How do people generally respond to news?


I'm 32 years and recently had a pap smear in mid-June that resulted in the what is likely the usual chain of events for many on this forum. All my paps in the past had been normal and I had no new sexual partners so I was told I could wait 3 years before going in again. When I went for my recent pap the doctor pointed out that more than 3 years had passed. I'm ADD so time does often really slip away from me. My pap prior to this was in September/October of 2012. So that makes it about 5 years. When the result from the pap smear came back it showed abnormal cells and that they couldn't rule out of a High grade lesion. It also showed postive for one of the high risk strains of HPV. Both were really a shocker to me. I was very upset because I've had very few sexual partners and have been careful. I had also tried to obtain the vaccine when it first came out but for a bunch of frustrated reasons was not able to.

Anyway, they set me up for a colposopy. I had that done last Wednesday (July 5th, 2017). They took several biospies and told me results would be back in a week or two. To my surprise, they called me Friday morning with the results. Only two days after I had the biospies! The doctor called and told me the general gist and said to come in so we could discuss in person. She said she would fit me in that day whenever I liked. When I got there she explained that one of the biospies came back high grade/severe and I needed to have a LEEP done. She said the good news was that the ECC came back ok. She kept saying this was why they do these screenings. But she seemed visiblly nervous and upset. She kept patting me on the shoulder. I figure it's probably never good when a doctor does that. She also said that I had to be referred out for the procedure and that I should get it done in the next week. She stressed this and said that if I didn't get an appointment I could call this other doctor because she'd be away on vacation for the week. She gave me some print outs of the results to give to the other doctor. They showed CIN3. I have been reading up on things so I knew what that meant. I freaked out a little bit. I know sometimes these things do go away on their own but the time between my pap smears (5 years) has me extra worried that things may be worse than I know. Or worse than they are telling me. 

So here's my question: how upset are people generally when they get news like this?

I felt my tears, frustration, and anxiety were totally warranted but my support network has had very different reactions. I have not had any kids as I've been finishing up my PhD. I would like to have kids some day. I don't like the idea of various procedures etc that may make that less possible in the future. I understand that it's possible the LEEP will get everything and I will be ok. But I do not like having my choices taken away from me. I don't like knowing there's something wrong with me and that I do not know where this treatment journey may end. So yes I did some crying. However, when I told my mom about the results she was as dissmissive as possible. She does ultrasounds at OBGYNS but is not a doctor. She just thinks she is. Her response to my news: "I'm in the medical field and if it's something that's treatable, it's treatable!" I felt this was incredibly dismissive. I just had to listen to her go on about why the dog was hidiing in the shower for 30 mins. I asked her if she wasn't slightly more concerned that her daughter might have cancer or pre-cancer or that she might not get grandkids from me. She said: "I just have too much to deal with right now. I'm on the verge of a nervous break down as it is, I can't handle your issues right now!" I would understand that response if it was interpersonal drama but I do not think its an ok response to medical drama. It's now a few days later and I'm still very upset by her callous response. I have continued to speak to her as if it's all ok. I'm having my LEEP procedure tomoorrow and I'm still feeling like she may have crossed a line. I'm not sure I can forgive her for her callous narcissim. Has anyone else had a family member/friend respond in such a way? I don't think I'm being a drama queen either.  I just really need to support right now and she of all people should be able to provide some degree of sympathy or caring. Am I expecting too much? Is there a productive way to respond to this? I do not want to sweep it under the rug.

Also, typing this is at least keeping me from more unhelpful googling for at least a bit. So thanks to anyone who reads this! Nervous about the LEEP tommorrow so I needed some distraction. 

You are not alone. We all deal with this in our own way, there is no rule book. Cry, scream, rant for a while if you need to and then accept that that is just a waste of energy and turn it into positivity for recovery.

As to your Mum. I don't know how she normally is, ? some people just find it hard to communicate their feelings. It was probably a huge shock to her too and she might need time to take it all in ?

I've had very different reactions from family and friends. Some come and hug me and offer any help needed, some seem to avoid me and I think it's because they don't know what to say ? One in particular did come over at our club and was almost crying. She said "I don't know what to say , but I'm so sorry " I had to reassure her !

If you need to rant, rave or ask questions on here, feel free, we are all in this together xx


I don't think you're overreacting at all... when I found it cried for good week. It is very scary news, and they just come on you unprepared. I have no idea how your mum normally is, but I would feel sad too if I got this reaction. I got a lot of support from my friends, family and even work colleagues, and it really helps to go through all of this. Do you have anyone else you can talk to? Partner or friend. If not I am here for you and you can pm me. 

Support gives you a lot of strength to beat that thing... no matter if it's abnormal cells or cancer. 

Let us know how the results are, I hope it's nothing x