Well, things often don’t work out the way one expects them to.
I’m not going to Liberia.
5 days before I was scheduled to leave I found out that I would not be medically cleared to go. I was in the process of packing my bags.
This was a result of my PAP coming back “AS-CUS” in addition to High-Risk HPV being detected (HR-HPV). They have scheduled me for a colposcopy on September 3rd. While it’s not a serious condition, and unlikely to cause any serious health concerns in the future, it’s enough for Peace Corps Response to tell me I have to defer my departure for at least 4 months.
A brief introduction to HPV (which I knew nothing about until a week ago)- HPV is a STI that 80% of women will have at some point in their life and has no symptoms. HPV usually goes away on it’s own within 6 to 20 months of infection in most women with healthy immune systems, and there is no treatment for the HPV. However certain strains of HPV can lead to cervical cancer if undiagnosed and unmonitored. Pre-cancerous HPV can be treated to prevent cervical cancer, which takes years to develop, hence the importance of monitoring the virus and yearly screenings for women over 30.
There is a vaccine against HR-HPV which I highly recommend for any one under 26.
If you live in Illinois, and are unemployed and uninsured like myself, you should be eligible for free treatment and screenings through one of the following 2 programs –
The Illinois Healthy Women program:
Or the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program:
Of course I will keep everyone updated regarding the results…
But, there is silver lining to every dark cloud, or something like that, right?
I’m moving to Montreal.
Ticker bought me a one-way plane ticket for September 8th, and I’ll be staying indefintely.
Let’s just hope I find a job!
I’m also still waiting for word about my PhD application, which I’m hoping to start in the spring.
In the meantime, some pictures from my birthday, and Corina’s visit to Chi-town!