I hope you are well and coping. I have been lurking on here for a while and reading your stories – you’re all so inspirational, and my heart goes out to those of you who are dealing with difficult news.
I’ve just booked my check up six month smear and as daft as it maybe sounds, I’m having a little wobble.
I had an abnormal smear in August 2012, and underwent LLETZ for ‘low grade’ CIN in January 2013. I returned for my follow up smear in August 2013, which was normal (good) but still testing positive for HPV (not so good). So my smear next Wednesday is to see if the HPV has buggered off.
I’m in more of a spin about this smear than I was about the one six months ago. I guess with that, I’d hoped everything would be fine and had convinced myself it would be. With the news that the HPV is still lurking, I feel scared about what they might find. Realistically, the worst case scenario is cell changes – even with my championship worrywart tendencies, I can’t believe it could have got as far as CC. Although there’s always the possibility…but I’m trying not to go down that route.
If it is CIN, I’m scared I’ll have to go through another LLETZ. The procedure itself doesn’t bother me – I was lucky in that I had no side effects and healed fast – but the longer term impact does. I’m worried I’ll be in the small minority (yet there seem to be quite a few on this site) who have to deal with recurring CIN. I’m scared it will keep coming back and eventually it will lead to something more drastic and permanent. I want to start trying for a baby this year, and don’t want anything to get in the way of that – I’m 34, so the age worry is already there.
Also, I feel very resentful that I’m back in the waiting game. I’m not looking forward to dreading my return from work, purely because of what I might find on the doormat. Opening the standard ‘you have abnormal cells’ letter and wondering what the hell I’ve got and how bad it is (I live in Scotland, they give you very minimal detail here). Then the colp, and more waiting. I’m getting married in August – I don’t want this to be hanging over me.
I know that I am lucky, and that they are just keeping an eye on me. If it is CIN, they will probably adopt a watch and wait option, so there may not be treatment at this stage. It’s just bought it all back, and I hate that. I know I am really fortunate to be in the system but I’d rather not be in a system at all, if you know what I mean! I was even tempted just to not book this smear, just to put it out of my mind, but I know that would be stupid and the stressing would not be going away.
Like I say, I feel bad that I’m going on about this when many of you are further along the line and being so brave. I just don’t feel I have anyone I can talk to about it. My fiancé is great but he doesn’t get it. I’ve not mentioned it at all, he gets upset if I stress about it being something worse. My mum panics and acts like I’ve told her I actually have cancer, and I just don’t feel able to share it with friends. Plus, the feelings of guilt are creeping back. That’s another reason I find it hard to discuss – it’s a sexually transmitted virus, and I sometimes find that shameful, no matter how much logic tells me otherwise.
Anyway, I’m sorry to moan on. I think I just need a good coping strategy right now – need to give myself a stern talking to and remind myself that it’s good I am being monitored and that just because I am a higher risk case, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be bad news. Just hoping for the result to be normal – and HPV negative!
Lots of love and good wishes to you all xx