Dealing with anxiety during waits for results?

I feel like I’ve repeated my story a lot since discovering this forum, but I’m wondering if anyone has advice or experience they can share around trying to lower anxiety/stress?

I know it’s almost a separate thing to dealing with abnormal cells and treatment, but that’s been a big factor in destroying my mental health over the last few months and I’m really struggling. I’m also scared of being trapped in a vicious circle because I worry that more stress will stop me clearing HPV - and also generally affect my physical health.

To recap quickly, I’m 38 and in a new relationship, I had a wonky period that prob wouldn’t seem like much to anyone else but was very unusual for me, thought I was also having hot flushes (prob both anxiety actually) and had a meltdown thinking I was in early menopause. I had blood tests to confirm I’m definitely not, but a smear was done and that came back abnormal and boom, I had something else to worry about. Smear said HPV and low grade call changes, had a colposcopy and biopsy and that came back as CIN2. Biopsy was thought to have removed everything, but had a small amount of cold coagulation as a precaution.

I have spoken to my GP about how badly I’ve handled this and my anxiety - she has referred me for counselling, but I don’t know how long the waiting lists are. We did discuss medication as an option and only held off in the hope that getting the treatment over with would settle my head.

But in the meantime, it’s already been stressful with the pandemic, work has recently gotten even more stressful than usual and the fertility thing has really gotten to me as a bit of a ticking time bomb. I think my underlying fear with everything is losing an amazing man I had to wait a long time for - I was single for a long time before him and I think I’d closed a lot of doors in my head. He has been nothing but supportive, but he only knows about the abnormal cells, not the fertility concerns and definitely not the extent of the anxiety as I think I’ve been scared to look “weak” or needy.

I had treatment less than two weeks ago and I had so badly hoped it would be a chance to sort my head out - but now the absolute kicker is that I seem to be losing my hair through stress. It’s long and dark, so it looks even worse than it is and I’m terrified to wash it as I lose so much. But it’s also fuelling my anxiety terribly and it’s such a hard thing to escape because I’m constantly confronted with it. I can close the laptop on work, but I can’t get away from this or stop thinking about it. I really don’t know how I can cope.

Bless you. I can relate to so much of what you’ve said. I’m a bit further behind you in the process……currently awaiting biopsy results but it’s absolute torture. It’s been just over two weeks and I’m desperately waiting for the post each day.
My personal circumstances are different as I’ve had my children although that also brings different worries and makes my health anxiety even worse as they are still young.
I don’t know how you feel about CBD oil bought from the health shop? I’m finding this is helping. I am also having a similar issue with my hair at the moment. I wasn’t sure if it was stress related or if I was peri menopausal. I’ve started a vitamin supplement in the hope it improves.
You’re right though there definitely seems to be a link between stress and HPV. I have been very stressed since losing my dad 18 months ago. Easier said than done but I need to try and prioritise my own health.
The good news is your changes have been caught and treated before they become anything to worry about. It’s scary having HPV but there was a good post on here about ways to try and eliminate it, if you do a search. I’m going to try them and hopefully it might give me a different focus.

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I have considered CBD oil, I think the only thing holding me back is not knowing enough about what brands are effective and not wanting to waste time and money on the wrong things - I feel like I’m already bouncing around too many things, desperately trying to find a magic cure.

The hair fall thing has concerned me for a little while - I’ve always shed a lot and just had to tell myself that’s normal for me, but recently, I’ve been convinced I can see a difference. And yesterday was the absolutely worst it’s been when I washed my hair, so I really broke down in distress over it. I’m already using a low sulfate shampoo and tonic specifically aimed at preventing hair fall, so it seems like that’s not doing enough.

And I’ve also just started a new biotin supplement to see if that helps, having already been trying collagen.

Of course given my new-found paranoia over fertility etc, it doesn’t help that anxiety and hair loss are also linked to perimenopause. Even though the blood tests specifically say all my related levels are not just OK but actually good and I’m definitely not - and my mum went through all that relatively late which they say is a reasonable indicator of what you can expect - I can’t help worrying that the tests are wrong and I just am.

I think if I’m really honest, I just find it almost crushing that - despite sounding utterly miserable, and I guess I am when it comes to all this health stuff - I am so happy in this relationship and it just feels like if only it had happened even a few years earlier, we could have enjoyed it and let it progress naturally without all this. And I know all the sensible things, if he really is the right person, we’ll get through it and better to at least have found him now than never and be going through this alone. But still, what ifs are gard to shake off.

Hi both - also waiting for biopsy results and slowly driving myself mad. I’ve tested positive for HPV two years in a row, and was sent for a colposcopy on the 20th. They couldn’t see anything suspicious but took a small biopsy of an inflamed area they wanted to check wasn’t CIN1, and then I had a bleed they needed to cauterise so it was pretty traumatic and I convinced myself the bleeding was something sinister (I don’t have any other bleeding symptoms) so now I’m hugely worked up about the results coming. I also have a young daughter so I sympathise with the worries about both impending fertility and having you g children
I can’t help with the anxiety, but I do have some suggestions about hair loss! My hair massively thinned earlier this year - I suspected it was possibly a result of covid which I had in Jan or something hormonal, the doctor ran all the tests and found no reason for it so recommended a multi vitamin with zinc. I’ve been taking a really cheap one from Superdrug with zinc and iron and I’ve been using caffeine shampoo and it is making a difference! I can definitely say my hair looks much less thin and it’s been noticed by others too. Not very expensive as a solution so it can’t hurt I think. Doctor said biotin etc not really worth it.
I hope you both get your results soon and things ease up - I’m holding thumbs for both of you xx

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Thank you. I hope you get your results soon too. I agree, the waiting is awful. The worst I’ve ever felt. I’m trying to be positive, all my smears have been normal until this last one. At my colposcopy the doctor didn’t say there was anything to worry about but he didn’t tell me much either and I was so nervous I didn’t ask the questions I should have. The changes identified were low grade in my smear.
Then the anxieties creep in, what if my changes are higher up my cervix, what if my previous smear was incorrect. About 6 years ago I was told I had a cervical erosion at my smear. I was also told it was very common and nothing to worry about. My smear came back normal after that test so nobody was concerned. Now I’m wondering what if it’s not a cervical erosion. I’m also married and I’ve had the same partner for over 20 years so again I must have had HPV for some time. Possibly dormant.
I also had a pretty big bleed after the biopsy and again I wasn’t prepared for this so I found it quite traumatic when I stood up and saw the pool of blood around the chair. I stupidly didn’t ask if this was anything to worry about.
I think we just need our results.

The bleeding was just awful because it was such a shock. No one warns you to expect that (even the consultant said it does happen but it’s not usual). I quizzed her hard after and she assured me she didn’t see any cancer but that bleed really plays on my mind. She did say it’s just unlucky and catching a blood vessel or something which sounds fine rationally but this isn’t something I can be rational about :frowning:
I really hope you get your results soon too - how long did they say yours would take? I keep thinking about all the talk of covid isolations and worrying that will delay my results also! I don’t even know if they get done in house or get sent away to a different lab for investigations etc.

I was told around two weeks for results. It was two weeks last Friday so I’m hoping to hear this week. :crossed_fingers: Did they say to you how long it would take? I hope you hear soon too. x

They said within four weeks, or to chase them up. I’m in the south east, hampshire, so not sure if it’s different around the country. Also, even the post is delayed due to covid absences, so many things to delay! x