This a guest post by reader Ruth.
Two months ago, four months after giving birth to my second child, I went to the “lady doctor” to get a prescription—to delay producing baby number three if you get my drift! Lovely as they are, we need a gap! It was my first time with this doctor so she told me she may as well do a Pap smear test then and there. According to government recommendations, I’m still not due one, but she said it couldn’t hurt. So I thought, “Why not?” One can never be too cautious and after having gone through childbirth, a Pap smear test is really no big deal. (For those who have not done one yet I am stood here wagging my finger at you and second, they do not hurt, just a tiny bit of discomfort). So I did.
And guess what? It came back abnormal. So off I went to let them take a further sample for more specific testing. While waiting for the biopsy to come back from the lab I did plenty of research and was reassured that even if the abnormality came back at Level 3, the highest level, it had been caught in time so could be treated. So the worst case wasn’t that bad.
So I have just returned from the consultation with the doctor who got the biopsy results. And he told me I have pre-cancerous cells at Level 2 and will have a minor outpatient operation to remove them! Me? Pre-cancerous? You said what?! Me who is pretty fit and thank G-d have not had any illnesses, nor broken any bones, nor have I ever had any operation save for removal of my wisdom teeth! In fact the first time I have ever had cause to be in hospital overnight was at the age of 32 giving birth to my first child! To get an idea of what Level 2 is, I asked him what would happen if I did not go for this operation. He looked at me sternly and said within a year or two it could very well develop into cancer. (Oh my goodness, I just used the C word!)
You can imagine the “what-ifs” going through my mind now. What if I lived 200 years ago, would I have made it to 40? (Er no!) What if that lovely orthodox Jewish female doctor did not casually suggest doing a smear there and then? Would I have taken the initiative with my oh-so-busy schedule to make an appointment for a smear? I’m not so sure actually.
Please hold the sympathy! It is appreciated but not necessary. It has been caught in plenty of time and “pre” is the operative word here. It will be treated and I will be fine B”H (G-d willing). For those of you who know me and know the other stuff my husband and I have been dealing with over the last few years will know that this is nothing! G-d likes to escort me to the edge of the cliff, make me look down and conquer my fear in mustering the courage to jump, and at that point he dispatches the angels who come flying out of nowhere and whisk me off into safety. It”s fortunate that I am not afraid of flying.
To those of you who have lost a loved one to cancer or are watching someone suffer through this then I am so sorry and I hope this hasn’t upset you. My intention is to scare those of you who need scaring into booking yourself in for a Pap smear. You have no excuse not to and furthermore my entry into heaven may depend on you! No pressure then eh? Who knows, you may even bag yourself a place there yourself so everyones a winner. Please spread around to aunts, mums, daughters, grandmas, friends, acquaintances, strangers, sisters etc.and encourage them to get themselves checked! You just never know and you can NEVER be too cautious.
I wish you all and your loved ones excellent health, and a long and prosperous life and the utmost protection of the Almighty.
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