In spring of 2015 during a routine check-up colonoscopy, my GI informed me I had HPV lesions (aka anal warts) all over my rectum. I had no symptoms and had no idea I had them and was shocked (no, I never had anal sex, even though that idiot of a doctor implied that I was lying and had to have done that to get them there! My absolutely awesome rectal surgeon informed me he was completely WRONG and that it's a fairly common place to have HPV show up for someone with IBD!). Anyway, I had to get surgery to remove the lesions in August of 2015 because I was told if you don't remove them, they can turn cancerous. The surgery was outpatient, had a somewhat painful recovery, but not too terrible or long, if I remember correctly; however, I flared shortly after the surgery and my surgeon told me that was common for IBDers.
Anyway, post-surgery, I had check-ups quarterly for the first year and yearly thereafter, and every check-up was free and clear of lesions. The check-ups aren't too bad but they insert some kind of speculum type thing into your butt and look around for a minute or less. It doesn't usually hurt too bad as long as I tell them to use the child-size speculum (and I only go in if I have my UC under control, otherwise, it would hurt unbearably). Well, yesterday, I had a check-up appointment, and it hurt pretty bad while she was looking. I started flaring in early May, but I have no symptoms right now thanks to the lovely prednisone I'm on, so I didn't think it would hurt, but it did. Now, what that means in terms of my UC flare, I don't know? Am I still flaring even though I'm tapering off the pred and have no symptoms? So many questions -- ugh!!! I learned a new medical term: She said my rectum felt "boggy." She said that is the term they use when there has been recent inflammation. I love bogs in nature so I kind of got a kick out of the fact my poor rectum feels squishy like a bog! Lol. I have to find humor in the little things to stay sane...
I am totally rambling, but anyway, to get to the point, if I even have one -- she only saw two very small lesions and said she wasn't worried about
them, and said she saw no cancer (I don't know how they can tell with a visual inspection??), and she said it could just be because I'm on prednisone, which of course lowers the immune system. She wants to see me back in August, and she said there's a chance they will go away on their own once I'm off the prednisone. If they don't, she said I won't have to get surgery again at least point, but that she will treat them in the office with ACID! Yeah, she's gonna pour acid inside my freaking rectum! I am scared. She said most women say it doesn't hurt more than a menstrual cramp but that "men hate her." I'm pretty sure it IS going to hurt. Also, I'm scared that as soon as I get back into UC remission, she's going to do this acid treatment and that might make me flare again. I have no idea if that would happen or not, but I'm worried about
it. And then I also worry if I do go on Remicade or Imuran, that will lower my immunity all the time, right? So, won't that also make the HPV lesions come back and increase my risk for cancer, if she's saying prednisone can make the lesions appear....? I need to ask her some of these questions. She is one of THE best doctors I have EVER had. I just forgot to ask some of these yesterday, plus, I'm probably over-worrying about
nothing right now, but I'm super scared of getting cancer. I cannot believe i was freaking smoking for the past year -- makes me sooooooooo mad at myself. Smoking increases the risk of anal cancer.
I did not tell my rectal surgeon I had been smoking...too ashamed and disappointed in myself.
I really want to stay in UC remission and this is my last chance to avoid Remicade and now I have these stupid HPV lesions and treatment to worry about
. I'm just stressed and worried and mad at myself. I had waited longer than a year to go to this check-up, too, which was stupid. I had not been taking good care of myself, so I guess this is what I get.
I'm getting a pap smear in early July for the first time in probably 2 or more years. I have never had HPV in my cervix (so far)….hoping it doesn't show up there as well.