…who gave Gardasil such a bad name?
So, at my last doctor’s visit, he recommended that I get the Gardasil shot, also known as the HPV vaccine. It’s supposed to safeguard you against the virus that causes cervical cancer. As afraid as I am of needles (they cause me to have panic attacks, no joke), I decided this would probably be the best thing for me to do.
The vaccine is three injections, spaced over six months. It hurts like holy hell. The first one wasn’t so bad. This last one, which I had on Monday, make me curse and almost punch the nurse (who is lovely, by the way). But like I said, I know it’s a necessary thing.
I came to work Monday AM after my second injection, ready to be productive. As I went to the kitchen, one of my co-workers approached me. She asked me how my day was, I replied that it was fine, excepting the early-morning needle vaccine pumped into my arm. I made conversation about the vaccine, saying that they were starting to require it in schools.
“Well, I just don’t agree with that,” she said. “The government telling me I have to put something my body. I can’t believe you did that.”
This upset me. When another woman walked in and said her doctor recommended the shot for her 13-year-old daughter, said co-worker went at it again.
“Your daughter is too young! You need to read up on that. There have been complications from that.”
???? Like I’m some fool who just wanders into exam rooms and asks to be shot up? Trust me, I wouldn’t have gotten the vaccine if I didn’t think it was important. She pointed out that there have been problems reported with the shot. However, those are rare and there is still yet to be proof linking so-called “side effects” to the Gardasil shot. People get sick from the flu shot sometimes! But they continue to get it.
When I argued the fact that it protects against a virus that causes a large percentage of cervical cancer, she said this: “Well, no one dies from cervical cancer.”
Are you freaking kidding me.
Cervical cancer was once one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in women, according to the American Cancer Society. And yes, the death rate has gone down, but that is due to increased awareness of the disease and more frequent pap smears, no matter how old you are. And regardless if NO one died from cancer, any cancer, it’s never a pleasant experience. The way my doctor put it to me was this: Shots may hurt, but biopsies and chemo and treatment hurt more. Do what’s best.
I still defend my decision to have the shot, but I was still offended by this woman’s vehement response to my choice.