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7.5-minute read

Content Warning: Discussing smear tests & cancer

So, keeping in line with the whole #SmearForSmear thing, I went and had mine done. I should wait two weeks for the results and if I’d not been sent a letter in that time, it would be fine for me to give my doctor a call.

Less than seven working days after I had my smear, I got a letter.

“There were some changes to some of the cells in your cervix called high grade dyskaryosis. It is unlikely that you have cancer but these changes need investigation and the appropriate treatment.”

That’s right, less than a month and a half after I got the all-clear from what we believed could have been bowel cancer, I’ve been told there’s a chance I might have cervical cancer instead. I find that pretty fucking ironic seeing as I had Googled all of my symptoms and came up with cervical cancer by myself right at the beginning of what I had started to call my “Poo Problems”, almost six months ago. I even asked the doctor if I should book a smear test because of my concerns (and I’d also read of a blood test that you could have done) but he dismissed it entirely, telling me that I probably had IBS and shoo-ing me out of his office.

Six months later, I finally get the smear test I’ve been asking for. And now I’m told the thing I had suspected all along – there was actually something wrong – was going on the whole time? I have high grade CIN3 dyskaryosis. What does that mean? I have no clue. I called my doctor and spoke to a female doctor who just repeated the letter back to me again: they’d found high grade, severe abnormal cells, and I, therefore, needed to be sent for a colposcopy and treatment.

Now, I must present to you the symptoms I’ve had over the last few years. I’m going to say three years. As soon as I came home from the other side of the world after leaving Big Love my periods were all over the place. I’ve been keeping track of them on an app on my phone for over a year now, and my cycles are never the same. Sometimes it will be 43 days, sometimes it will be 22 days, and most of the time it’s a completely random number anywhere between the two. I had/have pain during sex plus occasionally bleeding, but I put that down to just being rough and ready (and normally drunk), uncomfortable lower abdominal pains, chronic backache, itchy and uncomfortable legs. Oh, and those digestive/bowel problems. Apparently, they might all have been linked from the start.

For someone that never really wanted to have kids, the thought of not having the option to choose literally fills me with dread. I can’t bear the thought of not being able to make that decision for myself. It makes me cry. Proper cry. Painful cry. The kinda cry where your lip wobbles uncontrollably and you can’t stop the tears from falling onto your Mac as you type out the words. I know we’re talking about the worst-case scenario here, but it’s kinda hard not to when you’re faced with the thought of having cancer for the second time in six months. I also think it’s kinda ironic that the Hubby has a kid that he doesn’t want or see while I’m faced with the possibility of not having kids at all. And let’s face it, with the diseases that he bought into our marital bed there’s a fucking good chance it was him who gave me the sodding HPV virus in the first place. Oh yeah, I never told you that I found out he had a kid while he was on the other side of the world, did I? Lol, I can’t wait to get into that story.

I’m positive on the outside, not letting it phase me and just getting on with life, having a laugh and being the cool, bubbly person people know me as. Inwardly though, I’m a wreck. It’s not even 11:30 am right now and I’ve already smoked a herbal little beauty and to be honest, I couldn’t care less if you judge me for it. Two cancer scares in less than six months. I reckon it’s the perfect time to live a little dangerously, don’t you?

On the plus side, I think tonight might be date number four with Someone New. Maybe tonight I’ll get laid? I’d better get laid. After the treatment on Thursday, I’m not going to be able to have sex for four weeks – FOUR FUCKING WEEKS. That’s what the pamphlet says. I can’t wait another four weeks to fuck him. It needs to happen tonight. He doesn’t know it yet (I blew him out last night), but he will be getting a little visitor when he finishes work in the form of a very nervous, very frustrated, very playful little smurf. That’s his nickname for me, by the way: little smurf.

I need a night of frivolous cuddles with Someone New. I need to feel desired and pretty. Like I’m not just living one health scare after another. I want him to prove that he’ll be there to hold my hand through this … just like Jock couldn’t. That’s not bad, is it? Plus, I really don’t want to wait another four weeks. I’m scared he’ll lose interest, and more than that, I’m scared I’ll lose interest. You know how that seems to happen so quick these days.

So yeah, that’s what going on in my life right now. Two cancer scares in six months. Except this one is marginally scarier.

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

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One Thought to “#SmearForSmear”

  1. Ok, try as much as possible not to panic – this isn’t cancer, it is pre-cancerous cells they are picking up. Chances are everything is fine, and after the colposcopy, apart from having to have more regular smears for a while, all will go back to normal. They estimate that it takes 10 years or more for pre-cancerous cells to become cancerous, if they ever do – many revert themselves. That being said, this is what pisses me off massively about doctors – they completely fuck up the difference between screening and diagnostic testing – and they overly-push screening because of incentives, and don’t test diagnostically when they should. With your symptoms (with any of those symptoms) you should have been given a smear – whatever age, whatever else was going on. I say this as someone who never goes for routine screening of any sort, for very good scientific reasons which I can’t be arsed to go into. But if I had symptoms, however minor? I’d be at the GP asking for the relevent test ASAP. I shouldn’t have to ask, they should do it. The fact you asked and were fobbed off? That is a major fuck up that is made too often, because GPs put smears in a ‘screening’ box in their heads, partly because it has often been taken over by another agency/department, who are the people who tell you when to make your appointment for a smear. So GPs forget they can (and should) perform diagnostic smears at any time. Anyway, off my hobby horse, here’s hoping, and fully expecting, you will be one of many, many women who are perfectly fine after the colposcopy. And good luck with the smurfing 🙂 xx

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