Wings’ story to raise awareness alonside the #smearforsmear campaign for #cervicalcancerawarenessweek #CCPW
Just before my 28th birthday I received that dreaded letter from the doctors telling me my smear test was due. I booked in a couple of weeks later but on the day I had some spotting, as a result the nurse told me the test would be inconclusive, this was in October 2015. I therefore decided to wait until my body settled but before I knew it it was February 2016. I had the test, dealt with the discomfort and everything seemed fine. However 2 weeks later I received another letter from the hospital…’further tests were required’. I went to the hospital the following week and was told I’d need some biopsies. These were taken on the day and I was left walking like John Wayne and extremely uncomfortable for the rest of the day. A week later I had a letter again saying that I tested positive for HPV, was a grade 3 CIN and would need to have a “cervical loop excision”. For this I would need to attend an appointment that week. I attended, this time with my partner in tow, and was in the chair legs akimbo when the dye was put in… according to the consultant I “lit up like a light bulb”! Just as he started to burn away the bad cells he stopped and said it couldn’t be done while I was awake as there was too much to remove. I needed to have surgery. I asked for my partner at this point as my brain went into freak out mode, he came in a minute later and the consultant was back looking very serious. “I’m afraid you’ve been booked in for emergency surgery tomorrow” I couldn’t believe what he was telling me! My brain was overflowing with questions, but I had to just accept it and went through my pre-op with the nurse. The next day when I went into hospital for the surgery, the consultant explained that I had to have it done now or I would be at huge risk of the cells turning cancerous. There was just too much surface area that the cells covered and too deep into the cervical lining. I had my surgery and was out within the hour. I went home later that evening, mind swimming with the what ifs! I bled for 7 weeks after this, couldn’t use anything but uncomfortable heavy pads and had several infections, which was a literal pain in the womb and cervix! 6 months after my surgery I had another smear in the hospital, I was very worried to say the least. While there, the nurse who I saw told me that there were areas of concern which again required further biopsies. I left that consulting room pained and worried. I was told I would get the results in 10 days. For those 10 days I worried about what would happen this time, I really shouldn’t have, I received two letters saying I was clear of HPV and my biopsy was also clear and I wouldn’t have to return for another year.
Now looking back I realise that life got in the way and I delayed something that literally takes a couple of minutes and is a minor discomfort if any at all. Had I just gone when as soon as I stopped spotting it may not have been so horrific. Take the smear when it’s due and if something’s changed or doesn’t feel right get it checked out!
Nothing is worth risking your life for “feeling uncomfortable”. A few minutes of discomfort could save the years of your life!”