Wording of letter sign of severity?

Hi Ladies. Many thanks to all of you for writing on this site. It has really helped me. I found out a few hours ago that I have high-grade abnormalitites and have been really scared and teary since. Reading your experiences has helped. It's just such horrid timing as I've just, after a long time, met a wonderful man and was feeling so happy and upbeat about Christmas. The hospital wrote to me five days after the test, though I've been away and only just found the letter. I am trying not to let my mind read into the number of days as to the severity. The Oxfordshire trust doesn't seem to distinguish between moderate and severe in their letter, though I've found myself analysing the wording, where it says, 'there were changes to some of the cells' and trying to work out whether 'some' means it's moderate or severe! I haven't heard anything from the hosptial yet (five days after the letter was sent) but am due to spend New Year with the new boyfriend - in Rome!- and am just hoping I can still do this. I also don't know whether to tell him but am worried that he'll notice that I'm being odd. 

Sorry, I know that my concerns here are just not as serious as what some of you have so far experienced. But it's so frightening and the unknowable/unknown elements leave me feeling powerless as I am someone who naturally has very high levels of anxiety.


Love to all and thanks for your support.

Hello there, I know it is worrying but cell changes, whether moderate or severe, are just that - cell changes.  It is unlikely that it is cancer.  Cell changes alert the specialists to have you checked out further as cell changes can, after many years - (as cervical cancer is a slow growing cancer taking years to develop) - become cancerous, therefore this is the stage before the stage before cancer.  They will remove these cells and you will probably need no further treatment. I'd say go ahead & enjoy your New Years break in Rome, come back refreshed.  By then you should have word of a follow-up appointment, most likely with a colposcopist.  

If you're a worrier its not easy, and I understand your concerns, however, please try to relax - the mind can be a powerful enemy as well as a powerful tool - please use it as a tool to help you relax & distract your thoughts.

Have a lovely break in Rome - i'm jealous already, Happy New Year!!




Dear Bogeywoman (love the username!)

Thanks so much for your message. I managed to sleep but woke up pretty worried again so it was lovely to receive this. You're so right about the mind being powerful. I shall work hard to make sure I use it to be strong and will relax and read and eat lovely food and drink nice wine and try to enjoy Christmas. And Rome! You're right that I am due for a colposcopy. I've told my mum and she is being super sweet and reassuring too as she said she has had abnormal tests too (mild rather than high-grade). She is coming from Wales now to look after me today!

Have a lovely Christmas and thanks again. 

hi rowanberry, if u already have a date for your colposcopy and it doesnt coinside with ur holiday then go and enjoy your holiday with your new man. i am the same had high grade changes an had my colposcopy. i now how to have cells removed but isnt booked in till feb. they really are not too quick so stressing is the worst thing we can do. hope you have a lovely xmas and try and put it out of your mind. (i know its easier said than done) :)

Hi Stephanie Louise. Thanks so much for your message. This forum is really helpful. I don't have a date yet. The letter said the hospital would contact me so am thinking I might call them tomorrow. I am only away from 31st to the 3rd, so am hoping it won't clash. 

I hope you're ok. I guess the gap between your colposcopy and the treatment must suggest it's not too urgent and so that must be reassuring? It's just so hard not to think constantly about the what ifs. However many times I hear that this is all about preventing the disease from starting up, it's so tough to receive a letter that even mentions cancer! But trying to relax and tame thoughts and distract oneself is clearly the way. Thanks again so much and have a lovely Christmas. 

Hi. I thought I would just reassure you especially with your trip planned for New Year. My letter also did not distinguish between the two it just said "high grade". I rang my doctors and the nurse confirmed for me that is was severe. So if you ring them they will be able to tell you if it is moderate or severe. I was very impatient when I found out this news and I so I rang the hospital and they told me that anyone with severe results HAS to be seen for their colposcopy within 21 days as protocol. So, you can go and enjoy your time away and have this sorted when you get back. Obviously I'm no doctor! But I should imagine the rules are the same across the board so as long as you are seen within the 21 days (that's if you are even severe, you may be moderate and then the rules may differ) then you are not delaying anything by going away. I imagine if they thought it needed seeing to immediately they would have rang by now. So enjoy Christmas, enjoy New Year and although easier said than done try and put this to the back of your mind as much as possible for now. I hope it all turns out okay for you xxx

Hi Jenjens. Many thanks for your message. I range the unit this morning and the nice lady on the phone checked whether I had already been booked in or whether I was in her to-do pile, and i wasn't yet. I hadn't seen your message and so didn't ask whether I was moderate or severe, but the lady said that they see anyone with high-grade within 28 days, so I suspect, like you, it does look as if I am severe. I told her about going away and she said this would be fine and that she would make a note for my appointment to be later, which she suspected it would be anyway. So now I shall try my best to distract myself over Christmas and wait and see what the doctors suggest!

I hope your colposcopy and the LLETZ weren't too painful and that all is looking good for you now. Many thanks again.

Well that's good news for you and now you know where you stand. I meant 28 days when I wrote 21 (sorry!) So yes maybe you are severe too but hopefully this has all been caught early enough for you. I'm still eagerly awaiting results and like you I have plans for new year! So fingers crossed we both get to just enjoy that. Have a great christmas and new year, all the best to you. Feel free to keep in touch, seems we're both in a similar situation at a similar time. xxx

Hi and thanks again for writing. The puzzling thing is that one goes from clear smear to severe so quickly. But at least we are both in the system now and will be carefully watched. fingers crossed for us both and have a lovely Christmas and yes please, let's stay in touch (though apart from our conversation am banning myself from Internet searches about it all!). X