I was an otherwise, fit, and healthy 34-year young woman with a 5-year-old son. I had received invites to smear tests and had been to some before the birth of my son. Naturally life got very busy and I had many excuses not to go to one after he was born being a busy young mother.
After using the bathroom one day, I noticed in the bowl a weird bleed, It was at the wrong time of month and it looked odd… really odd! Naturally concerned, I made an appointment and visited my GP. He said it looked like polyps, which was a relief to me (because it didn’t sound serious) and he arranged for further testing. I had a CAT Scan, MRI scan, Chest X- rays, & Internal bladder and bowel examinations over a period of 3-4 weeks.
I can’t remember how long it actually took, but it felt like an eternity before I received my results. Me and my husband sat in shock as the doctor explained that I had Stage 2B Cervical cancer. This meant that they didn’t catch it too late, but they didn’t catch it as early as they could have done. Immediately we began a treatment plan which started with 5 nights in hospital for a radical hysterectomy surgery, followed by 28 days of radiotherapy.
The cervical screening is very important to me and something I am very passionate about. I want to encourage every woman out there to take up the invitation for screening when they receive it. The whole team of consultants, doctors, nurses, who helped me were outstanding. Still, I can’t help but think that they wouldn’t have had to work their wonders on me if I had just gone for the regular smear test. As I said, I had been for the test before, and nothing had been wrong, but I believe they would have caught my condition sooner had I made the time to go. Its only once every 3 years and the appointments take a matter of minutes.
There are not always signs or symptoms, but a test like the smear could pick up on things that we can’t physically feel or see on the outside. If you notice anything which is unusual for your body, get it checked out immediately. The sooner they catch it, the more they can do to help. I think that this test is a privilege and something that we are extremely lucky to be able to have!
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