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Interview 25

Age at interview: 56
Age at diagnosis: 55
Brief Outline: Abnormal smear in 2001, referred to colposcopy clinic. Diagnosed with abnormal cervical cells. Treatment given; diathermy loop excision. No recurrence.
Background: Professional, married, 2 children.

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Explains how she managed her feelings of fear when she received an abnormal cervical screening result.

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I suppose one half of me was saying I was, I was very frightened, the other half of me was saying no, its nothing to worry about. And those two halves were in conflict, if you like.

How do you cope with those types of feelings?

I try to be as logical as possible, and try to, try to look on the positive side, try to find out about things so okay even if it were the worst case situation then, they had said to me 'We've caught it very early then the chances of survival are very good.' So I think generally I'm a positive person so I guess I was looking more positively than, that, so I always try to do that.

 

Her diathermy loop excision treatment was straightforward and she advised women not to be afraid...

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I mean that in itself didn't actually bother me because you're so used to as a woman having, once you've had children, you've had smear tests and everything you're used to that sort of examination so that, that in itself didn't really worry me. And it wasn't, okay you felt it, I felt it but it wasn't anything to you know scream out about or anything so there's nothing to be afraid of in that sense, I mean its, I think it's probably a relatively straightforward procedure so you know, just get on with it. Yes, I wasn't frightened about the actual, you know the actual procedure at all and I wouldn't say anybody needed to be frightened about the actual procedure its, yeah it's the least, least thing to worry about.

 

After she was diagnosed with abnormal cervical cells, she reassessed her work/life balance and...

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I don't think I said much but I think I was anxious yes, I was a bit anxious so I guess you could say when I opened the letter I had a big grin on my face. But it does bring you up short, I mean one of the, to be honest one of the consequences of, of the initial sort of discovery was that I thought long and hard about work/life balance and what I do. And, because I've a fairly stressful occupation and work relatively long hours and I had been thinking, because of my age, I had been thinking about it's time to sort of think about taking it more easily.

But, but that Christmas you know my husband and I we talked over it and at that point particularly I didn't really know what the outcome was going to be but I thought well, you need to, the importance of getting the balance right.So as a result when I went in, back to work in January after that Christmas break I, I told my employers that I wanted to go part time because of what I do that actually hasn't come to fruition, it won't come to fruition until this coming July, but that was definitely something that helped me make up my mind, that I needed to adjust things.

 

Get enough information to put your mind at ease and don’t be afraid to have treatment for...

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Well first of all I would think if there are any women out there who still don't go for their regular smear tests then they really ought to do that, I mean that's, and I always have done but I mean I think its so important that people actually do that. I think you also need to have enough confidence to keep on asking questions so that you do get enough information to put your mind at ease and also to be confident in the fact that, I forget what the statistics are now but such a high proportion of people in the end have no on-going problem, but its just best to OK go along get the treatment done and be done with it. Its not a, its not a dangerous treatment, its not a particularly, as I say, OK its undignified but that's you know. It's worth it. Certainly don't be afraid of having the treatment.

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