Hey everyone, welcome back!
Today I’m blogging about a bit more of a serious subject, and hopefully it will help someone out a little! We’re going to talk about cervical screening. Not something people really talk about, but something most people either fear or put off doing, which in reality is a few minutes long and could save you years on your life.
Crazy isn’t it?
I recently received a letter inviting me to go for a cervical screening. I say recently, I got my letter two months ago, in February. It wasn’t that I intentionally put off making an appointment, but maybe I did subconsciously. When I first opened my letter and flicked through the booklet they provided, I felt a bit sick. It was the words jumping out at me; test, abnormal, discomfort, cancer.
Honestly, I felt really nervous, and I hadn’t even had the test!
I had cocktails that evening with a few friends and asked them about their experiences; one told me she had been and it was only a few seconds and was fine, the other told me she’d received her second letter and still hadn’t made an appointment.
Putting it off…
I then watched The Real Full Monty on ITV where men and women performed their version of the full monty, to raise awareness about checking yourself regularly. They were so brave to do it, but they were even braver for getting over what they had been through. I felt really motivated to make an appointment and not take the risk.
A week passed and I didn’t make an appointment.
Over a month later…
On 6th April, over a month later from getting my first letter, I picked up the phone and made my appointment. While I was waiting on hold to get through to the doctors, my eyes welled up a little and I very nearly cried until the lady answered the phone. She was very lovely and it was so quick to make my appointment. Why was I scared? My appointment was set for 20th April; I wasn’t expecting it to be so quick! I assumed I’d be waiting a long time to get an appointment and yet there was one in just two weeks time.
I thumbed through my booklet one more time and even googled it to see what was going to happen during the screening.
It came around so quickly. I didn’t eat breakfast; I felt too sick.
The lady explained to me what would happen, things I already knew. I went behind the curtain and undressed from the waist down. She came in and told me she was going to insert the speculum, swirl round the brush and then take it out. And it really was almost as quick as it would be to read that sentence out loud; a few seconds!
I had nothing to worry about! It wasn’t painful, the most you could say was uncomfortable but it didn’t even feel like that. I was more worried that I hadn’t painted my toes and they had chipped polish on them than I was about anything else! I’d been worrying this whole time simply about the unknown when it really wasn’t anything bad.
If you’ve been for a screening, are thinking of making an appointment, or are putting off going to one, let me know your story! The more we talk about it and break the fear around going for a test, hopefully the more people will go and get it done. It’s a few minutes that could save you years.
I hope this post has shown you it really isn’t that scary; please don’t put it off. Go!
Use the hashtag, #dontfearthesmear if you’re sharing on Instagram or social media, or leave a comment below!