Sometimes you don't even realize you've been holding your breath.
I saw my surgeon again last week ago for a follow-up. A year ago, I'd gone and then later received a call saying there were abnormal cells again and I should come back in six months instead of a year. It was upsetting, but a call I'd gotten several times before. Bad results, biopsies, surgery, more bad results, more biopsies, bigger surgery. I'd hoped that would be it.
When I returned six months ago I asked my doctor if this would just keep coming back until it killed me. She looked startled and said, "No!" And I do know that people don't often die from cervical cancer. I just was feeling unsettled by the continued bad path results. But that time, there were no abnormal cells and she said she thought the previous results were just because I was still healing from the hysterectomy. However, she wanted another test in six months to be safe given that I'd had a recurrence after the first cancer.
I thought I wasn't even really worrying about it when I left her office last Friday, but I've been checking my phone to see if the nurse had called. Yesterday, she did and said, "Just calling you to let you know the results are negative, we'll see you back in a year!"
Looks like I'm done with it. I found myself finally exhaling.