It's that time again...

Hi ladies

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

Oh love :( you have Jo's! Come here and whine away (I know I do!). My boyfriend was the same when I had my initial problems. I was freaking out, on the downward spiral to doom and I couldn't get hold of myself (sometimes I think you need to embrace and go on the spiral and that's the only way to eventually get out, kind of like  a rip tide, don't fight it, just find a different way) and he couldn't understand why I wasn't just being positive about it. I recall the phrases 'you don't know anything for sure, there's no point worrying about it yet, and it won't be that bad you're being silly' being banded about at least once every two days. Which I did not appreciate. It's quite easy for people to judge when they're not in the situation you are (even if you know you're not helping yourself deep down it doesn't change how you're feeling at the time).

As for the guilt thing, please don't feel guilty! There is so much toss in the papers about HPV being sexually transmitted which, no matter how nicely they write the article, makes anyone who has HPV feel like a skank because no doubt some narrow minded arses will think that. (I get quite angry about this lol) but there is NO clue as to how HPV is actually transmitted apart from sexually. Some doctors think that it doesn't even have to be full sex, that you can just get it from 'sexual contact' which could be anything. It really gets my goat, becuase noone thinks anyone is a skank becuase they have a verucca, or a wart, or a cold sore, even though these things come from a different version of the same virus. Just because HPV causes changes inside ladies private parts we get all this guilt and rubbish. GRR! lol. I mean, if veruccas can be passed from person to person by direct and indirect contact (swimming baths being a key point of transmission) then apply that to cc causing HPV... even if it's half as easily transmitted... 

I have no tips, however, on how to cope with the worry and the feeling sick waiting for the results. I have been subconsciously worrying myself sick for two weeks waiting for my own check-up results. Yesterday and today what I would describe as my ovaries/cervic have been aching and I swear this is psychomatic (I'm due on tomorrow as well, so it could be PMT although I don't usually get it so I'm going with it's my stupid brain lol) as I'm due to receive my results today (if the post is working well lol). All you can do is roll with it (and maybe read a lot of books/do a lot of puzzles if they're your thing!) 

(On an aside that is fantastic news about getting married in August!!! Have you got everything planned or is there lots still to organise?) x x x x

Hi Charlotte,

Moan away :-) thats what were all here to do, share our stories and get through it.

I know how you feel, my hubby of only 10 months has been a tower of strength for me has been to every appointment and i feel like he really understands although he does joke that when he said in sickness he hoped it wouldnt be so soon after our vows lol.

I hate when people said to me 'oh my friend had that, it wasnt cancer so you will be fine too' or my mother 'will you still be able to have children!' so it has been quite a roller coaster ride for us but have got through it and can finally see an end. I dont like to tell people i had cancer because i was told i had it after it was removed in the lletz, so partly it doesnt seem real (or serious enough to say it was cancer if you know what i mean?) and partly because i know its caused by HPV and they say you can only get this through sexual contact, im hoping that its not true because i also feel ashamed of it. It can also lay dormant in your body for years as your immune system should be able to fight it off i think thats why they have introduced that vaccine for 14yr old girls to prevent this happening.

 Try to concentrate on your wedding and im sure if you do have any cells changes in this short of time it wont be cancerous so they can be removed before they even get to that stage :-) but i do understand your concern on more surgery i also think well if it comes back what do i do? I am having my next lletz next wednesday so 2 in 2 months cant be good for my body? I am desperate to start trying for kids, i love them and have wanted to start for at least a year or so now that will have to wait until i am fully recovered which i read is 6 months.

 But for now i just have to get my lletz out of the way, the hospital i have been going to have been fab i only had my smear in Nov and its been pushed through so quickly. I had my first smear at 23 then i thought they had upped the age to 25 and every 5 years so i didnt go back until nov being 28 and got a telling off for being 2 yrs late, i do think what if i had gone 2 yrs ago would they have found these cells and if not i wouldnt be due for another year so my cancerous cells could have been a lot worse! We cant live for what if's so im trying not to think about what may happen in the future but be glad were in their radar :-)

Trudy xx

Hi charlotte, i know how you feel. Im one of those ppl where it hasnt gone away yet ( after 6 years since my lletz!)  As you say though, this is a real minority thing and probably because my initial infection covered a big area and they didnt quite get it all. Thing is though... Im not that bothered by it... Theyre watching me.. Im in the system.. Better that than it not having been picked up!! It may come to it that ill need another lletz at some point.. But ill deal with thst when i get there. Im not worried about its impact on my fertility ( me and my hubby have other fertility issues!)


Try not to worry about the what ifs.. Youll be ok