Tomorrow I’m off to hospital for the third consecutive November in a row for a repeat smear and colposcopy. Anyone who is lucky enough not to know what that is – it’s basically a more intrusive smear test inwhich the highlight is usually someone referring to your cervix as “thick and juicy” whilst squirting a load of dye up your vagina as you lay there legs akimbo… Oh and they have a camera right up there to capture all the action, which you can’t help but stare at on the massive screen right next to your face and admire your “thick and juicy” cervix; in summary, it’s like a weird painful medical porno gone badly wrong.
But it’s important.
Very very important.
You see three years ago I had an abnormal smear test. Queue alarm bells. I had my routine smear just after having the girls and I was reassured that most post-natal smears come back abnormal. Ah don’t worry it’ll be fine I just need to pop along to the hospital and it’s all ok they can sort it. But then I was told I had grade one cells which is fine and that it doesn’t mean it’s cancer. It means that they want to keep an eye on these unusual cells as they can be pre-cancerous (but definitely not cancer) So I would have another colposcopy 12 months later. So last November just after my birthday my regular colposcopy treat came around and good news Beth; the patch that was looking a bit strange is now fine HURRAH, however there’s another area they want to keep an eye on. Damn.
So after a rather excruciating biopsy where the doctor whilst his head burrowed in my nether regions uttered the line every woman balancing her wobbly thighs on stirrups in complete absolute agony having just had her insides butchered by said doctor “when you cut yourself do you bleed heavily, it’s just we are having a bit of trouble stemming the bleeding” BRILLIANT. Bloody brilliantly. Literally.
After many many wads of gauze and a hasty retreat of the cinema screen by my head showing my juicy cervix becoming a bright bloody mess, they did stop the bleeding and I was sent on with way, armed with yet another armful of leaflets that tell me not to worry as it’s probably not cancer. Fucks sake – can everyone stop saying the bloody C word! There’s nothing like drawing attention to it is there?!
So yet again I get a letter saying there is still an abnormality and my appointment for November 2015 popped through the door and quite unbelievably it’s tomorrow.
And I’m dreading it. But for every thought of cancelling or feigning illness – I stop and think how flipping ridiculous I am being. This is absolutely necessary, and whilst I long for the day where I’m discharged and back to the normal every three year crew, I have to go.
We are blessed with free health care and whilst it seems a massive pain in the backside and a daunting prospect, they really are looking after me. They are making sure I am ok before I’m off their annual check list.
So tomorrow is the day then it will be weeks of waiting for the letter with my results. I pray that everything is normal but thank my lucky stars I am under such a good hospital.
With 1 in 5 missing their smear tests last year and cervical cancer being the most common cancer of women under the age of 35 – is it really worth the risk?
Tomorrow I keep my fingers and toes crossed that all is well -but my legs? Well they will be wide open!