Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Save the Hooch Giveaway

I have HPV (Human Papillomaviruses). Not the HPV that causes warts. The HPV that causes cancer.

Abnormal cells were first detected on my cervix when I was pregnant early 2005. I had to wait until after Princess D was born to have a biopsy to prevent any risk to my pregnancy. Luckily the results came back negative and I didn't think about it again until I had an abnormal pap December 2008. At the time I had just left my husband and was under a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety which is more than likely what caused the HPV virus to get aggravated.

In January 2009 my OB/GYN performed a colposcopy to get a better look at the cells. They were multiplying and it didn't look good. In February 2009 I underwent a procedure to remove the cells and part of my cervix to be biopsied for cervical cancer. This procedure was physically and emotionally agonizing, but waiting for the results were the worst days of my life. I had never felt more lost, alone and scared. I couldn't sleep thinking about how I was going to raise my daughter as a single mom fighting cervical cancer, or if I survived would I ever be able to have another healthy pregnancy again.

A week later my biopsy came back negative.

Now, I get screened every 3-6 months. Paps are extremely unpleasant to begin with, but add in the increased chances of cervical cancer and it takes unpleasant to a whole other level. Last month I went in for my routine screening I had been neglecting. My OB/GYN lectured me on being diligent with my screenings because not staying on top of my HPV is how cervical cancer can go undetected. Work has been stressful, but my overall quality of life has been so much better over the last year, so I hoped that the HPV virus was still in remission.

A week later I got my results.

pap results 7/19/2010

At the BlogHer '10 expo I had the pleasure of meeting Christine Baze who started the Yellow Umbrella Organization after she won her battle with cervical cancer. We shared our stories and she pinned me with her "Save the Hooch" button.

Christine Baze - The Yellow Umbrella Organization at BlogHer '10

The next day I was so excited to see that I had won a mineral eye shadow palette for the Yellow Umbrella by celebrity makeup artist Debra Macki and my own yellow umbrella!

Did you know that every year 500,000 women develop cervical cancer and almost 300,000 die of it. Almost every case of cervical cancer can be prevented by getting routine paps and the HPV test. To help educate women about cervical cancer prevention I am giving away a yellow bag filled with the Debra Macki mineral eye shadow palette for the Yellow Umbrella (value of $36), a yellow umbrella, a Save the Hooch pin, and a Pearl of Wisdom pin (value of $6.95).

You will earn one point for each of the following actions:
- Leave a comment on this post.
- Tweet the following: I entered the Save the Hooch #giveaway to help spread awareness about HPV & cervical cancer: #savethehooch

Contest ends on September 30, 2010 at 11:59pm PT. I will pick a winner at random.

For more information on HPV and Cervical Cancer:
Yellow Umbrella Organization
The Pearl of Wisdom campaign