In lieu of any exciting stories in my life what with the in-laws staying for a week and hubby and I kicked out of our king-size bed, one to the toy room and t’other to the couch, I wanted to share with all the ladies a personal story which will hopefully encourage you to make some time for yourself which your family will treasure.
I have always been fairly blasé about pap smears, who isn’t? They’re invasive, uncomfortable and the timing is often inappropriate in a busy family life. I had one every 2-3 yrs since I was 18 (I’m 38 now) and as they all previously came back normal, I thought that nothing bad would/could ever happen.

So when I got pregnant in 2007 it had probably been about 12-18 months since my previous test and I got caught up in the whole pregnancy /birth thing and forgot about it. My doctor in Port Hedland didn’t offer me one at my 6 week postnatal check-up either. I then moved to Boddington in 2009, and after 2 miscarriages our doctor casually asked when my last pap test had been. I couldn’t remember, so she did one then and there.

My husband and I went back a few weeks later in regards to the miscarriage concerns and we were informed that my pap tests had come back and they were concerning. It was abnormal cells which were level 3 CIN (there are 3 levels) which is the last level before it is cancer (it is even called “carcinoma in-situ” which is awful to hear). If left untreated, CIN 3 has a 50% chance of developing into cancer and may have dire consequences on future baby plans (ie a hysterectomy for the worst case scenario treatment) or unthinkably even my life, if not contained and controlled.

In February 2010 I had a LLETZ procedure up at King Eddys inPerth and they removed the lower third of my cervix which was surprisingly not too bad (apart from the needle they insert into your cervix to anaesthetise it). Chances of getting pregnant again were lower but good as a result of the procedure, and chances of carrying full term are again lower but not too bad as my cervix is not as strong as it was. Having said that, we did manage to fall pregnant the month after the operation (I’m sure all hubby has to do is hang his towel over the bed-end), and Master J was born in December 2010. I had a follow up colposcopy (a fancy pap test up at King Eddys again) the following August and so far all clear with no pesky cells.

So anyway ladies 
(and any boys reading this please tell/nag the beloved women in your life),
                moral of the story is                   

get your pap tests done regularly because if our second pregnancy in 2009 had gone to plan, undoubtedly I would have left it for another couple of years to be tested. G – Man and Master J may have not had a Mum, and hubby may not have had a wife in a few years!!! It’s a horrible and very existentially scary thought.

Remember – even if your tests have always come back “normal”, so did mine, up until it leapt straight to CIN Level 3.

Please look after yourselves and your family and take those 5 minutes.
They could save your life and save your loved ones all the heartache in the world.

and PS – I promise the next post won’t feature the words “pap”, “smear”or “nag”- well, no, maybe no the latter 🙂