I had my routine smear test done last year. My results came back showing abnormal cells; cue my meltdown. I had a colposcopy and LLETZ procedure done at the end of August 2019, all cells were removed and I was told I would receive a follow up appointment for another smear in 6 months time.
When I received that dreaded letter informing me that they’d found abnormal cells, I freaked out! I did also vow to share the ongoing situation to raise awareness and to help others who may be understandably anxious about smear tests, results and ongoing treatments.
So this is me, keeping you up to date with my experience.
I haven’t said much about it since I received my results letter after the cells were removed because there hasn’t been much to report.
I presumed that by now I’d be telling you that I’d had my 6 month check up and all is good (positive attitude and all that!).
However, the 6 month check up should have been around the end of February, beginning of March. Perfect timing to coincide with the corona-virus outbreak and lock-down!
I expected smear tests and, check ups etc to be going ahead as normal but as I hadn’t yet received a follow up appointment I phoned my GP and I was told my smear test wasn’t due until June… I explained that I’d had a colposcopy done in August and I was due for a 6 month check up, which would make that now (March, when I phoned). I was given an appointment for the 9th of April for my check up.
A week before I was due to go I received a phone call informing me that my appointment, and all non-urgent appointments, had been cancelled and I would have to make another one in June.
Well, on top of the collective virus/lock-down anxiety and losing 100% of my income due to being self employed, for some reason this broke me and I burst in to tears on the phone to the receptionist.
My brain went into full panic mode ‘what if they hadn’t removed all of the cells and they are continuing to grow! Or something else is wrong?!’
The lovely lady on the phone reassured me that, based on the results from the lab, the rate of growth wasn’t significant enough to cause concern, if it was then my appointment wouldn’t have been cancelled. That did make me feel a little bit better and after calming down and thinking it through properly, it did make sense, why put myself and others at unnecessary risk at this time.
So, I am now patiently waiting until lock-down ceases so I can get my “6-month” check up.
In terms of how I’ve been physically and mentally since the LLETZ procedure I’ve not had any major issues. I was ill for along time after the procedure, my recovery time was significantly longer than I expected. This is possibly down to my own underlying issues. I have anxiety and potentially fibromyalgia and on top of that there other things going on at time which obviously could have contributed.
Also, the bleeding after the procedure lasted for weeks which was rather unpleasant!
My periods before the procedure were mighty regular! And usually lasted around 3-4 days with minor menstrual cramps; although I DID have severe PMS and menstrual migraines but the pain had always been slight in terms of my stomach, back etc.
Unfortunately now, my periods are irregular, they’re late, early, just all over the place. My PMS symptoms last forever and I may as well just be on my period constantly. The bleeding is now so drawn out instead of only being a few days, it lasts for over a week. Plus I now get really bad cramps. I am unaware of how common this is and I was going to discuss all of this when I went for my check up… but I suppose I’ll have to wait now. But I will be sure to keep you all updated…
I hope this is helpful to someone and goes a little way to put your mind at rest
p.s. Please do not read this as moany post about not getting my appointment. I am more than aware of how inundated the NHS is and I appreciate everything they are doing for us 🖤
“Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery” – Joyce Brothers