January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. According to Cervical Check, during the 2013/2014 period, over 25,000 Irish women had a low-grade abnormality detected and over 5,421 women had a high-grade abnormality. Fifty-nine women were diagnosed with cervical cancer.
I received a letter from Cervical Check after my daughter was born to remind me I was due a smear test. Here are a few of the thoughts I had during the whole process.
1.I can’t do this; I just had a tooth out. That’s enough invasiveness for one week I think. Yes. I’ll reschedule.
2.It’s been 8 years; I really need to do this. I’ve read so many stories about young women getting cervical cancer and wishing they had gone for their smears earlier. God, I really shouldn’t have let this go for so long.
3. Shower! Bad enough the nurse has to do this at all. Least I can do is shower.
4.Right. I’m here. Let’s get this done.
5. Maybe I should have tidied up? Nah, surely she won’t give two hoots. I’m not quite “70s chic,” just yet.
6.Why did I have to wear skinny jeans and Doc Martens? These are so awkward to get out of.
7. Goosebumps on my bum, how attractive. Bad enough this white derrière hasn’t seen a day of sunlight in years but, now it’s all chicken like.
8.This must be the worst part of this nurse’s job. How are all gynecologists not celibate? Would you not be sick of looking at it?
9.Oh that clamp thingy. We meet again. Yes, I remember you. I will accommodate you but only because it’s for my benefit.
10. No amount of lube is going to make this comfortable, lady. Went in without any issue though! Guess that was enough lube.
11. F**k! That’s cold. I didn’t remember how cold it was. Jaysus.
12.This hurts. Quite a lot. Maybe I still have that erosion on my cervix from when I was pregnant? What does that even mean? They never really explained that well at the hospital.
13. Make appointment with female GP about this. Surely it shouldn’t hurt this much.
14.Discharge? Yes. Isn’t that normal? Doesn’t everyone get that?
15. Phew, it’s out. Thank God for that. Don’t have to do that for another three years.
16. How long of a wait?! They are still sending them to America? We really need more resources here.
17. No, my period hasn’t returned. Go breastfeeding!
18. I wonder will that affect the results? Must Google that later.
19. I won’t leave it so long next time. God. That was quite stupid of me, leaving it this long. I would be killing my friends if they left it this long.
20. I wonder when my husband will start getting prostate checks? LOL-in my head. So. LOLIMH? I don’t know.
21. That wasn’t so bad after all. The dentist was so much worse. I feel like I should treat myself now. What’s an appropriate reward for a smear test? New knickers? Cake? Mmmmm cake
22.I’m hungry now. I wonder what’s there to eat at home.
For more information about smear tests, see www.cervicalcheck.ie