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Marjory - Interview 28

Age at interview: 64
Age at diagnosis: 39
Brief Outline: Marjory was diagnosed with CIN3 in 1984, aged 39, and treated by cone biopsy. She felt that the treatment had a big impact on her sex life and would have liked more information about the possible effects of treatment at the time.
Background: Marjory is a single teacher with two adult children Ethnic background / nationality' White British

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Marjory said that, although her mother died of cervical cancer, she did not have a smear test until she was 39. She worked as a school teacher and, unexpectedly, one of her colleagues advised and persuaded her to speak to a friend of his, who was a psychic medium. The medium advised Marjory to see her doctor as there could be a health problem. After having a smear test, Marjory was told she’d had an abnormal result and was referred to a colposcopy clinic. She was diagnosed with CIN3 and, at a following appointment, treated by cone biopsy.

Marjory said that she was only 39 at the time but the cone biopsy had a big impact on her sex life. She said, ‘It was pretty obvious to me that a lot of nerves had been damaged and I just couldn’t reach orgasm after that. It came back, years later, partially. It wasn’t the same though. It was never, sex was never the same.’

Since her treatment, over twenty years ago, Marjory has had no further problems but said she would have liked more information at the time about the possible effects of treatment. She found her last smear test, at the age of 64, very painful and, at the time of interview, said she did not want to have any more. Marjory told us that, since the interview, she had attend for another smear and the result was normal. She advised other women, including family and colleagues, to attend for cervical screening particularly after her own experience.

 

Marjory’s mother died of cancer. A psychic medium advised her, and she went for cervical...

Marjory’s mother died of cancer. A psychic medium advised her, and she went for cervical...

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Well it was quite an incredible story actually because it was somebody I knew who’d taught English at the school I was at, and he was a psychic, he was a spiritualist. And I didn’t know him very well, but I did respect him as an academic. And at the time I didn’t know anything about spiritualism. In fact I did actually equate it with people who aren’t very intelligent. I thought it was a load of rubbish. I was surprised when I found out he was one. But he kept insisting, he insisted that I saw a friend of his.

And I went to see this guy who was psychic, and he asked me if anyone had cancer of the throat in my family. And of course I didn’t connect the two. And he said he had a woman who was telling me that I should, you know, watch my throat. And it wasn’t until weeks later I thought, oh, neck of the womb, neck of the cervix, oh, my mother. And it was quite remarkable, and I went racing along.

And when the nurse looked at my cervix, she said it looked very healthy. And I thought, oh yes it’s a load of rubbish. And then I felt quite, you know, complacent again. And then the letter popped on the mat and it said, you know, there had been severe changes, or changes in your cervical cells. And I went for a colposcopy at the colposcopy clinic.

 

Marjory had a cone biopsy in 1984 and has been clear ever since.

Marjory had a cone biopsy in 1984 and has been clear ever since.

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They made an appointment for me to have this cone biopsy. Apparently it was a very long thin one, whatever that meant. But I think it was quite deep. It didn’t cover a large area, but it was, you know, quite penetrative.

So you had the treatment and then you went back every year, and every two years eventually, for cervical screening?

Yes.

Were there any more problems after that?

No absolutely none, there were none.

So you had treatment once, and that was it?

That was it yeah. Yeah, I was very fortunate.

So that was in 84, we’re now in 2009,

Yeah.

And you’ve had absolutely no problems since?

No nothing, nothing.

So that’s very good.

Is it?

Yeah.

Yeah. He did a good job.


Well a lot of people, if they watch this interview, and they’ve recently been treated, would find it quite…

Encouraging.

…encouraging.

Well I hope so.

To have treatment once, and…

Yes and...

…20 years later, over 20 years later, you’re fine.

The trouble with this interview is that because it’s so long ago, there are things that I do remember obviously, and things obviously I can’t. The little things that have gone now and I can’t remember.

 

Marjory said that sex was never the same after her cone biopsy but that treatments had probably...

Marjory said that sex was never the same after her cone biopsy but that treatments had probably...

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I was only 39 and it affected my sex life because, I can’t remember at the time, but you know Freud’s theory about women’s clitoral orgasms being separate from their vaginal, you know. And I don’t remember what it was but there was an Australian doctor at the time, he was doing a lot of research into this. And it was pretty obvious to me that a lot of nerves had been damaged, and I just couldn’t reach orgasm after that. It came back, years later, partially. It wasn’t the same though. It was never, sex was never the same, no. No. So it’s not something I would recommend someone unless you know, well I didn’t have a choice.

I didn’t have a choice. And I didn’t know, well nobody said that that might be a possible, even if they knew, it was in 1984 I suppose. I mean it’s common sense now, isn’t it, that obviously if you’re going to have a huge chunk of your cervix removed, it’s going to affect you.

If you think about the clitoris and all the nerves that come from it, you know, and all, I mean it’s so obvious that it would do. If you’re going to cut through these nerves, but I think the body compensates and I think that actually you know, things return or you know you compensate in other ways. But it definitely did have a big effect.

 

Marjory said her last smear was very painful and she bled a lot. She wondered whether it was...

Marjory said her last smear was very painful and she bled a lot. She wondered whether it was...

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I must say though, the last one I had last year [smear test], it was absolute butchery and I’ll never go back for another one. And I’ll be sixty- I’m 64, it was absolute hell. I had it done in the hospital and it was really painful, and very bloody.

Did you always have them at the hospital usually, or at your G.P.’s surgery?

No I have them at the GP’s surgery, and then when I moved I had them at a clinic but, you know, I used to worry about them. I used to read a lot about how they were supposed to be taken, that they had to be taken from three parts of the cervix. I used to ask the nurse, “Are you sure you’ve done, you know?” And she would look at me as if I was mad, or sometimes I would feel she didn’t know what I was talking about. But I was always afraid that if it didn’t hurt, or it wasn’t painful, that it hadn’t been done thoroughly. But yes, so there was always worry surrounding it after, yeah.

And this last one you’ve had was particularly painful?


That was after, I don’t know why. She thought it was because of the change of life, that it was difficult getting access and that. And I bled a lot, bled a lot. And it was very, very painful. Or whether it was just the way she did it I don't know.

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