It’s that time again. Smear time. Fucks sake.
To be fair, I’ve waited very impatiently for six months for this appointment. After the bad smear, colposcopy and LLETZ procedure last time, I’m hoping more than anything that the results are good news this time. It’s hard to be positive though when the one thing everyone said WOULDN’T happen last time actually did happen. It WAS bad news. Not the worst but definitely not good news.
When I went for the smear, the nurse asked me what I had understood about my last lot of tests, examinations and procedures. Not very much…. Everything I learned, I learned from Google and the women who had answered questions on my blog. At not one point did anyone really explain to me what was going on. I wasn’t told what CIN meant. I definitely wasn’t told what CIN 3 meant. I read everything from “Stage 0 Cervical Cancer” to “It’s nothing to worry about”. She was shocked. Even when I had booked an appointment to speak to a female doctor about what was going on, the questions I’d asked had gone unanswered. Instead I was given a prescription for yet another batch of antidepressants which I never went on to take.
I think that’s what made this whole situation worse – the lack of information. I was given leaflets with the bare minimum. Leaflets that definitely didn’t answer questions I had about what was going on. I didn’t know what LLETZ was until I had Googled it. I didn’t know what to expect, what to think, what to hope for. For something the government is trying to raise awareness of, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of time set aside for questions or answers. Getting a smear is easy. Understanding your smear or the subsequent results is not.
And here we are again. Waiting for those godamn results again. I can’t explain to you how shocked I was when that letter came through my door last time. After just five days of having my smear, I knew something was wrong. Nothing ever comes through from the NHS that quick. Not even “urgent” appointments come through that quick. Trust me.
I didn’t open the letter at first. I saw the “gynaecological” bit at the top and knew instantly that I wouldn’t like what was inside. I wasn’t prepared for it at all. You just go for your smear and assume everything will come back just fine, don’t you? You don’t prepare for the day you open that letter and it actually changes everything about your entire life.
Whether it’s bad news, really bad news, or just a little bit of bad news, it changes everything. Faced with the thought of my most womanly parts not working, everything changed. It made me desperately yearn for the kids I don’t have yet. It made me reevaluate everything I thought I wanted out of a relationship. I had CIN 3 which isn’t even cancer and it has changed everything. Before, I never really cared about my smear. It was uncomfortable and obviously I didn’t like it – who really likes dropping their ‘keks for a complete stranger? My first smear was fine. I go for regular sexual health checks because I’m not stupid. I know what to expect. I know what the crack is. My second smear was fine. I booked the appointment and I went for the smear without any real concerns. It was just another day. Then the results came and everything changed…
Now I have genuine anxiety about having my smear. I know I’m fucked up in the head anyway but before I went for my smear yesterday, I was sick multiple times. After my smear, I bled heavily and had a lot of pain. My period was late anyway because it has been royally screwed since the LLETZ procedure, and now it has arrived with a vengeance. I had the worst stomach over the three days – the day before, smear-day, and then the day after and this all culminated in a VERY bad stomach. I was screwed at both ends. I had a rampant headache. I cried A LOT. It affects me now. Having a smear never bothered me before and now I’ve had bad news, it really affects me both physically and mentally. However this time I know. If I get a letter before the end of the week, it’s bad news again. If I get through this weekend and no letter comes, I’m good and I can relax. I’m prepared this time. I know what’s going to happen. I’m ready for it. I don’t think I’ll cope with yet more bad news but I’m sure I’ll figure out a way.
Keep your fingers crossed guys. I don’t know what happens if its bad news. I did ask the nurse but she was wrist-deep in my chuff at the time and other things got in the way. Like the fact I laugh and make jokes when I’m really nervous and laughing forces out the speculum. I know I’m getting HPV tested though. Excellent. I get to find out if I’m a dirty, diseased whore.
Wish me luck! 🙂
Take a peek at these:
- #SmearForSmear: From Normal Girl to High Grade Dyskaryosis & Potential Cancer Scare No. 2!
- Life After LLETZ – What They Don’t Tell You