Joanne was diagnosed with CIN3 in 2008, aged 35, and treated by LLETZ. She found waiting for results difficult, though was happy with the care she received from doctors and nurses.
Joanne hadn’t been for cervical screening for about seven or eight years. In 2008, when she was 35, she had her coil replaced at her local surgery and was also given a smear test. Two weeks later, she received a letter from her GP telling her that she had had an abnormal result and that severe dyskaryosis (severe cell changes) had been found. Joanne said the results letter was like a bolt out of the blue; because she hadn’t expected anything to be wrong.
After having a colposcopy, Joanne was told that she would be given a LLETZ under general anaesthetic. Because she had high blood pressure, she was given medication to help reduce it before surgery.
After surgery, Joanne took three weeks off work as she was also on sick leave because of depression. She found waiting for her results the most difficult part of the whole experience. They took about six weeks to come through and, during this time, she worried that she could have cervical cancer. She also had an 11-year-old daughter to care for, and found it an anxious and isolating time.
Results showed that Joanne had CIN3 and she was asked to attend a follow-up appointment six months later. Her follow-up tests were normal and she now has annual appointments.
Joanne said she got a lot of support and information from the Jo’s Trust website, which was like a lifeline; (www. Jotrust. Co. Uk). Her mum and best friend were also supportive, though they lived some distance away.
Joanne praised the care she received from doctors and nurses but would have liked more time at the end of each appointment to ask questions. She said she had declined previous invitations for cervical screening out of fear;, but would now be attending all her appointments religiously;. She also encouraged other women to attend.