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Interview 17

Age at interview: 27
Age at diagnosis: 20
Brief Outline: Abnormal smears 1992-1994. Referred to colposcopy clinic in 1994. Diagnosed with abnormal cervical cells. Treatment given; diathermy loop excision. Abnormal smear in 2001. Referred to colposcopy clinic. Waiting for treatment.
Background: Beauty Therapist; single, no children.

More about me...

 

The nurse explained that her inadequate cervical screening test result meant that they had not taken enough...

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When it happened before, it's happened a few times, not majorly but a few times the nurse has always, when I've got back the nurse has always explained that basically it's not, it's nothing to worry about it's just she hasn't managed to get enough of the cells for them to be able to get a decent screening. So it's just a bit inconvenient really that's all, it's nothing that I think "oh no" or worry about, I know that basically she just, they just haven't got enough to be able to do a proper screening so of course you have to go back and do it again, it's just normally inconvenient I think "oh no". It's not something I really want to go and do again, I've already done it once. So yeah I mean it's never ever been anything that I've worried about or panicked about it's, I think it's quite clear from the letter they write and then from the explanation itself that it's, there's just not enough there for them to be able to tell.

 

She had a recurrence of abnormal cells after seven years and she explains how differently she...

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Oh no not again really. Just that, just frustrated really I thought will there ever be a clear one it's just, just really frustrating and not really looking forward to knowing that I might have to go through all that treatment all over again really. So I wasn't very pleased but I wasn't worried or frightened. I mean the first time that that all happened and I had treatment, the first time it's like "oh my God I've got cancer oh no" and of course it's not that at all. So because of all the things in the past when that letter came through it was like oh no not again, I really don't want to go through all that treatment again, but it wasn't the same panic and fear and thinking "oh I've got cancer" as it was the first time when I got the letters. And with the first time you know after finding I had an abnormal smear and then going back for the repeat smear, back then, that's when it was all explained "Well no you haven't got cancer, you don't need to worry, it's just abnormality, a small abnormality that can be treated very easily and it's not a problem." So after that initial first panic it was all explained and my mind was all put to rest completely. So yes with this one it wasn't that initial fear and panic it was just "oh not again". 

 

She did not feel any discomfort when the iodine solution was put on her cervix.

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Yes the nurse did pretty much actually yeah she did she said "Right this is what I'm going to be doing now” and, that's when she said "because you can have a look," and I was going "No it's okay." She did, she did explain what she was doing now and that she was, that's right yeah because she said "Right I'm going to be colouring," they use some sort of dye so that the abnormal cells stand out, they must catch the colour so that you can actually see them. So that's what she said "I'm putting some dye on," she said "it may a sting a bit," which it didn't at all, which was quite a relief. I thought I don't ever remember stinging and it didn't, so that wasn't a problem.

 

The information sent with her colposcopy appointment letter was detailed and informative.

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Yes they've sent me a letter, actually the letter is now more detailed and informative than it was, they've actually told me to take the day off work whereas when I had it done before I went straight back into work afterwards and didn't really think about it, but yeah the information is a lot more, it's a lot better, it's a lot better than it was. It, it mentions really simple things that might be obvious but when you're going for something like that for the first time you probably wouldn't think about because you're just panicking too much but it has a list of things to do and what not to do. So it will say bring some sanitary towels with you, don't use tampons for a month after, which may be fairly obvious but that definitely wasn't mentioned before.

 

Explains how she felt reassured by talking to her mum who'd also had abnormal cervical screening results.

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Fortunately she didn't have to go through and have any treatment done but she did have a couple of abnormal smear tests in a row which happened before I had my first one, so when I did have mine she said "Oh," she was like "well you know it's quite common, there's no need to worry." I think that was what I needed to hear, it was quite a common thing, you can panic and think you're the only one, but she was "oh no, it's quite common, I've had it done myself, there's no need to worry," so yeah that initially put my mind at rest. But I mean she didn't, fortunately she didn't have to go for any further treatment so she could only give me sort of limited experience that she had of it. But at least it was nice to know that other people had got abnormal tests as well, especially your mum, it's quite nice to know. So yeah it's nice to know that it's not, that it is common, not that that's great for everybody but you just don't want to feel that you're the only person that's got them.

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