Necessary, Part III

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Side note:  I read today that only 70% of Americans wash their fruit before eating it.  Um, gross.  Not only is there dirt on fruit, but fruit is also covered in wax and pesticides.  Please wash your fruit!  🙂


My lunch was delicious (and washed):


I had two organic blue corn tacos, which I stuffed with black beans, cheddar cheese, spinach, and salsa.  Yum!


I also had a carrot:


And a double serving of Stacy’s Pita Chips. So addicting.


Necessary, Part III


This afternoon, I am going to the doctor for the Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP), which is when the doctor cuts out a portion of my cervix.  I’ve written about my abnormal pap smear (this post) and my abnormal biopsy (this post) before.  Basically, these tests reveal pre-cancerous cells, which must be cut out.


If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that my family is not one to rush to the doctor.  I probably won’t even deliver my babies in the hospital!  So, after my gynecologist told me to have the LEEP procedure, I spoke to three holistic doctors about my options.  Two out of the three doctors said to go ahead and do it.   The third said that I should wait and get another biopsy done in 6 months; however, I’m not sure what my health insurance situation will be and don’t want to put it off.  Also, hearing from so many other readers and bloggers who had the same procedure done made me feel more comfortable.


I’m obviously really nervous, but the Husband is coming with me.  I felt really bad after the biopsy and couldn’t run for a few days, so I’m expecting this to be worse (they aren’t knocking me out or anything). 


I am also really mad.  I’m trying to get over my madness because it’s not productive.  Part of me feels like “Why me?”  I am mad because I am a very healthy person who eats right, exercises, has been screened for STDs, etc.  Realistically, I know that even the healthiest people get diseases (like my friend Megan who has leukemia for the second time).


I know some women feel shy talking about gynecological issues, but I feel like it’s important to talk about it.  Being a healthy woman isn’t just about eating vegetables and exercising – it’s about engaging in safe sex, getting regular check-ups, and doing things like the LEEP to prevent cancer


I promise to stop talking about vajayjays tomorrow.  🙂


Do you get second opinions before medical procedures, or do you tend to trust your doctors?  I am very untrusting, obviously.



  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 23, 2009, 1:15 pm

    I always try to get second opinions. I am a huge baby and have to have my mom come with me (or my husband). I’m sure it is hard for you today without your mom close. 🙁 Ill be thinking of you girl!

  • MelissaNibbles November 23, 2009, 1:16 pm

    Good luck Caitlin. I’ve had the LEEP procedure and it was easy to get through, but I was uncomfortable the rest of the day and the day after. I wish you a speedy recovery.

  • Yasmin November 23, 2009, 1:19 pm

    I hope everything turns out well Caitlin. My thoughts are with you, and I’ll be sending waves of good wishes your way.

  • Meghan@traveleatlove November 23, 2009, 1:19 pm

    I generally don’t go to the doctor’s that much and try to stay healthy naturally, but I do have a great doctor that I trust when I need her. Good luck today!

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) November 23, 2009, 1:20 pm

    Goodluck!!! Sending positive and healing vibes your way. 🙂 Thanks for being so open about a difficult subject- not many people could.

  • Neely November 23, 2009, 1:22 pm

    Good Luck!

    I have nothing to add except the terms preggo, preggers, vajayjay and “the rag” should be permanently banished from existence.

    (Side note… poon, snatch and cooter should stay) 🙂

    • Caitlin in MD November 23, 2009, 1:37 pm

      I concur! I HAAATE “preggo” and any variation on it.

  • Kelly November 23, 2009, 1:22 pm

    I hope everything goes well!

    I get a second opinion, especially if the first one sounds weird to me, such as the doc who told me it was fine to run on my knee even if it hurts because we don’t worry about knee pain until it’s been happening for a year….WHAT lol

  • Samma November 23, 2009, 1:22 pm

    My best friend had the same thing done. It was a rough day and a half, then she felt better. I made her a basket full of get well gifts- her favorite that I included, was a bunch a comfy cotton grannny panties from Target, b/c there was definitely some bleeding.

    I’m sorry that you are having to experience this. It’s difficult to understand why a young healthy woman has to undergo this, but maybe try to remember (like how you are), that this is just another thing you are doing to preserve your health, like eating well and exercising.

  • Neely November 23, 2009, 1:22 pm

    Good Luck!

    I have nothing to add except the terms preggo, preggers, vajayjay and “the rag” should be permanently banished from existence.

    • Neely November 23, 2009, 1:26 pm

      Well, I would also add that you will do great! Thinking about cha.

  • Brie (The Fit Bride) November 23, 2009, 1:22 pm

    Big hugs! It will be okay. I used to work in an OB/GYN office and this was considered a very routine procedure.

    I’ve never needed a second opinion (knocks wood) but I do carefully research a doctor before I go to him or her.

  • Rebekah November 23, 2009, 1:24 pm

    Hey, I know the frustration you feel. Last year I was diagnosed with endometriosis after 7 years of a family practitioner telling me it was just growing pains. Ive been through numerous treatments and Ive had surgery to remove the lesions in my abdomen and trust me, I ALWAYS think “why me?” because Im a very active person. It has been like a wrecking-ball in my life for the past months, but it’s steadily getting better. I hope everything goes well with your surgery and that you recover quickly!

  • Stephanie November 23, 2009, 1:24 pm

    You will do great today, my good friend had this procedure done and while it may be uncomfortable for a little while it is definitely something I’m glad you proceeded with doing – could be a lifesaver! Good luck today and you will do fine! 🙂

  • Vanessa (Last Night's Leftovers) November 23, 2009, 1:24 pm

    Best of luck with the LEEP! Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery for you. 🙂

  • Jess November 23, 2009, 1:24 pm

    Good luck Caitlin. I hope the procedure goes well and I hope it doesn’t hurt too much!

  • Erica November 23, 2009, 1:25 pm

    Hey girl. Best of luck. I’m sure everything will go super smooth. Please keep us in the loop (once you’re feeling better/up to it – obviously). Glad the husband will be there with you. Great lunchy. Love those tacos. I trust the majority of my doctors (when they’re doctors I’ve been referred to by friends or families). I’m very lucky in that Josh’s Dad is a doctor and has a good network through which we get most of our referrals

  • Katie November 23, 2009, 1:25 pm

    Good luck on the procedure!

    I get second (or third) opinions when it really matters. When I sprained my knee and wasn’t satisfied with my doctor’s report, I talked to someone else to get more information.

    With something that even has the POSSIBILITY of being cancerous, you really need to get it checked out immediately (so good for you!). A doctor caught my mother’s cancer early on, and most definitely saved her life.

  • caronae November 23, 2009, 1:26 pm

    I hope everything goes well with the procedure and that it doesn’t hurt!

    I always get a second opinion from my parents, since they are both doctors. In fact, I hardly ever go to the real doctor’s because I feel like my parents know me so much better! They even bring shots and prescriptions home for me when I need them. It’s kind of convenient!

  • JAG November 23, 2009, 1:26 pm

    Hey Caitlin, I know it’s easy for me to say but please try not to worry. This time last year I had an abnormal smear test too and also had to have the LEEP procedure on 9th December. I was super nervous about it and got very anxious but I didn’t feel any pain whatsoever, though it felt a tad uncomfortable. I was back to work the same day and back to exercising 2 days later, though I know it affects everyone differently.

    If you have any questions or just want someone to chat to, please feel free to email me at

    Good luck honey, I’ll be thinking of you.

  • Julie @savvyeats November 23, 2009, 1:26 pm

    Good luck, dear!!!

    I’ve not only gotten 2nd opinions, I’ve also gotten third, fourth, fifth, and sixth opinions! Then again, it was because the first 5 doctors told me nothing was wrong, which I knew wasn’t true. My holistic doctor was #6, and she diagnosed my thyroid problems immediately. Love.

  • Janna November 23, 2009, 1:27 pm

    Good luck Caitlin! You’ll do great.

    Hope you get lots of treats after 🙂

    I agree that gynecological issues are very important to talk about it. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Sammi November 23, 2009, 1:27 pm

    Good luck today! I am sorry this has happened to you 🙁 It is really unfair for someone as healthy as you to have these issues. I hope you spoil yourself after with ice cream and pajamas!!

  • jessica November 23, 2009, 1:28 pm

    Good luck Caitlin! Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I’m sure you have helped more people than you know.

  • Chloe (Naturally Frugal) November 23, 2009, 1:29 pm

    Keep talking about it! We all need to be aware of what can happen to our bodies, even if we take care of them as well as you do. Good luck today, you are in my thoughts and I wish you the best.
    P.S. Vajayjay = best way to say vagina.
    Love you!

  • megan November 23, 2009, 1:32 pm

    I am very trusting…probably too trusting, now that I think about it. Thankfully I haven’t had too many problems that I have to worry about.

    Good luck! Hopefully the worrying will be the worst of it, and when you’re done you’ll look back and think it was easy! 🙂

  • Christine November 23, 2009, 1:35 pm

    In the future I might also recommend seeing an OB/GYN specialist in addition to your holistic doctors. I’ve had a LEEP myself, and have had my 3 gynecologists since then tell me that they would avoid doing a LEEP procedure if at all possible. The individual who recommended and did mine was a holistic doctor. I hope it goes well and your experience matches the descriptions above- mine was quite horrible! Hang in there!

  • Kristie Lynn November 23, 2009, 1:35 pm

    Good luck! It’s tough to acknowledge that doing everything you can to live a healthy life doesn’t guarantee that you won’t have medical issues, but I would like to think that whatever ones we end up with are lesser than they would be and that we’re avoiding even more of them!

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion November 23, 2009, 1:36 pm

    Great post, Caitlin! You are right, being healthy is much more than exercise and diet! It is important not to forget that! Good Luck with everything! I will be thinking of you 🙂

  • Scorpio Woman November 23, 2009, 1:37 pm

    I hope you’re going to be fine and heal rapidly. I’m thinking of you and sends you positive thoughts

  • Kat (kats daily plate) November 23, 2009, 1:38 pm

    Good luck! I tend to be a lot like you when it comes to doctors, but I think its great that you are going ahead and being proactive with this after getting so many medical opinions. And I think its awesome that you talk about vajayjays on the blog and educate women through your own experiences!
    Hope the recovery is quick and painless. xoo

  • Elaine November 23, 2009, 1:38 pm

    Hugs. You’ll do great!

  • Kate November 23, 2009, 1:38 pm

    Good luck today! I had a LEEP done about two and a half weeks ago, and it is certainly a scary proposition. I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by how much better I felt immediately after the LEEP in comparison to the biopsy. The recovery has been longer, though, as I’ve been experiencing mild to moderate cramping and bleeding. I think it’s really important to share these experiences, and I appreciate you doing so as well.

  • Kelly November 23, 2009, 1:42 pm

    I had the LEEP done as well for abnormal, pre-cancerous cells when I was 20. I did get several “second opinions” — I like to know all my options!
    I’ve done the same with the fibroid cyst I have in my left ovary. For now, we’re leaving it where it is….but I wouldn’t have known that was an option until I had second opinions. The doctor who found the cyst originally told me it had to be removed ASAP, and it would probably cause that ovary to never function properly again! Ugh, hello? Definitely second opinion!
    So for now I have two perfectly healthy ovaries…one just has a little mass of hair/skin cells in it. It’s all good. LOL

  • kirsten November 23, 2009, 1:43 pm

    Good luck today. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Mama Pea November 23, 2009, 1:45 pm

    I’m thinking about you girl. I’m having my back procedure tomorrow, so I’ll be laid up too. We can eat pita chips and have our men wait on us. But I do understand what you are feeling. At least our being sidelined is only temporary. It could be a lot worse. 🙁

  • Lisa November 23, 2009, 1:47 pm

    Wishing you lots of luck for the procedure, and I hope that it is not too uncomfortable. It is wonderful that you will have a support person there with you – at least for a big hug at the end of it 🙂 Thinking of you 🙂

  • Kara November 23, 2009, 1:47 pm

    Good luck today, I hope it’s relatively pain free (or fast) (or both!). Anything involving that region sucks, so you have my sympathy.

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite November 23, 2009, 1:48 pm

    Best of luck! I know lots of individuals who have had this procedure with positive results.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • TorontoGirloutWest November 23, 2009, 1:49 pm

    Hang in there Caitlin!!!

    You’re a brave girl and you should be commended for taking charge of your health this way!

    I will be praying!!! 

  • Jo November 23, 2009, 1:49 pm
  • maris November 23, 2009, 1:49 pm

    Perfect timing for me to read this post! I’m having a repeat pap today because my last one showed some abnormal pre-cancerous cells. Sexual health is soo important and as someone who has always been safe and healthy, there is definitely a sense of “how the heck did this happen?” I just feel lucky they caught it early enough to prevent anything worse.

    Good luck!

  • Shana November 23, 2009, 1:52 pm

    Good luck!I hope all goes well.

    Thank you so much for talking about this. Your previous post about the importance of getting pap smears reminded me to schedule an appointment with my OB/GYN for my annual. I had been putting it off. I had a pap smear done at the end of October and I got a call last week that the results were abnormal. I don’t have HPV. So, in a couple of weeks I have to go back and get a colopscopy and maybe a biopsy. I’m nervous but my husband is going with me to the appointment. I’m hoping everything turns out okay because the husband and I want to start trying for baby #2 next year.

    I usually don’t seek out second opinions. I research the doctor before my visit and then afterwards I research the diagnosis (if there is one).

    • Caitlin November 23, 2009, 1:52 pm

      aww im sorry you are going through this but knowing that my experiences helped one woman catch their own abnormal cells is sooo helpful for me.

  • laura dishes November 23, 2009, 1:54 pm

    Sending good thoughts your way! I hope that you recover quickly.

    I always get a 2nd opinion- my last gyno was so bad that I ended up switching. From the long wait to poor, inattentive treatment, etc… I just had enough! Thankfully, my current gyno is much better.

  • Lee November 23, 2009, 1:59 pm

    Good luck with your procedure.

  • lauren November 23, 2009, 2:01 pm

    good luck today! i hope the procedure is as painless as possible! I think your such a positive role model for adressing issues others may avoid because they feel “embarassed” talking about certain things. As always, thanks for being so open and honest 🙂 take care!

  • Nicci@NiftyEats November 23, 2009, 2:02 pm

    No, I don’t think this is too much info…we need to know these things. My family doctor is great, I always trust him and I;ve known him most of my life.

  • Kate November 23, 2009, 2:04 pm

    Thanks as well for talking about this. Also for mentioning second opinions. Sometimes people act like it’s a crime to “betray” their doctor by getting a second opinion, however within the medical profession, this is absolutely encouraged. Thinking of you and best of luck with the procedure 🙂

  • Matt November 23, 2009, 2:06 pm

    Good luck with the procedure. I honestly don’t trust doctors, so I would have gotten a second or third opinion before surgery, but that is just me. Sometimes I think they just don’t care enough about each patient to make the best decision.

    • Caitlin November 23, 2009, 2:07 pm

      i did get a second opinion 🙂

  • Christie @ Honoring Health November 23, 2009, 2:06 pm

    Good luck with the LEEP.

    I am pretty much over traditional medicine. The doctors I see tend to want to just shove meds in my face and call it a day. And, on top of that, half of them don’t even respect that I need gluten free meds. I am thinking about looking into finding a naturopath (sp?).

  • Nancy November 23, 2009, 2:07 pm

    I’m very untrusting too. I went to my family doctor about an abnormal pap and the next 6 months (I go every 6mths to get a checkup too) she totally “FORGOT” about it, and didn’t write it down in my chart when I questioned her about it.

    So, I asked for a second opinion. She was hesitant. I now go to a specialist OB-Gyn instead of just a family Dr. I actually haven’t been back to her since that incident. I’d rather go to drop in clinics than have some flake for a doctor. Clearly, I’m not pleased with the situation.

    I had a few biopsies before, and in January I had some procedure done. I don’t remember what it was called, but it was to get rid of the abnormal cells, and I’ve been getting a 6 month check up with vag-doctors for 5 years now. Sometimes they’re normal pap’s, and most the time they’re abnormal. Just going back every six months is what I have to do now, to prevent and try to catch early cases of cervical cancer. It’s just a part of who I am now. It’s funny, I’m not even nervous getting on that table now, because I can trust my DR. And He’s a MAN! I never thought I’d be comfortable with a male ob-gyn, but he’s the best doctor I’ve ever been to.

    • Caitlin November 23, 2009, 2:08 pm

      i used to have a male obgyn and i liked him more than all the female doctors i’ve seen.

  • Nicole November 23, 2009, 2:12 pm

    You are so brave for putting your snatch problems on the internet! But I’m so happy that you are doing it though. I’m sure that it has helped so many people! Good luck with your treatment!! 🙂

  • kristen November 23, 2009, 2:16 pm

    I’m glad you decided to go ahead with the procedure- it seems better than the alternative of waiting for it to potentially get worse. Good luck! I hope it goes really well and that you have “minimal discomfort” as the medical profession likes to call it.
    I trust science and the medical field in general, but I don’t put all of my trust in doctors. They have a LOT to do and a LOT of patients. I take as much responsibility for my own health as I can by staying informed and asking as many questions as I can. Luckily I work in health research and have access to a lot of medical literature- so this helps a lot.

  • Kara November 23, 2009, 2:20 pm

    Good luck with the procedure today, and thank you for being so public about it! I remember reading once that around 30% of women have miscarriages, yet I had never heard any of my family members/friends ever mention anything about it.

    Not talking about these issues with other women doesn’t help anyone.

  • Joan November 23, 2009, 2:21 pm

    Very easy procedure and very common! So don’t feel the “why me”, many of us have had it! A little cramping maybe.

  • Paige November 23, 2009, 2:22 pm

    I usually trust my doctor…If I felt really strongly that his/her opinion could be wrong; I would definitely get a second opinion. Luckily, I have never had anything serious enough in which I needed to seek further advice.

    I hope everything goes as smoothly as possible for you today!

  • girlrunningaround November 23, 2009, 2:23 pm

    Good luck today, girlie. Try not to feel mad about the situation. You should feel lucky that you were able to catch it so early and take care of it before it did significant damage.

    And make sure to get some R&R!

  • lisa November 23, 2009, 2:24 pm

    A year ago today I was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease and had a brain tumor removed from my pituitary gland in early January. I have asked so many times “why me”? I have also asked the same question on behalf of my good friend, who is the kindest, most wonderful person I know, who lost her baby girl at just a year and a half. I continue to ask ‘why’ but unfortunately I don’t think there’s a good answer. I, too, try to live a healthy life and do things the ‘right’ way and be a good person. It doesn’t make sense, but we just have to keep trying to live well, not take anything for granted, and try our best to enjoy life.

    I wish you tons of luck today and a speedy recovery! I’m sure you’ll be out running in no time!

    • Caitlin November 23, 2009, 2:28 pm


  • Jenna November 23, 2009, 2:29 pm

    i like to get lots of opinions! good luck today!

  • Steph @ Lifes Little Nibbles November 23, 2009, 2:32 pm

    Wishing you the best of luck! You are going to be fine and back to yourself in no time. Luckily you are taking care of the situation now and not waiting until it turns into a bigger problem.
    Besides you have to make sure you are 100% healthy for when its baby time! 🙂

  • Christine N November 23, 2009, 2:35 pm

    Until my family doctor retired this past summer I trusted her. She had been my doctor since I was 5 years old.

    Good luck today and I hope you have a speedy recovery and can get back to marathon training soon! 🙂

  • Rebekah November 23, 2009, 2:37 pm

    At the end of the summer I’d been sick for weeks, mostly just coughing and still training for the 3-Day walk without problems. I went to the doc and he listened, said pneumonia, and gave me 5 days of antibiotics.

    I should have prefaced this by saying that I’m really, really concerned about two things: foodborne illness and superbugs created by otherwise healthy people who don’t let their immune systems just do their job.

    If I’d gotten a second opinion I would have learned that 5 days of antibiotics is just fine IF I ACTUALLY HAD PNEUMONIA, but he wouldn’t know for sure without an x-ray.

    So I took the antibiotics, didn’t get better, and went back to my regular doc 2 weeks later. I’m still super pissed about taking the antibiotics, but fortunately perfectly healthy now.

  • Maura November 23, 2009, 2:37 pm

    I am so impressed by your openness about such a personal issue. This isn’t the same thing but your story has inspired me to reschedule my physical exam that should have taken place 6 months ago. Best of luck today & thanks for being such an inspiration to us all.

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) November 23, 2009, 2:37 pm

    Thinking about you today! Good luck, Caitlin! If you get nervous, just think about the hundred of your readers who are sending you well wishes! My husband came with me, too, but they knocked me out for it. I’m a huge baby.

  • Anne P November 23, 2009, 2:38 pm

    Good luck today my dear. I’ll be thinking of you!

  • Susan November 23, 2009, 2:41 pm

    Good luck with the procedure!! Although, I’m sure everything will be 100% fine 😀 I grew up with a scientist for a mother so I have NO issue talking about my girly bits and any other bodily stuff. To a fault, maybe 😛 It is important to address though, we need to be on top of our health inside and out, including those private parts!

  • Erin November 23, 2009, 2:45 pm

    I hope everything goes well today — it’s definitely better to get a few opinions and weigh your options before jumping in to anything.

    Black bean tacos is one of my favorite lunches! 😀

  • Anonymous November 23, 2009, 2:46 pm

    Hi Kaitlin! I’m the same anonymous who posted on your first entry (I don’t want to say I’m the one with the warts, lol). Hope everything goes well. I recently found out that I am now clear, which means either my immune system finally cleared the HPV or this is something temporary.

    Take it easy for a few days. I had an external biopsy done, which was not that painful during the time… it wasn’t until later that I was feeling like I was being punished. I didn’t want to wear anything like pants for a while, but I actually ran a half-marathon 4 days afterward and was okay.

    And like you, I wondered how this could happen to me because I’m a relatively healthy person as well and was practicing safe sex and waited, too.

    Very sweet that the husband is coming with you. My boy offered to come with me to some of the treatments, but I was too ashamed to bring him. It is different, obviously, when you’re married, though.

    And about the second opinion… my doctors usually tell me to get one through referrals. In this case, there was no doubt since he ran the biopsy and it returned positive.

    • Caitlin November 23, 2009, 2:50 pm

      love is wonderful – it doesn’t matter if you’re married or not. the fact that the boy was willing to go with you to the OBGYN speaks VOLUMESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

  • Allison November 23, 2009, 2:48 pm

    Time and insurance allowing, for a major procedure like this, I would get a second opinion! It sounds like you have thought everything out and made informed decisions about your health.

  • B-A November 23, 2009, 2:49 pm

    I always get a second opinion. Just recently I had a bad experience with a gyno who told me I had precancerous cells on my cervix, hpv and said I couldn’t be sexually active for two years and then told me to google it. He left me a voice mail, left for the day before calling me back…I was harassing his office for about two days before he called me back. I never saw him to actually speak about the diagnosis. I went to another doctor, got a biopsy and have none of the above. I’m 100% healthy. I was miserable for weeks because I take pride in being safe and healthy in all the aspects you mentioned in this post…and all for nothing. I seriously want to go and trash the doctor that misdiagnosed me in his office, but I’m really not confrontational. I did though, complain to the NY state board of health. The best part of your situation is that you will be okay. The cells can be cut off…that’s what I told myself. I would rather deal with a painful procedure for an hour than have dangerous cancer. Good luck. You will be okay, you are a strong person. I’ll be crossing my fingers for you today.

    • Caitlin November 23, 2009, 2:51 pm

      good for you for reporting it to the NY state board!

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat November 23, 2009, 2:50 pm

    I used to be very trusting of doctors until I got an infected gallbladder at age 20 and it took three doctors visits over the course of 4 very painful months (and becoming dangerously jaundiced with toxic liver enzyme levels) before I finally got sent to the hospital for surgery — no one wanted to believe a 20 year old could have what I did. It’s becoming more common now amongst 20 year olds (which sucks) so hopefully that doesn’t happen to anyone else.

    But from now on, I will definitely be getting second opinions and doing as much research as possible. It would’ve saved me a lot of time and pain if I’d known then what I know now.

    Good luck Caitlin, praying for you!

  • Traci November 23, 2009, 2:52 pm

    Caitlin, first I wish you the best of luck with everything. Because you are so strong and health that will only help with recovery. I saw this with my Mom. 5 years ago she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She has been a runner for 30 years and nearly perfectly balanced diet. She was shocked at the diagnosis. She kept saying then why do i do all these healthy things? Well, because she is so strong and healthy she did amazing all during treatment and had a great attitude. She said she was going to kick cancers butt. And she did. 5 years later (Dec 10th anniversary) cancer free. Stay stong kiddo! Hope you know how many people you inspire each and every day. You rock!

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance) November 23, 2009, 3:02 pm

    good luck at the doctor, my dear!


  • Erica November 23, 2009, 3:02 pm

    Oh honey…I went through the same feelings of being “mad” when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30. I have no risk factors whatsoever, other than the fact that I’m a woman, and I felt like all the time I spent taking care of myself-eating healthy, running, etc, was in vain. I felt like my body had basically betrayed me! I have moved past those feelings, but there are still some days when I just have to go “Why ME?!” But I know that my healthy lifestyle helped me get through a year of treatment and allowed me to come out of it a survivor, and STRONGER than before! So I know how you feel.
    Best of luck today, C! I’ll say prayers that the procedure will go quickly and the outcome will be GREAT! <3

  • Julie November 23, 2009, 3:10 pm

    For major procedures and unclear diagnoses I’d get a second opinion. Good luck today!!

  • Marina November 23, 2009, 3:12 pm

    My mom is a doctor, and so are my future in-laws. So, I tend to trust them, but I do check twice about it. It is my body, and I know that my mom tends to panic when it comes to my health. Good luck with the procedure, I’m sure everything will be ok.Fingers crossed!

  • toni conrad November 23, 2009, 3:26 pm

    you MUST MUST MUST get second and third opinions. I am actually on my 4th Electriophysiologist (pacemaker doctor) and it has been discovered that my pacemaker was not necessary. Not only did my daughter die in the pacemaker process (I was 28 weeks pregnant and the doctor scared me into getting a proceedure done that was compared to having a mole removed) but I also developed Cardiomyopathy (heart failure) because the doctor did not listen to my complaints. If i were still with this doctor or my second or third Electriophysiologists, I would still be in heart failure. Instead after countless hours of research, I have found a 4th EP and I am so happy with him. He actually turned my pacemaker off and the Heart Failure went away!!! Now I am recovered and on my road to having a second baby…

    I have to say that I had several opinions from other doctors about getting a pacemaker implanted while pregnant and the most serious thing was if something happened to me they would deliver the baby. Thats not what happened, but it is way to long to make a comment.

    I have been preaching to EVERYONE find a second opinion for even the most minor proceedure and sometimes the “Best” doctor has off days.

    Good luck to you and it sounds like you have done your research.

  • Evan Thomas November 23, 2009, 3:32 pm

    I really hope this brings the solution you’re looking for and deserve.

  • Amanda November 23, 2009, 3:32 pm

    I’m a Labor and Delivery nurse, so I basically tend to trust doctors. They may each have slightly varying opinions or may do things slightly different ways, but most of them do the right thing. There are bad doctors for sure though. Thank goodness from my experience they are the vast minority though.

  • Luisa November 23, 2009, 3:39 pm

    good luck!

  • Jocelyn November 23, 2009, 3:46 pm

    Hey Caitlin,

    I’m just like you- I’m more into holistic (eastern) medicine than western. I feel like a lot of western doctors are just ready to operate or medicate and that’s not always the best option. My aunt had an irregular Pap smear that her doctor told her was cancerous and that they would have to remove her ovaries. Her doctor also told her that she would probably never have kids. My uncle is very into alternative medicine and had her go to a specialized holistic doctor instead who changed her diet and had her go on some detoxes. And after a few weeks the cancer was gone! I know this won’t work on EVER patient but I feel like it’s worth a try because you never know. I know your situation isn’t the same as my aunt’s but my point is I think your really smart to ask different opinions and not just rely on one doctor. Good Luck!


  • Kara November 23, 2009, 3:55 pm

    Good luck! I think it’s very smart to get second opinions when it’s something big. I’m sure you will do great and recuperate quickly!

  • jessicaamc November 23, 2009, 4:02 pm

    I went through the same thing!! It happens to healthy people! Actually a nurse related it to me as everyone has been in contact with someone who has a cold… but it doesn’t always mean that you’re going to catch that cold. Anyways I think I’m up to 5 or 6 biopsies and this summer I had my 2nd clear biopsy! I dunno how it works there.. but here you go for biopsies every 6 months until you have 2-3 clear ones in a row.

    Anyways I hope things went well this aft and the hus is super awesome for being your nurse! 🙂

  • Krista November 23, 2009, 4:06 pm

    I went for a 2nd opinion before I had a hysterectomy at age 30. My doctor was really cool about me wanting one and gave me a list of specialists to choose from. I was glad to have done it and haven’t ever regretted my decision.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) November 23, 2009, 4:08 pm

    I’m glad you are taking care of yourself Caitlin. I’m not glad you have to have this happen but it’s a good message to put out there.

    I feel you on the anger. I didn’t have back problems until after I had lost most of my weight and I got angry about it. But all worked out even if I don’t know why yet.

    I tend to get one other opinion. Its not that I don’t trust I just want to be as informed as possible since I have many issues.

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope November 23, 2009, 4:14 pm

    That taco looks amazing!!

    As an RN, I would always get a second opinion on something serious. Doctors are only human, too and they make mistakes or don’t see things the way someone else might. Good luck on your procedure.

  • Amy (One Thousand Steps) November 23, 2009, 4:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing such an honest and personal experience – it can’t be easy in such a public forum! I agree that second opinions are really important – even well intentioned doctors sometimes don’t have the time or experience to give you the best advice. I wish you all the best with the procedure!

  • Carrie H November 23, 2009, 4:23 pm

    I’m sending good vibes your way, Caitlin! I hope all goes well (as well as it can go) and that you feel better soon.

  • Tonya November 23, 2009, 4:41 pm

    you inspired me to run more. i quit running for three months because of things that happened in my life and i found your blog and it really helped motivate me. <3

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) November 23, 2009, 4:45 pm

    I wish you all the best today, my dear. It will be fine.

  • Serena November 23, 2009, 4:55 pm

    Good luck, Caitlin! I am naturally a skeptical person and really should get more 2nd opinions than I do. But on this one, it really is a very common procedure (and they’re not really cutting out a portion of your cervix so much as scraping off the pre-cancerous portion – it sounds gross, but think of it like a block of cheese and one of those slicers that’s slicing off a top layer). I had very minimal recovery time after having the procedure done and hopefully you’ll be lucky and it will be the same for you! I think it’s great that you’re talking about these things on the blog – women need to learn and feel comfortable being open about normal things, like how our bodies work!

  • A@ Please Don't Eat Me! November 23, 2009, 4:55 pm

    good luck with the LEEP.. those things are scary, but necessary.. i have endometriosis and am having my first surgery for it in jan. i also have had abnormal paps- doc said i gotta go every 6 months to get them done. Anything that you can do to prevent cervical cancer- do it! its a silent disease, often you dont realize until you are dying that you have it- you might chalk intestinal distress up to something silly like suddenly being lactose intolerant and its not that… its stage 4 cancer..
    take care of yourself!
    best thing to do- especially where you will be itching to get up and go and not be lazy is to walk- slowly and dont push it. i had a hernia surgery and even though i really didnt want to, i walked- it helped a lot!

    good luck!!!!!

  • Quinn November 23, 2009, 5:09 pm

    Hey Lady! I don’t know how I missed your other two posts on this, but I have had the surgery. I too had the precancerous cells, and did the colopscopy and then basically they laser froze those suckers off my cervix. I can most certainly empathize, but think it’s so great you’re monitoring your health and taking an active role with doctors and procedures. I also can’t tell you you’ll never see them again. Mine have shown up as abnormal paps again, but so far (fingers crossed) I haven’t had to go back. Recovery for me took a day. Basically, not to be gross, just kind of hurt to pee. Good luck, and all the best to a speedy recovery!

    • Erin D. November 24, 2009, 1:53 am

      I had the LEEP procedure in January, and I also had a very short recovery time. Ditto on the ‘hurting to pee’ factor! You’ll be fine – good luck! 🙂

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg November 23, 2009, 5:18 pm

    Good luck! I’ll be thinking about you and sending good thoughts your way!

  • Alyssa November 23, 2009, 6:11 pm

    Good luck and I hope everything goes well! Everything will be fine, and awesome for the husband to be there with you!

    *ps: I sent you an e-mail about your book chapter you were writing the other day, hope you got it:)

  • Steve Stenzel November 23, 2009, 6:46 pm

    Ummm, it’s ALWAYS ok to talk about vajayjays. Always.


  • Karla November 23, 2009, 6:56 pm

    I think second opinions are extremely important. My Dad is a dentist (not a doctor but still medical related) and when he finds serious things, he tells his patients to get second opinions. Humans make mistakes, other eyes and brains are always helpful.

    Good luck! I’m sure everything will work out well!

  • AshB November 23, 2009, 7:00 pm


    I am in med school right now and i was just wondering about where the mistrust in doctors is coming from? From a future doctor’s perspective, I think it would wonderful to know and understand so i can better serve my patients.

    • Serena November 23, 2009, 9:04 pm

      Hi AshB, I have a lot of respect for doctors and I do generally trust that they’re not out there intentionally misdiagnosing patients! I think one thing that I do think about thought is that the medical profession, like any other profession, can be a for-profit industry, and it sometimes appears as if the medical device and pharmaceutical industry can really influence doctors. So a doctor might recommend a particular product because he/she or the hospital/practice has a contract with a particular supplier. For example, is my dermatologist recommending a particular skincare line because he really believes in it or because he signed an exclusive deal with them? I wish that aspect of the profession was a bit more transparent.

    • Kristen November 23, 2009, 10:22 pm

      I just know that there is NO way that doctors can run a busy practice and still stay up on all of the latest research. So it isn’t that I don’t trust doctors, it is that I see that they are human, they make mistakes, and that it is ok to question them. I think it is better that the “new generation” of patients doesn’t put blind faith in the medical profession, but I also think we need to understand that doctors CAN be trusted (and for the most part are very trustworthy)

  • Nicole November 23, 2009, 7:24 pm

    I have not had the best luck with doctors, and I just don’t trust them too much anymore.

    Back in highschool, tore up my shoulder and had to have surgery. It wasn’t fixed after the second and I had to go back and get a second surgery. Still not fixed, so I went to a third doctor, who operated again, and told me the first doctor had messed up my shoulder. He did his best to fix it, but I still feel shoulder pain all the time 🙁

    I also have lyme disease and it took SO many doctors to diagnose it!!

    I hope your procedure went well, Caitlin!

  • emily November 23, 2009, 7:28 pm

    I hope everything went well and you are feeling ok!! The word vajayjay rocks my socks. When I was in high school my best friend and I tried to revive the C-word!

  • KatieMoo November 23, 2009, 7:41 pm

    I hope everything went well! I also hope that you’ll feel better in no time and will be back on your speedy feet! Hugs!

  • Jolene ( November 23, 2009, 8:18 pm

    I hope it goes perfectly!! I tend to trust my doctor, but he is one that does not believe in prescribing medicine unless absolutely necessary … he has “prescribed” me all natural treatments many times!

  • Tania @ Moment Anew November 23, 2009, 9:44 pm

    BRAVO Caitlin for being so open and honest!!! I vowed I would be candid on my blog and it has set me free. I’m glad to see others doing the same. I hope you’re feeling well and not too uncomfortable. All the best with it 🙂

  • Lisa November 24, 2009, 12:18 am

    Re the veg washing – yes! Also thinking about how many people have touched the fruit on its way to my kitchen makes me run for the tap before I eat it. Also, it’s important to wash fruit where the skin doesn’t get eaten (melons, lemons, etc.), because when you cut it up, the knife can draw down the germs through the cut sections.

    As for the “why me” and anger – that’s an interesting take. I’ve never looked at it that way. I see that s*it happens and eating/exercising right does not make me immune to anything. However it does make the living easier and the recovery easier/faster and so I hope that all goes well with you and you get your mojo back soon!

  • Sarah November 24, 2009, 6:39 am

    Hi Caitlin

    Thank you for talking about this procedure on your blog! I happen to have had an abnormal pap smear a short while ago, and, although my doctor treated me, the situation worsened. Now I have to wait six months and if nothing’s better by then, I’ll have to have the LEEP procedure as well. Shit happens, but still, I am healthy, I eat well and am very active, so why me? However, I am also very happy to live in a developped country with an amazing health care system (Switzerland) where medical problems can be detected and treated before it’s too late.
    Anyway, I wish you good luck, you’ll see, you’ll feel great in no time and have the peace of mind that you were cured before it got really bad!

  • Jasmine (Sweet and Fit) November 24, 2009, 9:28 am

    I hope everything went well – I have to say that this past saturday i ad to get a colposcopy – as soon as I found out I readyour first post on it. about the “Why me?” thoughts, I know exactly what you mean, but in the moment its so hard to realize that everything happens for a reason.

  • Sheila November 24, 2009, 12:08 pm

    Hi Caitlin :o)

    I’m a little late in commenting here….sounds like everything went (reasonably) well – that cervix can be a painfully sensitive little part of the body, though :o)

    As for your being mad, and asking “why me?’ it made me think of something I once read. It went something like this:

    A very successful athlete was hit by a drunk driver and left as a paraplegic. The drunk driver , of course, was not injured at all. In an interview, the athlete was asked if he ever wondered ‘why me?’, and the athletes response was something to the effect of ‘Before the accident I had everything – great career, great wife, great kids, nice home….I never felt then that I should ask ‘why me?’, so how can I ask it now?’

    That resonated with me. Often when things are going well, we take it for granted….only when things happen differently than what we have planned for ourselves do we take notice.

    Don’t know if that helps…it’s not really easy to explain.

    I hope recovery goes well for you :o)

    • Caitlin November 24, 2009, 12:20 pm

      i like that man’s way of thinking!

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