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Do something for yourself this year…………….. January 1, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Cancer, Goals, Health, Hysterectomy, Recovery.

Get a check up. AND have your damn pap smears!

I was reading Riayn’s latest post Things I Want To Do In 2008 this afternoon. One of the things she discusses as wanting to do for herself this year is to have a pap smear.

I KNOW it can be embarrassing, uncomfortable and just plain scary having to lie on a table half undressed and all exposed, while someone pokes cold gel and implements into your girly bits and scrapes bits off. I know it can hurt some people (despite them saying it won’t).

BUT I also KNOW what it feels like to be told that you’ve had a bad test result. I KNOW how it feels to kick yourself for not having had the test when you were meant to and picking it up sooner. I KNOW what it feels like to have to have some of your bits and pieces removed and to then have to go have tests every few months instead of every couple of years cos you are now in a “cancer treatment programme“.

You want to talk scary? Being told you are now in a cancer treatment programme at age 34 when you have 3 children is damn scary. Much much scarier than having the pap smear in the first place.  And I have friends who have been diagnosed at 26 and 24.

It can happen to anyone. It could definately happen to you too. What would it mean to your family, to your friends if something were to happen to you? Do you think about that when you decide to ignore your pap smear?

For the love of all that is good and your families/friends. GO HAVE THE TEST!

Put aside your embarrassment, awkwardness and fear. Don’t let it be “one of those things that I never seem to remember“.  Make sure that if there is a problem that it is caught early enough to successfully treat it.

Your life could depend on it.



1. Riayn - January 1, 2008

I am definitely going to have a pap smear done, but it is worth noting that doctors used to tell lesbians (I am one) that they didn’t need to have a pap smear done if they have never had sex with a man. They have now changed their tune and recommend that all women regardless of sexual orientation should have a pap smear. There are probably a lot of older lesbians out there who still believe that they don’t need one.

2. Bettina - January 1, 2008

Yeah, I noticed the lesbian thing 😉 I had no idea that doctors used to say lesbians didn’t need one though. As far was I was aware it was any sexually active female OR any female over the age of 18 should have one.

unfortunately, I guess it would only take one previous partner of a previous partner to have had sex with a man and picked up the HPV virus to cause a problem. No one needs to have been promiscious to get it, just unlucky. :S

3. Bettina - January 1, 2008

oh and Riayn, just wanted you to know, my post wasn’t aimed at you. It’s just something thats a bit fresh in my head after recently finding out that I had a second lot of cancer cells growing only 18 months after the first lot were removed. Seeing your post just prodded to me to write something more about it.

4. Anja - January 1, 2008

Riayn, ANY woman needs to have a pap smear. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been sexually active with a man, you are still a functioning woman… with all the problems that come with being a woman. Yes, that was the old way of thinking that lesbians did not need pap smears. It’s quite frightening to think that so many women are at risk because of previous medical thinking.

Heh, it ain’t pleasant, but it’s worth it.

5. magneto bold too - January 1, 2008

Nuns get cervical cancer. The End.

I am on this Bettina. Will hound Riayn till she gets the test. And no trying to stooge me woman. I am a mother and I KNOW WHEN YOU ARE LYING!!!


6. Dorothy Stahlnecker - January 2, 2008

I made the same mistake and after having breast cancer in 05..I am now faced with surgery for cancer in my ovary…the only sucker left from an operation in the 80’s..back then they left it instead of being faced with hormone therapy..so much for good intentions. Because I was going every 6 months for breast check ups..I didn’t worry about my one lonely ovary..of course no pain or symptoms with ovarian cancer….

So at 61..with a gallstone the size of a peanut in my gallbladder, which is why I went to my General Partitioner.. he found the ovary problem and I’m on January 18th for surgery… with by the way, much uncertainty…please listen and go to the doctors it could save your life…

Dorothy from grammology
remember to call gram

7. boneblower - January 2, 2008

Here, here!!!!! I’ve had laser surgery twice already in my 37 years and it ain’t pleasant. Thanks for opening up such an important topic Bettina – women take care of women and we need to ensure that we continue to disucss the important stuff for future generations. Well done 🙂

8. Bettina - January 2, 2008

It amazes me how many women I now know have had some kind of treatment at some stage. This is a much bigger deal that I would ever have thought.

I’m just so grateful that my hysterectomy means that my risk for further occurences is GREATLY reduced now.

9. Veronica - January 2, 2008

Okay, you reminded me. I had completely forgotten (maybe I was in denial?) that I was due for a pap smear in December.

I will make an appointment today.

10. Desertqueen - January 3, 2008

As much as I hate it, I must admit this is one thing that I do get done when it is due. I used to get the normal test done annually because I wasn’t prepared to leave it for 2 years as per the recommended guidelines. Now I get the thinprep which is more accurate and only needs to be done every 2 years. DH asked me the other day when I last had one and I can’t remember, but I do know that the pathology place send me a reminder so will wait patiently for that.

But thank you for bringing up an important topic. We visited friends of ours on Wednesday and she is having on-going chemo for cancer that started as cervical and has spread into other places. YUK, and worth preventing. Lets see, 5 minutes of uncomfortable versus days/weeks/months/years of anxiety, uncertainty, treatments and surgery. I know which one I prefer 🙂

11. Bettina - January 3, 2008

I hope your friend’s treatment is successful Priscilla.

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