HPV, as HPV is an STD.

      so basically, when i said i did not have HPV i just wanted to clarify my results were not due to an STD (i’m obviously married and have been monogamous for years).

      HPV is actually REALLY common – i think 75% of women have it?

      • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 2:55 pm

        oh, it is worth mentioning that you can ‘miss’ your HPV many, many times on a pap smear. also, men do not have symptoms of HPV unless they have the wart strain. so, technically speaking, i could just get diagnosed with HPV tomorrow even though i am monogamous (this is true for all STD, especially herpes). sometimes spouses think an STD diagnoses is a sure sign someone has been cheating, but stuff can lie dormant or unrecognized for years.

        • Shelly October 22, 2009, 4:47 pm

          Or you can get it from your spouse….Men are often asymptomatic.

        • Susie October 23, 2009, 7:58 pm

          I just wanted to make a slight clarification, pap smears only detect abnormal cell changes. HPV must be detected through another test specifically screening HPV. Also, there are only HPV test for women, there are none available to screen HPV for men. 🙂 hope that makes it a bit clearer.

  • Meredith October 22, 2009, 2:51 pm

    Ugh, I also had a colpo a few years ago. The biopsies were quite painful, but everything came back normal and the peace of mind was well worth the pain. I never talked about it with anyone until one of my friends had to have one last year. I was very surprised to find out how many young women that I know have had the same abnormal cells and had similar experiences.

  • Rae October 22, 2009, 2:52 pm

    I went through this a few years ago….it is super scary, but it should go back to normal in the long run! What I do now is go to the Docs every 6 months (not fun but def necessary) and just last month i was returned with FINALLY a normal scan!! I hope it goes well for you 🙂

  • Aimee October 22, 2009, 2:54 pm

    Sing it loud and proud! This is a very important message. I have always stayed current with my annual exams and encouraged friends and family to get their exams. A pap smear is just as important as good nutrition and exercise is for our overall health.

    I hope that you feel better and everything is ok. Thanks for sharing.

  • Leah @ L4L October 22, 2009, 2:56 pm

    I had an abnormal pap when I was 18, had a coloscopy, and everything turned out fine! I religiously get my paps done, even when I didn’t have insurance.

  • Stephanie October 22, 2009, 2:57 pm

    I had that same procedure, and it is definitely is scary and not fun 🙁 glad it’s nothing serious and things are getting checked up on like they should!

  • Mrs. Myers @ Eat Move Write October 22, 2009, 3:01 pm

    Ya, I have the same question as some of the other posters. HPV is almost always the reason for an abnormal pap smear. Unless it’s something worse.

    I learned this because I just so happened to live in the town where one of the nation’s leading experts on HPV lives/works (Bloomington, IN – who knew?!) and saw her when I had the same issue. She said that almost ALL sexually-active people in life have had HPV at some point. Many of them more than once. Most never know it. (This most recent exam was normal for me, so it will most likely go normal for you too after a bit.)

    I’m very encouraged to see there being more public awareness about HPV as “something people deal with” not as a taboo sexually transmitted disease that we have to pretend like doesn’t exist.

    Good for you for sharing Caitlin.

  • Julie October 22, 2009, 3:02 pm

    Oh wow Caitlin, I hope everything turns out okay.

    A friend of mine had HPV and had to have part of her cervix removed (or cut out? I’m unsure of how that works), but it was a scary experience for her. I’m sorry you had to go through that, I can’t even imagine how uncomfortable and painful it must’ve been. I’m pretty good about getting my yearly. I make a point to make the appointment around my birthday so I don’t forget, and I always do it a year in advance. One thing I’m bad at is self breast exams…you’re supposed to do them monthly starting in your 20s but I cant bring myself to press down on my nipple. I just cringed.

  • Jess October 22, 2009, 3:03 pm

    I had to have that done after my first ever pap. NOT fun. Thankfully, nothing else has ever shown up since!

    Don’t forget your monthly breast exams too!

  • brandi October 22, 2009, 3:03 pm

    I’m glad you got the testing done that you needed – always better to get stuff and find out and move on than just hope things work out.

    regular exams are so necessary to catch things going on with our bodies.

    hope the rest of the day is good!

  • Jess October 22, 2009, 3:07 pm

    I hope everything goes OK with your test results and that they come back totally clean! Sorry you had to deal with the pain!

  • Sarah October 22, 2009, 3:11 pm

    I am getting the same procedure done in a couple of weeks. I haven’t been looking forward to it at all. Though, I have to admit, this post just made me more nervous from hearing about painful it’s going to be!

    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 3:12 pm

      awww sorry 🙁 it was over in 10 minutes, though.

      • Sarah October 22, 2009, 4:32 pm

        I’ll survive. Haha. Better to get it done than not know what’s going on up in there.

  • Carrie H October 22, 2009, 3:13 pm

    Oh, Caitlin, sorry you had to go through that today. I am sure it sucked! I hope everything comes back normal — I’m sending you good results vibes.

  • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers October 22, 2009, 3:14 pm

    way to share the importance of regular exams w/ women everywhere. prevention is SO important! way to go! 🙂

  • Joanna October 22, 2009, 3:15 pm

    ALso, a friendly reminder that younger women get the HPV shot. I have heard the shot hurts a bit, but probably not as much as cnacer!

    • Shelly October 22, 2009, 4:48 pm

      It stings when the medicine is injected, but it’s a very fleeting pain. It doesn’t make your arm hurt after the shot like the Tetanus shot does.

  • Matt October 22, 2009, 3:16 pm

    Wow sorry you had to go through that! At least everything looks normal!

  • Susan October 22, 2009, 3:17 pm

    Ohno, sending lots of good vibes your way for clear results!! I’m with you, you gotta take your health into your own hands. Doctors aren’t going to just call you up and tell you when and what needs to get checked!! I’ve been getting annual breast ultrasounds since I was 20 because I’m considered high risk for breast cancer. Even though I’m always told everything should be fine – it’s still disconcerting having those tests done!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) October 22, 2009, 3:20 pm

    I hope everything turns out fine…but it’s great that you can use the experience to remind others to take care of themselves as well.

  • Carolyn October 22, 2009, 3:20 pm

    Your omelet looks yummy. I’ve never been able to make a good omelet. 🙁 I have to make the hubs do it.

  • Kristie Lynn October 22, 2009, 3:24 pm

    Three cheers for you saying you were craving veggies! Someone’s beginning to love em, eh? 😉

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) October 22, 2009, 3:30 pm

    Those types of doctor appointments are always scary… least you had a fab lunch to come back to!

  • Anne October 22, 2009, 3:31 pm

    I had the same result earlier this year and ended up having a procedure called LEEP (electrosurgery that removes all of the pre-cancerous cells). It’s definitely not fun, but it’s much better to know early on!

    I hope everything works out for you, and thank you for sharing so openly. Even though so many women go through this, it’s not always something that is talked about openly.

  • Jenna October 22, 2009, 3:38 pm

    hope you are feeling better after your lil surgery! it is so true, it is always better to be safe and healthy 🙂

  • NIcole (dishin') October 22, 2009, 3:40 pm

    That is scary but glad all went well!

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion October 22, 2009, 3:41 pm

    I hope everything turns out fine! that is super painful… 🙁 Feel better. On the bright side you have glo bars and your lunch looks great!

  • Caroline October 22, 2009, 3:45 pm

    I had to get that done this summer as well! You are brave for sharing and I hope everything turns out ok. I agree- it was so painful- but better be safe than sorry! Thanks for sharing on the blog, it is nice to know others have gone through the same thing!

  • Reenie October 22, 2009, 3:46 pm

    I had that procedure done several years ago….then freezing of the cervix…and have been ok since then.

    I hope your biopsy results are okay:)

    Where do you get the Arnolds Thins? A specialty store?

    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 3:48 pm

      regular grocery store in the bread aisle! they are good.

  • Marina October 22, 2009, 3:51 pm

    I had a bad pap smear few months ago, and I was so crazy worried about it! I knew it wasn’t from hpv, because it possibly can’t be, but I was still worried. I also had a coloscopy, and it turned out great. I hope your results will be good as well. Fingers crossed!

  • MyThy October 22, 2009, 3:56 pm

    Thanks for getting the message out! I’ve had 3 abnormal paps and have a colposcopy scheduled in Nov. Its so scary not knowing what exactly “pre-pre-cancerous cells” means!?! All the Dr.’s can say is “Come back every 6 months and we’ll keep monitoring you.” Like you, its not HPV related, but the unknown gives me anxiety. Food & fitness are important but so is getting regular pap exams. Thanks for sharing this…you ROCK! 😉

    • Reenie October 22, 2009, 10:54 pm

      I had 3 abnormal paps several years ago too.

      MyThy ~ write down any questions you may have for your doctor. I find that it helps doing this. They are so busy and think you understand….when you don’t (speaking from my experience).

      I hope all turns out well for you.

  • Megan October 22, 2009, 3:58 pm

    Caitlin, I had a coloscopy in the summer…and I had a biopsy taken, too. My results came back fine and I was told the same thing, “the biopsy was done for precaution”. It was definitely painful…so I know exactly what you are going through. I will be praying!
    Happy Thursday 🙂

  • on the rocks October 22, 2009, 4:09 pm

    I totally have been in your shoes. Those biopsies hurt! Like someone pinching your extremely hard. And I have been told that I’ve hard precancerous cells twice now. Just make sure you keep up on your pap smears!

  • Emily Eats October 22, 2009, 4:12 pm

    Hi Caitlin ~
    Thank you for your honesty and putting this out there. I was in the same situation as you a few years back, but all came back fine. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you & send good vibes your way 🙂

  • Graze With Me October 22, 2009, 4:16 pm

    I really needed to read this post, thank you for writing it. I’m 24 and have NEVER had a pap smear. I know, I know. Awful.

    I’ve been on a health kick for some time now and finally bit the bullet a couple weeks ago and made an appointment with the “woman doctor”. It’s in two weeks and I am beyond scared.

    It’s really comforting to hear someone’s story about these types of things so, again, thank you.

    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 4:18 pm

      dont be scared – normal OBGYN appointments aren’t that bad at all. my advice is just to breathe and try to relax your muscles. its my natural instinct to tighten up but that just makes the doctor’s job more difficult. i also read a magazine while she’s examining me. it helps to think about something else.

      and remember she looks at about 30 vaginas a day. 🙂

    • Julie @savvyeats October 22, 2009, 4:37 pm

      I was terrified before my first pap smear, but most doctors are pretty good about letting you read or listen to an ipod, etc to distract yourself if it will help you relax!

  • Kate October 22, 2009, 4:18 pm

    I just had a colposcopy and biopsy done yesterday, strangely enough. Hope your results turn out well! I’m actually in the middle of writing a How To Survive a Colposcopy post 🙂

  • Kara October 22, 2009, 4:21 pm

    I have had the EXACT same thing as you done, and I give you a lot of credit for talking about it on your blog! Mine was caused by HPV, which was so embarrassing, even though so many people have it. I remember the pain of the biopsies too! For me, after the biopsies, even pap was normal (or normal enough). Hopefully it’ll be that way for you too!

    TMI, but be careful running tomorrow. Act like your on your period or don’t wear your favorite running shorts! 🙂

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) October 22, 2009, 4:23 pm

    I had that happen to me in January 2007, then had a colposcopy, and then LEEP. It was pretty scary because I was so uneducated about it and had never gotten an abnormal papsmear before. After LEEP, I had to come back every three months until I had 3 normal papsmears in a row. It was a pain, and kinda scary, but like you said – better safe than sorry. Luckily, it’s never come back, but it’s still very nerve racking. *Sends you good vibes*

    • Paige (Running Around Normal) October 22, 2009, 4:26 pm

      Also – my colposcopy wasn’t very painful. To anyone who said they’re getting it done, ask them to numb you first. It really felt like a normal papsmear, but I was just so nervous and on edge it probably made it worse.

      • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 4:29 pm

        you can get NUMBED??? dude, i wish my doctor had told me that!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Meredith October 22, 2009, 8:07 pm

          Yeah I didn’t know this either at the time I had mine done, but when I rotated thru Ob/Gyn (in medical school) they had both a numbing spray and an injection patients could get.

        • Paige (Running Around Normal) October 23, 2009, 7:40 am

          Yeah…I told my doctor I was scared sh*tless, and I was klind of panicky, so she put a numbing agent on it!

  • alyssa October 22, 2009, 4:24 pm

    thanks for writing this. i have a huge fear of the GYNO – i’ve been before, but i hate it and i always kick and scream on the way there. my mom’s been urging me to go again forever, but my first time was so scarring – won’t go into details on a food blog LOL – that i am literally terrified to go back! i just need to man up and do it. thanks for the reminder.

  • Anonymous October 22, 2009, 4:25 pm

    I think this is a very important part of your message to women… they are beautiful, they need to respect themselves, and they need to be checked!

    I have been having a similar ordeal as you (I’m similar in age to you as well). It started in July when I had an external biopsy done and tested positive for HPV-induced warts. I never noticed anything, as they are really, really small and honestly I don’t look down there much.

    I was mortified, since I’ve only had one partner ever, and he has had very, very little experience before me (says he was protected, and I’m 100% sure he wouldn’t lie). I’ve been having to go in every two weeks to apply acid to most of the external region, and boy, this hurts and obviously lingers for days. Now I have to do paps every 6 months vs. 1 year. Even though it is clear that I got it from my one partner who has no symptoms, I’ve taken this in stride and our relationship has suffered no harm.

    However, I feel like I’m being punished for having pre-marital relations. =(

    Hope everything goes well for you….

    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 4:28 pm

      thank you for being so honest and forthright!! it is refreshing. there is really nothing to be embarrassed about. i have had an STD as well, but it was curable with a prescription and didn’t interfere with my life much.

      when you bump uglies, stuff gets passed around. 🙂

      but i dont think you should beat yourself up over it. i personally don’t believe in a vengeful god. these things just happen. maybe it happened so you could come on my blog and write that comment and someone else will see it who’s going through the similar thing and it will help them. you never know.

      plus, if YOU got punished for premartial relations, then I would surely be burning in hell somewhere, as i had a lot of premartial relationships with people besides the husband. 🙂

  • Elaine October 22, 2009, 4:30 pm

    Speaking of HPV… there is a vaccine now, you know. Your insurance will probably pay for it if you get your first dose (it’s three shots, each a few months apart) before you turn 27. I turn 27 in November and started the series last month. Yay for one more cancer avoided!

    • Anonymous October 22, 2009, 4:32 pm

      Strangely enough, I had gotten the vaccine, but there are many strains of HPV around, I guess.

  • Jessica October 22, 2009, 4:33 pm

    I had the exactly same chain of events about a year ago. Luckily, everything came back OK, but I still have to get a pap everything six months as a precaution. Thanks for being so real!

  • Meg October 22, 2009, 4:34 pm

    I too had several abnormal pap smears, and ended up getting a colposcopy a few times. My doctor claimed it wouldn’t be painful, but I agree with you that yes, it is quite uncomfortable! The good this is, they are usually able to remove the suspect cells, and the pre-pre cancerous cells take care of themselves before they become a much larger problem. Thank you for raising awareness for women to get regular pap smears. The gyno isn’t the most fun place in the world, but the minimal awkwardness that comes with yearly exams is completely worth the peace of mind of knowing you are taking care of problems before they become huge and scary. Great blog…and ps…I am from Pittsburgh going to grad school far from home, and love when you post pictures of my city 🙂

  • Jessica October 22, 2009, 4:36 pm

    and sorry for the poor grammar! I was answering phones at work while typing.

  • Kim October 22, 2009, 4:42 pm

    Best wishes for your test results! BTDT…twice!

    I am one of the ones who does have HPV, or so I was told 11 or so years ago after I had my son and I had my first abnormal pap & colposcopy. Since I have had many normal paps and then again, more abnormal. Had another colposcopy and also had the HPV test done and it was negative. I ended up having a LEEP for the abnormal cells back in 2005. I now get my paps every 6 months to make sure nothing new is going on.

    Glad that you are talking about this very important issue. I know that a lot of girls & women are embarrassed to talk about it and go to the dr.

  • kilax October 22, 2009, 4:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing about your doctor’s appt. It IS important to get a regular check-up! So many women are afraid of it 🙁

  • Morgan October 22, 2009, 5:00 pm

    SUCH an important topic! I am very on top of yearly annual exams with my PCP and annual gyno exams and pap smears. I feel like I sleep much better knowing! So many of my friends get paps only every few years and I yell at them so much! Thank you for sharing this, and I hope everything is OK!
    BTW, I’m realizing in a few years comes mammograms. UGH!

  • Joan October 22, 2009, 5:12 pm

    Oh please. If that’s extreme pain, I hope you never have to go through anything REALLY painful. I’ve had it, multiple biopsies, CRAMPING at best.

    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 5:19 pm

      good to know you’re inside my vagina and know how much it hurt!

      • alyssa October 22, 2009, 6:04 pm

        hahahahahahahahaha. i love your blog because you don’t delete comments like this. people told me i was over-exaggerating about the pain level when i got my first pap smear. turns out, the nurse actually pinched my uterus with that metal clamp when she was up there and had made a small tear! IT’S YOUR VAGINA, AND YOUR PAIN. period. haha.

      • Paige (Running Around Normal) October 23, 2009, 7:45 am

        LMAO. You’re awesome.

  • Laura October 22, 2009, 5:24 pm

    Glad you shared this. I went through the same thing–only I tested positive for HPV. I ended up having to have some pre-cancerous cells removed with a LEEP procedure. It’s great that you are putting this out there. The more women who get regular pap smears, the more these things get caught early.

    And yeah that damn biopsy hurt!! Hurt way more than the LEEP.

  • Pam (Pamcakes and Eggs) October 22, 2009, 5:28 pm

    The same thing happened to me too! It’s great that you’re so open and honest with all of us. It’s very much appreciated. Pap smears!!! lol

  • Allison October 22, 2009, 5:36 pm

    I just had an experience similar to yours! This is a very important topic! I had an abnormal pap (not HPV related) and had to do the colposcopy thing. However, my pap was classified as the lowest level of abnormality, and if I had been a bit younger, it would have been classified as normal. Apparently it’s normal to have slightly abnormal pap smears for girls 20 and under. Anyways, I got the colpsocopy done and the Doctor didn’t even need to take a biopsy, but told me to come back in 6 months just to be safe. Unfortunately, it cost me $$$$$$ to get that test done, which was frustrating. However, I feel that it was well worth it because women’s health is something that is very important to me. I want to have children some day, so it’s very important to take care of my reproductive health. It’s crazy to think that so many women spend so much time and effort taking care of their bodies in other ways (exercise and healthy eating) but neglect this aspect of their health!

  • Marissa October 22, 2009, 5:56 pm

    I am actually going through the same thing right now too. I had my first abnormal pap in April, and a colposcopy with 2 biopsies in May. Luckily those came back ok. Now, I’m just waiting on the results of my 6 month follow up pap that I had 2 weeks ago. Definitely not a fun ordeal. Seems like so many of us are going through this? That’s pretty crazy. I hope your results come back OK. Try not to worry as I think it’s best for us to catch all of this early!

  • Caroline October 22, 2009, 6:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing this experience with us all. It sounds like a lot of us have the same thing going on so it’s nice to feel normal. When this happened to me two years ago I felt like the only one who had an abnormal pap. Now I realize that it’s quite common. After 2 colposcopys I know have normal paps which is a great relief. Education and early detection is key for cervical cancer so kudos to you for getting the word out there. I hope everything comes out o.k!

  • Dani October 22, 2009, 7:09 pm

    Hey Caitlin! I completely understand where you’re coming from. In March I had an abnormal pap and biopsy which came back with medium high areas of concern. I had to have the LEEP procedure for my doctor to go in and remove the majority of the areas of concern. I hope everything turns out well! But if you (or anyone else :))has any questions or want to chat about anything feel free to shoot me an email 🙂 Hope you’re feeling better!!

  • Cindy October 22, 2009, 7:35 pm

    My first ever pap came back abnormal. My PA called me on the phone and said that I had stage 3 out of 4 of cervical cancer. I was 18 years old. I freaked out and demanded another test. I got one, and it came back normal, and every year after that. It’s so important to make sure you have these tests every year and if you think something is not right, ask for a second opinion.

    I also have fibrocysic breasts which make it rather difficult to do breast exams and determine if there are changes vs the same as I have about 30 in each breast. Hopefully when I get breast reduction surgery, many of these cysts will be removed.

  • jodie October 22, 2009, 7:38 pm

    Hope you feel better soon.I am so glad I finally found the Arnold sandwich thins, I was getting so jealous. I tried one this afternoon and it was wonderful.
    Thanks for posting the info on cutting into a pomegranate.

  • Maggie October 22, 2009, 7:40 pm

    Just wanted to join in as I’m a nurse practitioner who works in a women’s health clinic and talks about pap smears, colposcopies and HPV all day long. Lots have people have said this, but I wanted to reiterate how common getting a strain of the HPV virus is (I’ve heard 80% of adults will have it at one point or another, it is nothing to be ashamed of), and also that most abnormal paps (whether or not caused by HPV) turn out fine. In most young, otherwise healthy women our bodies are able to take care of those abnormal cells.

    That said, it is great we have screening tests (pap smears) and diagnostic tests to make sure that everything does clear up. Don’t be scared of going to get a pap smear done – tell your provider it is your first time and they should go over everything with you. And, as someone said – I look at vaginas all day long and there isn’t much I haven’t seen or been asked – so get all your questions answered and don’t be embarrassed!

    Thanks for sharing Caitlin and hope all is well.

    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 7:44 pm

      thank you for commenting!!

      whenever i feel shy i remember that doctors and nurses stare up at vaginas all day long (you poor things – you’re so brave!!) 🙂

  • Ashley October 22, 2009, 8:13 pm

    I can’t believe you wrote about this today! I just got a call from my doctor telling me my pap smear was came back atypical and that I have to get another one in 6 months. Since then I have been researching a bit about it and read about the procedure you had done. I read one article that said it was painless. My bf and I were both like yeah right that sounds uncomfortable. Hope everything works out!

    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 8:31 pm

      well, its definitely not painless, but as i can tell from these comments, women experience varying degrees of pain – some very little, some a significant amount (but at least its short). i hope everything works out for you, its great youre on top of your paps!

  • Melissa S. October 22, 2009, 8:42 pm

    Oh boy do i know the horrors of pap smears…ok, not horrors, but the worries. last time i went (july) everything was a mess cause everything came back very abnormal. two weeks and $500 worth of tests later, i was relieved to find out that i have fibroids, but i’m ok. med and procedures to take place in the future. at least i’ll be ok! i hope yours come back 100% fine!

  • hemp jogger October 22, 2009, 8:43 pm

    what a great post! i remember my coloscopy, and holy hell, that shit was so painful. nothin like a chunk clipped out of your uterus. but truly, it is sup importante to get those pappity-paps done. do it ladies, do it. keep yo cooters healthy 🙂

    and most all of us enjoy your address a multitude of issues on this blog, hence our return each day! hope your insides feel better. twas worth it.

  • becca October 22, 2009, 9:02 pm

    I was just at the GYNO yesterday for this! I had a follow up to my colop from six months ago and i cant believe you wrote about it! It makes me feel so much better that so many people have been or are in the same boat. I was horrified to find out about this and know it silly but feel so embarrassed by it. How awful is it men are carriers and can not be screen for HPV (except for warts) but women deal with the outcome? Its also so awkward to be in the waiting room with happy pregnant women and you are thinking i hope my pre-cancer cells have cleared up. Anyways thank you for posting about this, honestly, this could not have been better timing, your great:)

    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 10:10 pm

      im glad it helped you 🙂

      we shouldnt be embarrassed to talk about our coochies!!

  • maria October 22, 2009, 9:06 pm

    It is so important to always keep appointments and all that jazz with your body up to date. Early detection or prevention is the key! Thank you for sharing this with all the bloggers!

  • Lindsay October 22, 2009, 9:36 pm

    Bah, I’ve never been to the gyno and these posts are kind of scaring me :O
    I’m not sexually active, so I don’t need to go until I’m 21, right?

    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 10:11 pm

      i think the rule is 18 years old and/or sexually active. the regular gyno appointments are NOT painful. they are awkward but they don’t hurt, and it gets easier to go every year.

  • kirsten October 22, 2009, 11:08 pm

    your response to #76 just made me laugh outloud, haha! I’ve had coloscopy’s a few times also and they are definitely painful! I’m glad you wrote about this, going to the gyno is such an important thing for women to do.

  • Amy October 23, 2009, 7:57 am

    Thank you so much for this post. I just got a call from my doctor about ASCUS cells appearing in my pap. I was so scared, I hardly heard a word she said, so I called her back and had her “dumb” it down for me. I do have to go get a coloscopy next friday. I am terrified but I have to go and get it done like a big girl 😉 Hearing that you went is making it seem a little more common and thus a little bit more mentally-manageable. so thank you!!

  • Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life November 20, 2009, 9:28 am


  • Jennifer September 15, 2011, 8:58 pm

    So I’ve always had cramps and recently I’ve had major cramps…and I thought where can I get some down to earth advice. I thought about your blog and Jen’s. I am embarrassed to say I’ve only been to then OBGYN once in my life. I’ve always been a private person when it comes to my body and I have to admit being around healthy living bloggers has stretched me. And the best advice I got from this post is GO TO THE DOC!

    • CaitlinHTP September 16, 2011, 9:52 am

      Did you go and figure out what was wrong???

  • Hannah (Balancing on Two Feet) October 4, 2011, 4:22 pm

    I just got abnormal results back today. Your blog was the first thing I thought of. Thank you so much for being here and your open honesty!

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