I have been having a really crap time since my last routine smear which was on 1st August 2023. I got the results letter back very promptly - saying it was HPV positive but the cell sample was insufficient. Having had 4 years in a row of low grade cell change/ HPV+ results (a few years back), I didn’t want to wait for a repeat smear as I was sure I’d end up being sent to colposcopy anyway. I even made an appointment with a private consultant to try to get this done as I was determined NOT to have it hanging over my head at Christmas.
However even the private appointment entailed a 6 week wait so didn’t get seen til the end of September. He said there was no rush & would see me for colposcopy back on the NHS in 4-6 weeks. I had colposcopy on Nov 17th but he couldn’t see anything to biopsy so just repeated the smear. I was told my transformation zone (the part of the cervix most vulnerable to cell changes) was just out of sight in the os so he was unable to examine it. I still don’t know what the actual results were (which drove me mad as based on previous experience I was expecting to be told CIN 1, 2 or 3) but something along the lines of minor abnormalities. The follow up he suggested was not until May 2024, which also drove me nuts because every time I’d had abnormal cells in the past they were biopsied to confirm the grade a few weeks later - and also because he’d not even been able to see the ‘at risk’ part of my cervix at the first colp. So I contacted the consultant’s secretary and he arranged an appointment for me last Friday, to come in ‘for a chat’ and I was hoping to talk about some other symptoms which have been worrying me. However after a quick recap of the previous appointment, he suggested going straight in for LLETZ. I agreed as I’ve been waiting so long to find out what is actually going on, but feel like it would have been good to know in advance that this procedure might have been on the cards. I find the LA injections really painful and the adrenaline then makes my heart rate go mad - which in turn makes me feel more anxious - so that wasn’t fun. I was crampy for about a day afterwards and the discharge hasn’t been bad at all.
I was glad I’d finally had a treatment and would be getting the biopsy done after all, but also really anxious as it hit me that now I’ll just be waiting for weeks, terrified of what the results will be. For the first few days I was just convinced that it’s already cancer, that it will all be too late etc (hard not to feel that way when this has been dragging on since August, and with my history of persistent HPV ) . Then somehow I managed to calm down again (until tonight) even though BATHS - my main self care strategy - have been cruelly taken away from me in my hour of need
I had a big wobble this evening but have calmed down again reading through other people’s experiences here. It definitely helps to know you’re not the only one going through this. I find it so, so hard to manage my anxiety through the long waits and I guess I can expect to be up and down for the next however many weeks. Solidarity with anyone going through this at the moment!