I think people deal with this as a clinical problem, i.e. you’ve got an abnormality and we’ll remove it. And then you go away and that’s sorted out. But many people that I’ve spoken to have had quite severe, I think quite severe problems mentally after this, in terms of the impact it takes upon your life, upon your family’s life, because while you’re waiting for those results you’re really, most people feel like they can’t really move on, or get on, on a day to day basis. And I certainly found that very hard.
I think obviously my experience was particularly difficult because I was told that I probably had cancer, which at an early age you don’t think it’s something that’s ever going to affect you. And obviously you don’t really know anyone else in the same situation. I’d not been for a smear ever before, so I was very lucky that I was picked up at an abnormality stage.
I had my operation last September. I’ve just had my first clear follow up with no abnormalities, my first clear smear. So I’m very happy about that. But I’m still, I think since then I have been a lot better, that was in March. But previously to that I’ve had very, very difficult times coming through it emotionally. And only since my clear follow up have I been able to stop relying on tablets really to stop panic attacks. And although there were very rare occasions, I have found sometimes that the kind of fear got the better of me.
I don’t think I’m the same person today, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think now that the fear’s subsided somewhat, I appreciate things a lot, you know, my family a lot more and other things in my life a lot more. But I won’t ever be the same person. But that’s a positive thing now rather than a negative thing. Which was straight after it happened because I did find that I was probably suffering from depression.