Invite anxiety

I received a smear invite in the post yesterday. I had my first in 2019 although the nurse had to stop and couldn’t carry it out as was too painful. Is it worth trying again? What is the likelihood that there will be issues again?

Hey so sorry you are going through this :frowning: but I really would just grit your teeth and go for it. Maybe tell the nurse your issue before hand and she can put you at ease, if you feel uncomfortable at any time you can just tell her and she will stop. They are so so important! And are life saving, I would much prefer to have 5mins of discomfort then being told in years down the line I have CC :frowning: so sorry if I sound blunt but that is the reality we are so lucky to have this amazing service :slight_smile: i wish you luck and really hope you get past this and book in :slight_smile: x

We are extremely lucky! :slight_smile: Yes, I managed to deal with a lot of uncomfortableness but there just came a point where she couldn’t go any further :frowning: :pensive:. I’ll definitely chat with her - would you say at the appointment itself? x

Yes it is very unpleasant:( yes just say before you lay down that last time you had a lot of discomfort and you feel very anxious. hopefully she will talk to you and be as gentle as can be. Also just try to listen to her instructions about the deep breathing and try your best to relax as this could take some of the pain away. Let me know how it goes x

Hi Nw12

!00% it is worth accepting your smear invite. It’s the regret of my life that I stopped going for smears - see my back story.

Good advice from Bec3. Also there is a helpful blog on this website which gives suggestions how to make smear tests more comfortable: https://www.jostrust.org.uk/about-us/news-and-blog/blog/sometimes-smear-tests-are-painful

Let us know how you get on, there’s lot of us here to support you all the way.

x

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Please please go for your smear ive learnt the hard way by not going for 13 years, it may be uncomfortable but go, relax and it will be over in a matter of a minute xx

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I have to agree with previous comments and echo Dawnann’s “please please go”……
I missed my smear last year due to the lockdown and being unsure if the GP surgery was open for them (they were) and didn’t go until March this year, by which time I was unaware I had 4th stage cc. What difference does a year or two years make? A lot, clearly. Please do go. You could speak to your GP beforehand about your anxiety around this. Better to endure a few moments of discomfort now than leave it ages and then potentially end up with ml the or years of extremely uncomfortable treatment.

I’m sure if you speak to them first they will be able to make accommodations so that it’s less uncomfortable for you. I believe they can use smaller speculum and additional lubricant if necessary. They can do this for post menopausal women or women who have narrowing or other issues so I’m sure they can also do it for people who find it uncomfortable.

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Hi Lally, what symptoms were you having when you went to the doctor I’ve had all my scans and the panel have met today, I’m terrified it’s all to late xx

Dawnann62 That’s just it, I didn’t really have any symptoms as such but when I went for my smear i mentioned I had had a very small amount of blood during intercourse on two occasions (in the past 6 months) and she examined me and said my cervix was bruised and referred me for an ultrasound. I was seen within a week and as the ultrasound wasn’t clear the consultant gynaecologist did an internal examination and took a biopsy. She immediately warned me she could feel a mass and that it was probably cancer. I had an MRI and a CT the week after and was referred to a gynae consultant oncologist and after a PET/CT and also my biopsy results, the Multidisciplinary Team confirmed it as 4b.
So you see, you can have very advanced cervical cancer without having symptoms. When I was told to expect cancer due to the presence of a mass I really expected it to be very early stage because I assumed that if it was later stage there must be some symptoms. I didn’t feel unwell or tired for instance. Had I not gone for my smear test when I did I wouldn’t have known I had anything wrong with me.
It was a tremendous shock to hear that it’s advanced and metastasised.
A word of advice: don’t Google. Because different sites contradict each other quite a lot.
I hope you will let us know what happens when you receive your results. Good luck xxx

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Thank you so much for replying hope your treatment goes well x

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What treatment have they given you lally xx

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I had 25 external beam radiotherapy simultaneously targeting several areas, followed by 8 additional and more concentrated external beam radiotherapy targeting the main tumour. I also started chemo (Cisplatin) but it was stopped after 2 cycles.
The radiotherapy itself only takes a few minutes each time, it was the daily travel to the hospital that got me down more than anything.
I imagine you will get your results very soon and I hope everything goes well. Xx

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Thank you so much for replying it’s nice to know even at a late stage there is a treatment plan, hope you are doing well xx

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Definitely go for it and talk to the nurse either beforehand or when you arrive. My nurse always uses the smallest speculum as I have a small cervix and I’m so anxious and nervous. She talks to me all the way through too. Trying to distract me! You might be able to ask for a local anaesthetic if it’s too painful. I had a local for my punch biopsies. A needle there is not pleasant but you shouldn’t feel any pain after that. Good luck xxx

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@Dawnann62 I’ve just heard from my MacMillan CNS (prior to phone consult this afternoon with consultant for full results) and she’s told me the recent PET/CT shows no evidence of disease (apart from residual at the site of the sacral metastasis)
I know this should be good news but I know once cancer has spread to bones it’s not curable. That residual disease means the cancer will probably come back at some point. I don’t know what they’ll do about the bone mets and I’m going to ask about SABR Knife. But considering the stage it was diagnosed at it’s a good result for now.
Rather than feeling ecstatic I’m just now thinking I’m going to be waiting for it to come back again forever. Ever the pessimist! I’m going to write a post once I’ve spoken to the consultant.
Have you heard from your consultant yet, as you were waiting for the MDT to meet last week I believe, and I hope you’ve had better news than you feared x

Lally that is such good news for you, I’ve got my appointment at 12,I feel so sick I’ve had no sleep, you have given me so much hope that things can always get better, 6 weeks ago everything was fine until I had stomach ache with an infection then they noticed my cervix and looked horrified xx

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Hi Lally it’s stage 4 some spread to the wall of the back passage, maybe the liver and lymph nodes involved, the tumour is 6cm ! And is pushing on my bladder, they are treating to cure xx

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What treatment are you having? Will you have brachytherapy or additional external beam radiotherapy? I weighed up the pros and cons of not having brachy and I’m glad I didn’t have it. There’s really not much difference in terms of overall outcome and the side effects can be dreadful, not enough actual research has been done with brachytherapy versus additional external radiotherapy, and none at all in this country, which has some of the most advanced radiotherapy machines in the world.
I feel they push it on women as the “best option”, when actually it’s not, not in the UK anyway.
The treatment all seems a bit overwhelming at first when you see your schedule but you very quickly get into a routine. It’ll be over before you know it and I hope things go well for you. Xxxxxx

Hi Lally it will be chemo first to get rid of the spread, don’t know how long for or what type till I meet with the oncologist, then it will be radiation treatment, can I ask what county you are in ? Xx