Monday, 2 September 2013

Today, I saved my life...

This time last year, I had my routine smear (cervical screening test, or pap smear for my American readers) as normal....but a few weeks later I had a massive scare. The results were posted through the letterbox and said I had minor changes and I had to go to hospital for a colposcopy. An appointment letter followed, but frustratingly my appointment wasn't scheduled for several weeks.

Waiting for my hospital appointment was nerve-wracking. The smear had picked up minor changes, what else could be wrong? How can I wait weeks for something so important and potentially life-saving? The question every parent dreads - what will happen to Tristan, Scarlett & Lee if the worst happened?

I'm very thankful to my dear husband Lee as he drove me to the hospital, and held my hand through every stage of the appointment. I was okay while filling in a health questionnaire, I was ok in the waiting room, but I broke down as soon as I heard my name being called to see the doctor.

Thankfully the doctor was patient & reassuring. It was not a pleasant experience, having your feet strapped apart and the doctor doing his thing down below. It did hurt at times, I won't lie, and seemed to take hours. The nurse was fantastic - she was chatting to me about anything & everything to keep my body relaxed and my mind focused away from the present.

At the end of the examination, I was bleeding (which is normal after this procedure) and uncomfortable, and in an odd way, a little shell-shocked by the ordeal. Now, there was nothing left but to wait a few awkward weeks for the results to be posted. I was in limbo.

Thankfully, the results confirmed there was only minor changes and nothing that required treatment, and they recommend I attend a smear annually to monitor thoroughly. It was a relief after all the awful worst fears that entered my head in the weeks before.

That leads us to today. Earlier this afternoon, I braved my next smear. My local nurse was lovely and reassuring, and we chatted about what happened last year, and agreed with how important it is for all women to get their smear done when prompted by their GP surgery. Now, to wait for the results....watch this space

If you would like some girly support about smears and cervical cancer, I can recommend the ladies at Facebook group 'Kelly's Mission'. The group was created by 25-year old mum-of-two Kelly who was diagnosed with cervical cancer weeks after her first ever smear. Kelly wants everyone to know that smears are not scary and can save your life.

Having these potentially life-saving medical examinations are so important, and should not be taboo to talk about!
So...Are you up to date with your smear? Contact your GP surgery to double-check!
It truly can save your life xxx

29 comments:

  1. A Pap Smear is so very important. I have had a hysterectomy and don't need a pap smear as often, but I do go every few years.
    Good for you for doing your yearly pap smears.

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  2. This must be spread throughout the country to save many lives. I'm glad you're doing okay :)

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  3. It really is important to stay up to date with these things!

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  4. It is very important. My daughter found her cancer that way and in time thankfully!

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  5. I was scared when I went for my first smear but I completely agree it is something that is so important :) x

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  6. I go in for regular check ups yearly!

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  7. I always go for regular check ups!

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  8. i kept forgetting mine due for my next which is really late not looking forward to it but as your post states it is really important. ty for posting hunny xxxx

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  9. I also keep forgetting but yes it is so important. This has reminded me and I am making the call now, thanks!!

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  10. These are so very important. Cancer runs in my family so I make sure I have these yearly.

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  11. I am missing this year's and you just reminded me I need go now and make that appointment.

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  12. I am so NOT up to date, and realize potential discomfort is no excuse for not taking such important preventative measures.

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  13. I'm glad you are okay & I am not up to date but this post has definitely put that on my to-do list. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Yearly check ups are so important! They caught my breast cancer in one!! I Am glad you are OK!!

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  15. I don't know about the term smear but i guess it is really important. We should all believe in regular checkups so we wont get into any kind of trouble. thank you for this awareness....really nice post.

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  16. WOW! What a scary experience! Yearly exams are so very important! I learned this as a teenager from my mother. I wish more people knew how really important it is.

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  17. I gave been there. I had cervical cancer and no longer have those girl parts. It is very scary and stressful but it can save your life.

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  18. I had a scare 8 years ago after I had my son but after a follow up it turned out to be ok. I do one every year now since it's part of our woman wellness check up in the military. I encourage every one to do it as well.

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  19. Great information to get out there. So glad that everything was ok with you and that your husband was supportive.

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  20. I always push the smear away as long as possible but have been to the doctor a couple weeks ago myself (after 2 years!). Luckily everything is ok. It's so important even tho it is uncomfortable to go there

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  21. Check ups are SOOO important . I am glad it's doing fine .
    Noor @ Noor's Place

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  22. Getting a yearly pap smear is so important. I just had a scare with my first mammogram so I will not be missing any of my scheduled ones in the future.

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  23. Thanks for sharing your experience. My mother-in-law died of ovarian cancer when my husband was only 10, so issues in that part of the body are always on the top of my mind.

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  24. I would definitely have been freaking out in the weeks leading up to the colposcopy, that's for sure. You have a great husband for holding your hand throughout the test! Thank God nothing came back abnormal!

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  25. thanks for sharing this post. we should all be aware of our health

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  26. Yes, I always have mine done every year and so far so good! I have one scheduled in a couple of months from now. It is really important to keep it updated, it's surely is a life saver for us all women.

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  27. I had to have what you had after a scare. I too was monitored and eventually came back with normal results but it took a while :)These are extremely important. What age was Kelly when she went in for her first appt?

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  28. I am glad you are on top of your test! These test are so important and so many people are unaware!!! So caught up in our daily lives we forget to stop and remember about our health!!

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  29. I do hope your results come back negative and that there is nothing to worry about. Thanks for the important reminder to make appointments for regular checkups since it is much easier to catch a problem before it is too severe to treat.

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