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Interview 03

Age at interview: 63
Age at diagnosis: 50
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with abnormal cervical cells in 1982-1987. Treatments given; diathermy loop excision, cone biopsy. Abnormal cells persisted. Treatment' Hysterectomy.
Background: Professional; married, 2 children.

More about me...

 

Describes her experience of the colposcopy examination.

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Well first you have a brief consultation with the, with the doctor who reviews where you are and when you last came and so on. Then you're asked to go next door and take off your lower garments, if you've got a dress on you can keep that or if you've just got trousers on you take those and your underwear off and you wear a gown. 

Then you come back in and you sit on a sort of short couch and that, when you're sitting on it you slide your bottom down to the end of it and your legs are put in kind of like people, one imagines people used to be delivered of child, your knees are hooked over a support so your knees are in the air and then the couch is raised and the doctor sits at the end of it. There's, where I have mine there's a TV camera system so that the examination, the inside of your vagina, whatever, is shown on the screen in rather gory detail which you can or you may, don't have to look at. And if you want, what is seen can be explained to you on the screen. 

I've had varying kind of responses, sometimes I feel I'd rather not look at that and sometimes I have a look at it and it's shown to me what, what it means. There are often, because this is a teaching hospital where I go, often medical students present and I'm always asked if that's okay and I always say it is okay as it's very important for them to have learning experience, particularly important to be with a very good doctor who has very good way of handling patients in that situation. 

And the procedure is there's an insertion of a spatula I think to take a smear and later there's an application of a solution of vinegar to the walls of the vagina because I think that solution helps the, show up the cellular formulation. May be it comes before the smear does it, I think it comes while it's looked at on the camera and that stings a little bit but only, only mildly it's quite bearable. 

And it's very brief and I think there's a nurse attending who slightly mops you up if you need mopping up and you slide, the couch is lowered, you slide off it and go next door and get dressed and then come back and talk to the doctor again and another appointment is made if you need one. And you're told that you'll get the results of the examination in a couple of weeks. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn't. 
 

She was surprised how well she felt after her hysterectomy. She was not upset about needing a...

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So he did the hysterectomy and I had a lovely 10 weeks off work or something which was very nice and I felt no ill effects. I was amazed at how, how I had no pain and no real discomfort. It was, it was remarkably easy. And I didn't feel particularly upset at losing at what were by then redundant parts of me. I'd had a couple of kids which was what I wanted and so they'd done their job fine. So I think that wasn't an upsetting experience.

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