When life throws you a curveball – Why you should go for your Cervical Smear Test.

Worried Women 1

Worried Women 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just when you think its safe to go back in the water…

Just when you think you are starting the journey to recovery…

A fresh start, a focus on yourself for the first time in your life…

Chin up, they say, things can only get better…

REALLY – Have you tried living my life?

I’m not writing this because I want your sympathy, your empathy. I don’t want you to worry about me or tell me things will be okay – because they are NOT and will NOT, because this is just the way my life goes.

Any time I think there is a slight possibility of improvement, progress, life throws me another curveball.

In fact, don’t even bother reading the rest of this, cause you really don’t want to know what has happened now to set me back again…

Well, if you are still here I suppose I should continue…

So after all the grief of splitting up with my fiancé, moving home so I could have a fresh start and focus on getting myself well and having no internet access for over three weeks (hell for someone like me!). I finally get my internet sorted and this is the first thing I write – a rant about how crap my life is.

You can’t blame me though with the letter I received anyone would be upset, worried, scared. Of course I’ve already had all the ‘don’t worry’ comments and offers to come with me for the examination. And I do appreciate it, but it still hurts that I even have to go through this after everything else I have already been through in my 35 years on this planet.

I guess it’s karma, come back to bite me on the ass. After all I was amongst the people that criticised Jade Goody for the way she handled things, and criticised the way people supported her, loved her and thought she was some kind of idol when she died – yet until her illness was announced EVERYONE hated her! Talk about people being fickle and hypocritical.

So, yes. I deserve to be going through this now. At the time I was complaining about her I was not as unwell with my BPD and had not been what you would call promiscuous, so this is punishment for my behaviour over the last three years.

At least there is one thing I can say in my defence, I take my health seriously and ALWAYS go for my cervical smear test as soon as I get the letter inviting me to make an appointment – if you don’t or you haven’t had a cervical smear test – GO AND HAVE ONE NOW!!! Don’t wait, stop reading now and phone your Doctors and book an appointment, I’ll wait…

Have you done that?

Promise you will go?

Okay, I will continue.

Just over 6 months ago I had my cervical smear test, the results were abnormal. I was informed ‘not to worry’ this is common, at this stage you are just asked to come back for another test in 6 months to check if the changes detected have cleared up.

A couple of weeks ago I got my letter asking me to come back for another test, I booked my appointment straight away but had to cancel due to getting my period, so I went back again the following week after my period had ended and had the test. I was told that I would get a letter with the results in a week or two, if it was all clear I would still be asked to have another smear in 6 months just to be sure, if the results were still abnormal I would be invited straight to the Colposcopy Service for further investigation.

On Saturday I got my letter…

I have been invited to book an appointment  IMMEDIATELY (although I cannot until Monday as they are not open till 9am then!).

So, this morning as this goes live on my blog I will be on the phone booking this examination, bearing in mind my period is due this week so I will have to wait until it has passed before I can go in, because the examination cannot be done while you have your period.

I guess a lot of you are now wondering what a Colposcopy is, I will explain…

It is similar to having a smear test, a speculum is placed into the vagina and then instead of taking a swab from the cervix (as done in a smear test) the Colposcopist will view the cervix with a colposcope (which is like a pair of binoculars on a stand) a special liquid is applied to the cervix which highlights abnormal cells. A diagnosis can be made there and then and treatment may begin at that time or a ‘punch biopsy‘ may be taken to examine abnormal cells further.

The abnormal changes found in the smear test are known as dyskaryosis, one in 20 cervical smear tests are abnormal. The point of the colposcopy is to determine the severity of the changes and if treatment is needed. Dyskaryosis is an early warning that cervical cancer may develop in the future, but it is very rare for the abnormal changes to be cancer.

I’m sure you will all agree, that while being told it is ‘rare’ and not to ‘worry’ at this stage the mere fact that you are being screened for cancer is scary anyway! worrying is actually only natural, an expected response!

So, yes I’m worried. And even if it is just dyskaryosis and I only need the treatment to deal with that, I am not looking forward to that having read about the treatments and with the problems I suffered having my ‘walk-in, walk out’ essure sterilisation procedure back in 2008…

(Essure is a straight forward sterilisation procedure, women go back to work the same day after having it done – not me, I was very unwell during the procedure itself and spent the next 4 months in agony and bleeding heavily, before having a further examination to check if the essure had worked, I was then unwell for a further 12 weeks – had I been at work during this time I would have been off work for 7 months!)

So, forgive me if I am bricking it just to even have the colposcopy examination. Excuse me if I am worried about this.

Even if it isn’t cervical cancer I have a right to be terrified, just because it could be!!

And even if I just need a simple course of treatment that ‘most’ women just find uncomfortable, given my history I am now shelving job hunting plans again until this has been dealt with because the last thing I need is to start another new job and end up off ‘sick’ as soon as I start!

And just in case you don’t know or understand, this is caused by HPV – The Human Papilloma Virus and is almost always a sexually transmitted infection.

This is why I deserve it, this is why it is my own fault I am going through this. Blame my BPD all you want for my impulsivity and sexually promsicuous risk taking, but at the end of the day I didn’t use condoms. It serves me right.

If you are in the UK and your daughter has not had her HPV vaccine – make her go NOW, go with her if need be, hold her hand while she has the injection, but make her have it! The HPV vaccine will prevent her and you ever having to go through this worry. If she is too old for the vaccine then make sure she is going for her smear tests, just as you should make sure you go. SERIOUSLY if you didn’t book that appointment earlier go do it NOW – it could save your life…

And use CONDOM’s!!

I will let you know how I get on when I have my appointment, for now I’m off to wallow in my self-pity and never have sex again…


22 comments on “When life throws you a curveball – Why you should go for your Cervical Smear Test.

  1. It’s hard to say I like your post because I don’t like the consequences for you but I like how you’ve written about it. Sometimes life is so unfair and it makes very little sense. I hate that. I went through the same worrying process about six months ago and inspite of all the generalisations they make about not worrying, etc the fact is we’re human and we do worry. All I can say is try not to blame yourself for this. It’s just how it is and as much as that sucks, it’s not necessarily all because of something you did or didn’t do. I will be thinking of you and hoping. Hugs.

    • Thanks Catherine, I think the addition of BPD which massively amplifies everything just makes things like this so much harder for us to cope with than ‘normal’ people, who no doubt will worry and stress too but they manage it so much better than we can 😦

  2. Sharon… please don’t think you deserve this! That is simply untrue. I don’t know much about you, but I do know that you are a human being and have made mistakes (like anyone else) and do not deserve anything like this.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers…

  3. Sharon, first and foremost, stop thinking this is your fault. Cancer doesn’t pick and choose its victims. I understand the BPD may make it seem that way, but it’s not. I will keep you in my prayers it is not cancer, but if it is, you’ve caught it early, and early detection is the key to recovery. I would be freaking out in your situation and I think it’s healthy for you to vent it here. Keep us all posted on your progress. You will be in my prayers.

  4. It is not your fault my friend… do not punish yourself. HPV is one of those darn diseases you can get with condoms, from toilet seats, sharing towels, and so on. And a huge % of the population has it (at least here in the U.S.).
    I had to go in for the colposcopy and they sprayed a liquid on the cervix and then determined I never needed it after all. At my next 3 month pap, I had normal results and have had normal results since (10 yrs now). Be kind to yourself.

  5. I will not like your post because you are going through a difficult time. I went through the same thing back in 2004. I had an abnormal PAP smear, went back, and then had to have a biopsy. I went in for a laser procedure to remove the abnormal cells.

    Things are fine for me now, but I cannot say the same will be for you. I don’t want to invalidate your feelings on the subject. I can say that I have gone through what you are going through and I feel for you. It is a very scary situation. I hope for the best. Let me know if I can help in any way.

  6. I just wanted to say I’m thinking of you. It’s awful that you’re going through this on top of all the other stress you’re coping with.

    I hope you know you don’t deserve this…no woman does. Doesn’t matter how much sex we have, or how many people we have it with, or what protection we use, or how often we forget to go for our smear…we definitely don’t deserve serious illness as a punishment.

    You’re doing absolutely the right thing and you’re being very brave. xxx

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  8. sharon,this is not your fault babe, ive had it too and the treatment ,i was with the same man for 16 years, i still got it, being a bit irresponsible is not the biggest crime in the world, or we would all be quilty with you xx your really brave and will get through it all too, but i understand the fear, you have done a positive thing already by telling people to be safe and have their smears, good luck and take care xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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