As some of you may know, when someone has been diagnosed with cervical cancer, National Protocol says that an audit has to be carried out of all their previous smears (you'll find that all the smears you've ever had are kept, in case they need to be referred to later on). Well, my consultant recently informed me that when they looked at the smear I had in 2009 (so, that's the one I had three years before I had the one that eventually led to a cancer diagnosis), they found that CGIN had been picked up, but for some reason the result was inaccurately reported as normal.
Now, knowing how slow growing cervical cancer tends to be, I'd already worked out that the 2009 smear test had been wrong. However, what I'd assumed was that the smear hadn't picked up the abnormality - the fact of the matter is, the test isn't perfect and as it's specifically designed to pick up CIN rather than CGIN, I had put that down to being one of those things - but the fact that actually the test HAD done its job, and HAD picked up the abnormality but some idiot in admin just wrote it down wrong, is actually pretty hard to come to terms with. My consultant plainly said to me that if it had been reported correctly, he would have had me in for a colposcopy, performed a LLETZ, put me on 6-monthly smears and in all likelihood, that would have been that. In short, I would never have got cancer.
In the same way that I don't think the worry about recurrance will ever completely go, I don't think this is information that I can ever fully come to terms with.