Ladies it’s Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (22nd – 28th Jan), so here’s a reminder to book your smear test, it could save your life! No seriously, it really can. I had a scare recently after my smear test, so I urge anyone who hasn’t had done it yet to get it booked!
Two months ago I finally booked my smear test, after ignoring five reminder letters and putting it off since the beginning of 2016. I was too busy with life! How could i possibly have time to book a screening for my health and take time off work? What a ridiculous mindset I had. I was taught a hard lesson last year and now my health comes first this year.
One evening I came home from work to find a letter from the NHS. The letter said I had moderate (high-risk) abnormal cells and will need to go to the hospital for a biopsy and colposcopy to find out what stage the abnormal cells are at and what the next steps are. My heart sank into my stomach. I couldn’t help but cry in my bedroom. All I took in from the letter was ‘abnormal…high risk…moderate…’ and my mind turned into a singing circus. All kinds of thoughts ran through my head. Have I got cervical cancer? What is wrong down there? Do I need to have the cells removed? What if they don’t help me in time? What does high-risk mean, am I going to die from this? I remember Jade Goody, who died from cc because it was detected it too late. I was kicking myself at this point for putting it off for so long! My mind went into overdrive with worry and I couldn’t sleep until my appointment the following week. I received a text from the NHS confirming my appointment and i received another letter and a booklet to explain everything in more detail. The speed of the NHS was incredible!
On the day of my appointment, I was sick with worry and wasn’t looking forward to this procedure at all. However the nurses were absolutely amazing! They made me feel so comfortable when I was in the most awkward position ever (warning, do not bring your husband or boyfriend with you)! The nurse was showing me my cervix on the screen (yep, really) and showed me where the abnormal cells were. She took two biopsies of that area to be tested further. I won’t go into too much detail, you can find out more on the NHS website. To be brutally honest the biopsy was horrendous and I had severe stomach cramps for two days after and i did bleed for a week (joyful).
In a nutshell they test your cells to see if they’re CN1, CN2 or CN3. CN1 is the best possible outcome. Your abnormal cells can actually return to their normal state themselves, you will just need to have regular 6 month check ups. CN2 means you’ll need treatment to remove the cells. CN3 means you need treatment asap as they have detected pre cancerous cells. Please read the NHS website for the facts and more information.
After my wonderful experience (sarcasm of course) I took to Snapchat and Instagram stories to speak about the importance of having a smear test, to try and influence women to book their tests. I managed to get 8 women to book their appointments that day and others thanked me for reminding them. This is amazing in my opinion. The power of social media! However I did get one negative nancy who decided to comment inappropriately. He messaged me on snapchat “Are you a celebrity?”
“Erm no, what a silly question,” I replied.
“Why are you talking to your phone like you have fans,” he said.
How rude! I’m talking about a serious matter and even if I got one person to book their smear test I would have been happy. Raising awareness for health issues like this is so important, hence why I’m writing this blog post too!
Now I don’t have a huge following on social, collectively around 10k (currently), but every person who follows me, matters to me. I may talk to a camera like a nut job, but I feel like i know the people behind it, because I speak to them. Call me crazy but they’re my social media friends not followers. We’re interested in each others lives!
This made me so angry, because it shows the ignorance of some people. This is a serious topic and raising awareness should be seen as positive thing. Not a self-seeking task. What a moron. Sorry rant over.
I waited 3 weeks for the test results and I found out two days ago i’m CN1, which is THE BEST NEWS EVER! I have an appointment in 6 months for a check up, but no treatment now is required. I couldn’t ask for a better outcome.
However my outcome could have been different if I put it off and was never tested. Did you know ‘almost half a million young women aged 25-29 did not attend cervical screening last year’ as stated by Jo’s Cervical Cancer trust. This is TERRIBLE LADIES! This is your health and it could be the end of your life!
If you do something for yourself this week, make sure you book your appointment. I didn’t expect my results to come back abnormal. Just because you feel fine doesn’t mean it is fine.
Join the #SMEARFORSMEAR with Jo’s Trust. Take a selfie, share your smeared lipstick selfie and nominate friends and family to help us raise awareness and save lives.
Thank you for reading this.