This week is cervical awareness week. Many young women are too embarrassed to have a life saving, smear test.
No woman will say the test is enjoyable, but the simple five minutes will save many lives.
The simple fact is that many women don’t know there is something wrong with them. Many of the physical signs appear too late. Early detection is the only way to survive this cancer.
To hi-light the fact that not all problems are visible, I am sharing with you my true story.
When offered a cup of tea by my friend I agreed and thought I would pop to powder my nose, that was when the pain hit me. The most excruciating pain I had ever felt gripped the side of my body. I could describe it as a period pain but much worse.
Having taken some painkillers the pain appeared to relent a little and I thought nothing of it.
This continued every time I went to the loo and it was becoming increasingly difficult to pass water. Must be a urine infection it will clear up, I thought.
One month later, I thought a doctor’s visit was in order. When I went to the doctor he felt my stomach, asked a few questions and asked for a urine sample, which I couldn’t give.
The doctor informed me that he was sure it was a urine infection and that antibiotics would clear it up. To be honest the pain did recede for a couple of weeks and I felt better.
Then during my monthly cycle, the pain returned, worse than it had been before. I would be walking and the pain would grip me, double me over and be so severe I would perspire and feel faint.
The pain continued not only during my cycle but most of the month. I couldn’t go on. There was something wrong with me. I went back to the doctor and he ran some tests.
During a scan, doctors discovered a 6cm cyst attached to my left ovary. They said that the cyst was filled with blood and matter, they questioned cancer.
Had the pain been investigated when I originally felt it, keyhole surgery may have been able to remove the cyst. Due to the size, I would have to undergo full open surgery, resulting in a scar similar to a C section.
By the time that the operation was carried out the cyst had grown to 10cm in diameter. It had completed destroyed my left ovary, resulting in that having to be removed along with the cyst.
On waking from the operation I remember thinking how well I felt. I never realised how physically ill the cyst had made me until it had been removed. I felt better even though I was now sporting twenty staples along my abdomen.
I was lucky, everything could have been much worse due to my reluctance to act.
I would still be able to have children, but it would reduce my chance of reproduction.
The tests, to ensure the mass was not cancerous came back negative. I thank god daily, it wasn’t and I wasn’t made to pay for my reluctance to see a doctor.
My advice to all women is to get it investigated and keep pursuing the point with your doctor.
I sat back thinking it would get better and go away on its own. Now I have halved my chance of conceiving with only one ovary.
If you live in a country that offers these preventative tests, take them. Be thankful that these tests exist.
Go on make the phone call and book the test. It takes 2 minutes to arrange the test. Five minutes for the exam. Seven minutes to save your life is nothing.