As part of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (20 - 26 January 2013) I am featuring the stories of real women who want to share their experience with Cervical Cancer.
Cathy Glynn thanks her lucky stars that she went for her cervical screening when she did, otherwise her life could have been very different. Here she shares her story :
I have always attend my smear tests on a regular basis, so when I was called for my three yearly check some years ago, I never thought anything of it. I can not say they are something I enjoy doing, but they are a necessity and so I made the appointment with no concerns whatsoever.
I had my test and was recalled three weeks later with a CIN3 - severe cells changes (this can sometimes mean a cervical carcinoma in situ) and an urgent appointment was made for me at my local hospital to have a Colposcopy. By this time I was rather scared and worried about what the future held. Obviously I did not fully understand what was being explained to me at the time. I was so upset I could not take the information in properly.
My appointment day came and I attended my Colposcopy. It was not the most comfortable procedure but they did use a local anaesthetic on my cervix. After taking a biopsy they decided to remove part of my cervix straight away without waiting for the results. They used a process called Loop Diathermy and it wasn't too painful (I even had the opportunity to watch them perform it but declined).
All I can remember thinking at the time was 'Am I going to be ok? Will I be able to have anymore children?" Lots of questions arose to which I did not really have the opportunity to get answered.
At my follow up appointment I was told that what was left of my cervix looked fine and that I would need to have follow up screenings every six months for the next two years. They also told me that if I were to get pregnant my cervix may not be strong enough to carry a full term pregnancy.
At this point in my life I was not planning on anymore children as I was a single mother with three boys to look after, but even so the thought still crossed my mind and I felt sad that this decision may have been taken out of my hands.
Three years later I met my second husband. I had my next regular smear test and the result was that there was CIN2 changes. I was again referred to the hospital, only this time I did not go because I unexpectedly found out I was pregnant. The pregnancy was problematic from the start and my daughter was born a month early, but healthy.
I was advised to have a full hysterectomy and six months later I underwent general surgery and had everything removed. I did not want to risk losing my life to cancer.
I can not recommend enough that women attend cervical screenings regularly. I had no outward symptoms of anything being untoward and without them my future may have been entirely different.
Cathy Glynn writes a blog called Wishful Wonderings (http://wishfulwonderings.blogspot.com) and can be followed on :
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