Get It Off My Chest

Hi everyone,

I don't know what advice anyone can give if any, but thought it would be quite cathartic just siting down and typing out all of my worries. 

I only have myself to blame really - I'm almost 32 and was called for my first smear at the age of 20 as at that time, that was the usual age. I went along, no problems but the results came back inconclusive, as I believe was fairly usual using the old screening method on young ladies. Unfortunately whilst waiting for my results or soon after, they raised the age of first smears to 25. Of course, being 20 and not really enjoying lying down with all my bits out (to strangers anyway!), I took advantage of the age increase and decided I'd go back when I was 25 rather than straight away. I'm now beating myself up as I put it off even further, using excuses like working shifts and standbys meaning not being able to guarantee keeping an appointment (telling myself I didn't want to inconvenience the nurse). What's so ridiculous is that the prodedure didn't even bother me - I was just "too busy" and genuinely kept forgetting. STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!

I finally got around to booking a smear last month and everything has just been a rollercoaster ever since. I realise that some ladies seem to wait for weeks between receiving results and waiting for colposcopys, treatments and biopsy results and part of me is grateful for the speed at which this has all been processed, but at the same time I'm panicking that it's because they're supicious of something particularly nasty. I got told this morning that my high grade dyskaryosis was severe and had treatment as you can see below. The lovely nurse told me that I should expect my biopsy results within 2 weeks and if I've heard nothing by 02/05 then to call the direct number for my results over the phone. This is potentially only a month from my initial smear to biopsy results!

I'm keeping everything bottled up and haven't told anyone as I don't want to worry my friends or my parents unnecessarily. I only got married in September and we were hoping to try for a baby this summer. My husband knows and he's aware I'm anxious but I'm trying to gloss over it with him as much as possible, although when I spoke to him about it the other day I burst into tears and I had a bit of a wobble this morning before my colposcopy appointment. Poor guy, I nearly took his head off for not getting out of the bathroom.

I'm not expecting sympathy as it's my own stupid bloody fault that I'm in this mess. So many young women have bad results from their first smears at 25 years old. I'm just so angry with myself for letting it get this far and I find it hard to admit to my husband what a moron he's married!

Thanks for putting up with me. Rant over.

 

 

I had my smear results and lletz within a couple of days of each other, waited about 4 weeks for my biopsy results which came back ok. I didn't really speak to anyone while going through it, my husband works away and isn't really the type to understand about 'womens stuff'. I  was surprisingly strong through it, didn't lose sleep and came to the conclusion that i would fight it if the worst results came back. I've had smears since having my first child at 19, I'm now 35 . Don't beat yourself up for not having a smear before now, this would of happened anyway. No one can understand fully the emotional side to this, i had huge arguements with my husband even after i got the results back, he couldn't understand how i was still upset about the whole thing when it had turned out ok??!!  Apparently they removed quite a large area of my cervix during the lletz procedure which i found quite emotional!? Its not like losing a limb but its still part of you, i think i was a bit in denial about how setious it was, i was out shopping 2 hours later....crazy.

There is no right or wrong way to feel or deal with the situation , everyone is different.  Be kind to yourself , don't dwell too much on the letter box . Just get into your mind that whatever the results you'll fight and be ok in the end..

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I'm trying not to worry but at the same time, preparing myself for the worst so it's not potentially such a shock. I've never had any symptoms of any kind so if the biopsy comes back with bad news then it will hopefully be treatable. I know I'm probably reading too much into this but It can't be helped. 

Hi 

First of all, don't beat yourself up! You’re going through a lot of emotions and worry right now, and self-loathing won’t help a thing!

You have no way of knowing when this developed; the HPV could have been lying dormant in your system for years before it decided to make mischief. So even if you had attended previous smears, it might not have shown up on these. We could spend so much time on the recriminations, the what if’s…it’s pointless as it doesn’t make any difference. I’ve wasted way too much time of wondering who gave me HPV and regretting the few casual encounters that I’ve had. I’m just trying to live in the here and now.

The good thing is, you’re sorting it out now and that’s great. Loads of ladies here have had severe changes which have NOT been cancer. Even if it is, it’s often at a very early stage and can be treated in a way that allows you to preserve your fertility. You say you’ve had no symptoms, which is encouraging. I know how worrying it is, but try and take some comfort from being in the system – and it’s a good system, you’re looked after well.

I know what you mean about not worrying anyone unnecessarily. When I told my mum, she panicked and assumed the worst – NOT helpful at all! I have only confided in a few close friends, and this time round I’ve only told my best friend (who’s been through a similar ordeal) and my fiancé. Things with my fiancé were difficult at first; I was angry that he didn’t seem to understand and kept saying ‘but you don’t know if you have anything to worry about yet, so why worry??’ It’s led to quite a few arguments! Recently however, we had a really honest chat. I told him why I’m so scared (fears around fertility, feel a failure as a woman) and just what I’m going through. In the past, I’d told him this but it had been out of fear and anger. He hopefully has a better understanding of what I’m going through, which does help. Still don’t think he entirely gets it though! I really think that men just don’t. It’s such a personal, female thing – I guess if he had to have one of his testicles removed I probably wouldn’t understand the full impact it has on his masculinity.

Congratulations on getting married! I get married in August and I desperately do not want this to be still hanging over me. We also want to start a family so of course, that’s a worry.

Anyway, sorry for long winded ramble of a reply! The chances are, you are going to be absolutely fine and will just need treatment (which is not a big deal at all). Keep posting on here, I’ve found it to be an immense source of support – everyone knows exactly what you are going through.

 

Take care xx

Thanks so much Charlotte. You're right, this website is a godsend, although I need to stop looking at the posts further down the line than the colposcopy forums as I've occasionally scared myself witless for no reason yet as I don't even have my biopsy results! 

It sounds ridiculous not being able to tell anyone doesn't it? I was trying to explain to my (very patient) husband yesterday why I won't even tell my best of friends. I don't want to tell them when, to anyone else, there's nothing to tell. I don't want to be that person who spews it all out in a never ending dialogue of ifs, buts and tears to find out that one or more of my friends has been through the same thing and kept it to themselves because they are better at dealing with things than I am. Basically, I'm scared of looking like an attention seeker. Is that totally weird? That's what's so great about here. No one is afraid of venting their fears or concerns and nobody else judges them for doing just that. As for telling my mother, don't even go there! I told her AFTER it had been diagnosed as a cyst that I'd found a lump on my breast and all was fine and she practically tried to move in!

I actually had the LLETZ treatment during my colposcopy which I'm eternally grateful for as it saves further waiting and also, hopefully treated any "nasties" there and then. Just praying that the biopsy comes back with no further surprises as I left it such a long time in the first place that anything could have happened in those years! I keep reading about ladies who were called to come in that day for bad results. I spend a lot of time waiting for the phone to ring with work so am always on edge as it is - taking my phone to the loo and such like. It's a wonder I don't accidentally throw it at the wall with all the tension building over the next few days.

Thanks on the congratulations, that's really kind. The same to you - how exciting! Don't let this ruin the most amazing time of your life. I know it's always there niggling, but try to push it to the back of your mind so you can get on with the fun (and stressful) planning of your big day. I have everything crossed that this round of results come through clear and you can get on with your special occasion worry free. 

Thanks for taking the time to reply and let me know how you get on (if you like).

Fi. x