Not sure how I am supposed to react

Hello all,

I'm sorry if this doesn't belong here but I'm not sure where else to put it.

I was diagnosed last week which was a bit of a shock, but then the doctor told me he is confident that a second lletz procedure will remove any remaining cancerous cells and then I can have 6 monthly appointments at his oncology clinic. I have since been told he thinks I am stage 1A1 so I'll most likely be fine.

I have told my partner and the people I work for but don't want to worry anyone else until I have the result of my next procedure. The thing is when I've told them they are obviously waiting for a reaction and seem to instantly want to treat me like a cancer patient, and I'm not sure how I'm supposed to react. If anything I feel incredibly lucky that it is looking to be a minor inconvenience and not what the rest of you ladies are going to be going through, I also feel guilty that I am worrying them with something that is not as serious as it sounds. 

It's quite a strange feeling to be told you have cancer but it's probably already been removed because it's bad news and then instant good news. before you have a chance to process the bad news.

Sorry if I've rambled on, I feel bad knowing that you are all dealing with way worse than me and I'm complaining :(


 Hi LittlePea

 To have the C word coming your way is a big thing and whilst you have an extremely good prognosis it's very early days and you are almost certainly still processing your diagnosis on an emotional and psychological level.  So be kind to yourself, your feelings are totally valid.

 After much agonising I decided that I didn't want people treating me like a 'cancer patient' and realised I needed to take control of the situation.  I only told people when I felt ready e.g. I decided to tell my manager quite a few details early on because It helped me to know that she understood why I was needing so much time off work. 

 Eventually, after several/many weeks,  I decided I wanted to tell quite a lot of people because I wanted to get across how important smear tests are - sadly I hadn't had a smear test for 12 years when I was diagnosed. So instead of portraying myself as a cancer patient per se I took the role of a teacher using my experience as a powerful lever to motivate others to keep up to date with their smear tests e.g. I pinned some Jo's Trust information on the works notice board.  A local lady recently told me that she thinks of me as 'the smear lady' which I prefer to 'the lady who's had cancer'.

 If people ask me how I am I answer briefly that I'm good so far and then may go on to inform them of interesting stuff in the world of cervical cancer e.g. HPV self sampling. 

 There isn't a right or wrong way in how we deal with a cancer diagnosis and connecting with others but it's worth taking a bit of time to think out how you want to do it.  Some people prefer not to talk much at all about their diagnosis which is fine.


Hi little pea,


Like you, I was diagnosed with stage 1a1. My emotions have fluctuated a fair bit and I've kept a diary of it all on the thread in my back story.


Right now I'm having another mini grieving/anger session as my oncology MDT meetings are every Friday and my macmillan nurse didn't call me today which means yet another week of waiting for results after my second LLETZ. But earlier on today I felt optimistic and good about everything.


Other people's reactions are pretty varied I've found. From my mum who appears to believe I had a cancer scare, to a friend who talks to me like I'm about to die in two weeks. It's quite the mix.


And all of a sudden everyone starts any message with 'how are you today?' which is lovely, but different.


Like Jazza I chose to use my diagnosis to try and get as many people as possible with a cervix to go for their smears. But I did it a little too soon in retrospect.


I treated it almost like an administrative task that had to be ticked off and completed before I'd registered what had happened. It took me 10 days before I suddenly hit the waterworks and couldn't stop them for three days.


We all process things so differently. There's no wrong or right way. I have really struggled to access support because I feel like I'm not deserving of support when other people are going through higher stages, but I did ask to see my macmillan nurse after my second LLETZ and bawled my eyes out. She was amazing and it really helped me. She reassured me that lots of people diagnosed with 1a1 feel similar and that a diagnosis of cancer can be a huge shock, no matter how big the tumours are.


Sending you some massive hugs and love. Do you know when your second LLETZ is? X

Hi Jazza,

Thank you, I think I feel guilty that I might be taking compassion that should be saved for someone who is struggling with a much higher stage than I am. I think I need to get out of my head sometimes.

I had my first phone call from the Macmillan nurse yesterday, and she told me that when you've had a cancer diagnosis you get free prescriptions for 5 years, and I think that's when it really hit me and I got a bit emotional. But feel positive now, I asked her about my fertility because I only have 1 ovary and this will be my 3rd lletz, so she told me I can be referred by my gynae for fertility help so that's good.

I think I'll wait to tell people until after my lletz and results so I can tell them exactly what has happened, but it makes me so grateful there are these forums so that there are people like you to talk to. My OH is a worrier and keeps asking me to promise I'll be OK so I can't talk to him about it.

Like you I waited 7 years to have my smear test so I just feel angry at myself for not having it done sooner. I definitely want to be like you and Lemon and try to use it to tell others to keep everything up to date.


Hi Lemon Lavender,

Oh that's so rubbish, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that you don't have to wait too much longer for your results ?

It's the constant 'I'm so sorry' as if they think I'm going to drop any second, I've told them it won't need any serious treatment but they keep asking how I am, do I need a rest, how am I feeling? It's really sweet that they care but now I feel like I have to be super strong and can't really tell anyone how I feel about it. Probably just me over reacting.

I think it's really great that you've turned it into a positive, I definitely want to follow your lead and do the same. But I'll take your advice about doing it too early.

Oh no, how are you feeling about it now? I find it comes into my head every so often, like my brain is trying to remind me.

I'm glad you're getting support from Macmillan, I'm the same I don't feel like I should be using up resources. But my nurse was really nice when she phoned yesterday and have me the number to call if I need anything so that was nice.

Thank you!! Sending lots of love and hugs back.

No date yet, but have a phone appointment with the preassessment nurse on Thursday so will hopefully find out soon