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A mum of 2 trying to stay sane in an overly airbrushed world.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

#NoFearGoSmear

Instagram is a fabulously positive example of social media at its best. Scrolling through my feed earlier this week I came across a story about a beautiful young lady called Amber who died at the age of 25 following a 4 year battle with cervical cancer. Her family and friends are now campaigning to lower the age of routine smear testing to 18 - something which could of saved her life. 

Please take the time to sign their petition here or for more information visit her friend  @franky_sw on Instagram.

Seeing that has prompted me to re-post an old blog I wrote about smear testing. I wrote it pre-baby 2 and about how I'd totally forgotten when and where I'd last had a smear test, I hope it can jog anyones memory who maybe due a test to go and get booked in! 

Off we go back to August 2015...

* * * * * * * * * *

Do you remember when you last had a smear test? 

I couldn’t! 

It was a thought that hit me as I ‘overheard’ (office eavesdropped) a colleague discuss needing to book hers. Call it baby brain, mum madness or just complete mental failure but I actually had no recollection of when I had last spread my legs all in the name of good cervical health.
So I retraced my steps (mentally) through the years…
2014 – had just had a baby, definitely no smear done.
2013 – I was pregnant, definitely no smear done.
2012 – Lived in a different part of the country, had a different job, no clue if a smear had been done!
So, best case scenario I was definitely due my 3 yearly smear (if it had occurred in 2012)…but worst case scenario I had completely forgotten about it, fallen out of the system by moving locations in the UK/doctors as my job had dictated… SHIT! How could I have been so absent-minded to forget and not have it noted somewhere of use!? This is why I have a Filofax!!!
In that panic I rang my current doctors, explained I was definitely due my smear but had no idea how overdue it was. That’s when I discovered the wonders of a central database that could trace and pinpoint the exact date, time and place of your last smear: 4th July 2012…still can’t remember it but safe to say I got booked in ASAP!*
Following a bit of reading up I have since discovered you can have a smear if pregnant but I just felt it was better to be checked and get my results before adding any potential complications or unneeded stress if the results weren’t as I’d hoped.
Happy to say in just under 2 weeks I received the following in the post:



My cervix is 'normal' woop woop!
My very own letter confirming my cervix is ‘normal’ woop woop!

I’m lucky, many others are not as 3,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year (NHS Choices). My story proves that even with the best of intentions you can forget – especially when you have children it’s the last thing you have to think about! Get your next smear check in your diary, contact your GP, check your recall date and make sure you go!!!
*It’s worth noting that the UK labs are really strict with smear samples. They will not test them unless they are taken the day you are due your smear test or later, so don’t book in earlier than necessary unless you are worried, have symptoms to indicate something may be wrong or your doctor has advised you to!
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