Secrets

Todays topic for journaling is secrets. Instead of doing a full journal topic about this I am going to feed you some information.

Everyone should read this post not just to get the freebie, this is very important
.

I have been carrying a few for many years, some longer than others. Two of which I want to share with you today. When I was 16 as we all think, I knew everything. Nothing bad would ever happen to me. It came to prove me wrong. We always think "It'll never happen to me" Guess what ladies and gents, it can and it does. When you least expect it your whole world can fall apart around you. At 16 I was constantly doing drugs and I met someone who was willing to supply me enough to get my daily fix. Afterwards when I was almost completely out of it, he decided it was the perfect time to take what he wanted. I can vividly remember kicking and saying no repeatedly but it didn't help and I was so messed up I couldn't help myself any longer. I eventually passed out and when I woke up it was over. I never told anyone. But that encounter changed my life in multiple ways. Just for the record I have been clean ever since.

Imagine yourself with absolutely no where to turn. You have never heard of what is wrong with you so theres not much information out there to find. You struggle with it, trying to figure out what your next step is. You feel alone and worried about whether or not you are even going to live. The doctors arent telling you very much which is no help at all. Where do you turn? Who do you turn to? Cause each person you thought was always going to be there for you, to support you no matter what turns their back on you when they find out.

The Facts:

  • 20 million people in the United States alone share your secret. Some dont even know it.
  • 5.5 million are diagnosed every year, but its estimated that over 6 million are infected each year
  • By age 50 at least 80% of women will be infected.
  • There are more than 100 types, 30 types which can cause cancer
  • There are treatments and small steps you can take to possibly save your life
So what is it? Its Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Its a sexually transmitted disease (in most cases). If you have been diagnosed your best bet is to follow each and every order from the doctor. Most say smoking increases your risks of an outbreak. Some may recommend getting the new vaccine called Gardasil. There is another vaccine Cervarix, however it is still in testing stages. Gardasil targets 4 types of HPV and Cervarix will only treat 2 types (which Gardasil already treats) if approved by the FDA. Annual checkups will help you keep up with body changes and can be easily treated if caught early. Be sure to talk to your doctor, even if you havent been diagnosed chances are you have someone very close to you who has. Early detection is key. Its a growing epidemic and we need more resources!!

I dont know about other places in the U.S., but schools here in Kentucky sent home permission slips to give female students the Gardasil vaccination for the 2007/2008 school year. Giving vaccinations hopefully before teens and pre-teens even become active could save countless lives! Finally something both our school systems and parents can work together on and be very proud of.

My secret: I am a carrier of HPV.

The virus does not have to ruin your life, it actually opened my eyes and improved the quality of my life. You dont say it wont happen to me anymore because you know it can. You dont take things for granted, and you find yourself actually thankful, it could have been worse.


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12 comments:

Gloria said...

My daughters doctor recommended the Gardisil vaccine for her and now she has had the 2nd shot of the 3 shot series. I think giving teenagers and young women the vaccine is a wonderful idea, because if it can prevent some forms of HPV and cervical cancer then I think the discomfort of a couple shots is worth it. Thank you for sharing your secret with us, hopefully it will cause some people to think and do what they can to keep themselves and their loved ones healthy.

geezee said...

I admire your bravery in sharing and helping to bring something to the attention of those who may need it. Thank you. Oh, and thanks for the freebies too.

Maria said...

Thank you! The DigiFree freebie search engine is going to list this blog post today.

Karen said...

I think this is important thanks for sharing. And thanks for the Freebie.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your life and heart. that is a big burden to carry for so long. You have a great attitude, and have come through beautifully. Thanks for the encouragement!!

Your not alone said...

I too was diagnosed with HPV.I got my through sexual transmission however I got mine from a man I was dating for over 4 yrs.I know now that love does not keep you safe and healthy.I know how you feel and I know how hard it is to tell people.I know how it is to deal with it, I was diagnosed in 96'.So from one woman to another I thank you for being so honest and open.You are not alone.

Pattycakes said...

Wow, this post took a lot of courage on your part...you rock! It was also very thoughtful and probably helped a lot of others. Thank you for everything! :)

Tink said...

This is such an important message to get out and I applaud the courage you showed by posting such a delicate matter. Very well done. :)

tcmoniz said...

Kudos to you for sharing your secret in an effort to inform and educate others!

I was diagnosed with depression a couple of years ago, and while I don't talk about it with everyone I bump into, I have shared - and people are always shocked - "You? I would never have dreamed..."

And I always tell them - you can never know what is in someone else's heart - and head.

Again - good for you - I hope that parents everywhere will talk to their kids about HPV and take the steps to protect them!

JudyP said...

I admire your courage and thank you for opening my eyes to something I had not thought about before. Since I have boys, I had not even looked up information on this, but it is something even they need to know about.

My secret was so hard for me to open up to anyone about, but I have found out since that first time, it is much easier on me to share it. It is not only mental abuse from a spouse, but physical and sexual abuse from a spouse. It took a caring and understanding man to make me open my eyes that I did not have to live like that. And in sharing, I have found that I have helped a few people along the way.

Jenny said...

I had to go back to this post to see what your comments were talking about. Thank you for being so brave to share this. I am a Christian, and, thanks to my salvation in Jesus at 16, I decided to wait till I was married to have sex. Some would say living a "moral" life would protect you from HPV. Thats what I foolishly thought, too. But when I was pregnant with my second daughter, I had a positive HPV test. For weeks, till the re-testing was done I was thinking "how did this happen? My husband waited for me too -- right? Did something happen with that uncle I have never been comfortable around? " Fortunately it turned out to be a false-positive, but when my girls get to that age, they WILL be getting those shots. Contrary to what some people think, getting the shot does not condone promiscuity. In a situation like yours, whatever the circumstances sourrounding it were, you were exposed to it. Some people have a encounter that they may not be proud of, couldn't help it, and when they meet that special person, that person will be exposed too. That happened to my friend. I am sharing this information for those who may feel like this is condoning sexual activity outside of marriage (or a long-term commitment). It's not. I don't know if I'll necessaraly even tell my girls when they are having it.Probably, but we'll see. Thanks again for sharing. You just dont know what will happen with them.

puck said...

good morning, i got on yr blog via IKEA godess and I followed yr advice "to read before downloading" and I read ! I'm french and on the TV we got some advertisiing advicing vaccination againt "papiloma virus" and I though "i will do it (my younger daughter is 14)but I still have not ! Reading yr articles "opened my eyes" and I will do it definitly. Thks a lot for sharing this, this is how we can all "grow" and this is the miracle of internet. thks again