All posts for the month October, 2013

Two weeks

Published October 3, 2013 by jjjemma

Two weeks ago I had my second ever cervical smear test. Personally I think that they are really important and would never not attend one just because I didn’t wanna get my vaj out.
To be fair my vaj rarely gets an outing now so I’m happy to oblige when required!
I had my smear test- a swab swept across my cervix to collect cells to be scrutinised under a microscope in a laboratory(for those who don’t know!).
I went home and didn’t think about the cervical screening again. I’m 28, healthy and active. There is no reason why I would need to worry about pre cancerous cells.

I got an official looking letter last Friday- I opened it straight away. I knew instantly when I saw the “NHS” letterhead that it wasn’t great news. My eyes darted across the paper rapidly and then I had to dash off to take Alfie to swimming.
Whilst I was driving my brain was processing what it had just read.
Borderline cell changes on my cervix were spotted and I need a further examination and possible treatment.

Rationalising the info in my head, I thought “borderline” – this means something that is on the edge of change. I felt abit better and calmed down.

Once the kids were in bed I took out the letter again and read it properly.
Yes, I had borderline changes to my cervical cells. What I had missed during my quick scan of the letter was, I had been tested for “HPV” – the human papilloma virus.

Here is alittle about HPV:

HPV is common. Most people have the virus at some time in their lives. For most people it causes no symptoms and goes away on its own. It is much more common in young people, probably because we develop immunity to the virus as we get older.

Some types of HPV can cause changes in the cells of the cervix or the lining of the mouth and throat. They are known as high risk HPVs. Doctors call these cell changes dysplasia. The changed cells have an increased risk of becoming cancerous.


This worried me. My HPV is turning my cervix cells bad.
HPV causes cancer.

HPV Testing is being rolled out around England as an “add on” to the cervical smear test.
HPV vaccinations are now being given to 12 year old girls in the UK TO TRY AND ELIMINATE CERVICAL CANCER IN YEARS TO COME.

Google became the enemy. I sat and googled all sorts. I knew I shouldn’t but my first thought was my children – Alfie and Archie.

They only have me as their parent and I was panicking.

Every single night since last Friday I have laid in bed having palpitations about this situation.

I had an appointment come through for a colposcopy this Friday.
A colposcopy is a microscopic thorough exam of the cervix and the cells.
I felt relieved to be seen so quickly!
My friend works on the colposcopy department at the hospital and she asked a nurse about my situation and the nurse told her that I would definitely need treatment. This would be a diathermy (heat) or laser treatment to kill the bad cells and to kill the HPV infection on my cervix. They will also be taking a biopsy to ensure that no pre cancerous cells have turned into cancer. I will then be graded dependent on how much of my cervix cells are mutated with abnormalities. CIN 1: less than a 3rd cells are bad
CIN 2 : 2/3rds of the cells are bad
CIN 3 : ALL of the cells are bad.

CIN 2 and 3 are defo the ones I wouldn’t be wanted CIN 3 is almost at the cervical cancer stage.

I can’t believe I’m writing this blog. I’ve only told a few real life people as I don’t want everyone knowing and giving me anymore horror stories. A friend of a friend died of cervical cancer and she was younger than me.

I feel sick when I think of jade goody: bubbly single mum of 2 boys- familiar?
I followed her story with horror and devastation.

Today, I got my period. So I rang up the colposcopy ward and they said I have to rearrange the appointment now as they will not be able to inspect my cervix clearly. The next appointment available is in 2 weeks.

I could fucking scream.

I am trying to be rational but I do not feel myself at all. I have a question mark hanging over my head.

1 in 20 smear tests get a call back.
2 in 100 have the hpv and borderline changes
Very few go on to progressive cancer.

I just can’t help feeling that I always get dealt the shit card.

I have my own business and 2 gorgeous boys. My family is great and have some amazing friends. I have worked so hard to have a happy life.

It has made me realise that I should not take one second of my life for granted. Already I feel like a happier grateful person.

No doubt tonight I will get in bed, and overthink again. That’s just me. I wish I could just switch off.
Whatever happens, I know I am a good person.
Good things happen to good people and I am a tough cookie.

I’ve been through much worse and I’m being as positive as I can!
I will keep you all updated. I just wanted to share my story so far.
Jem xxx