My life...

Wednesday 23 February, 2011 by Traci

I am a 35-year-old woman. My second pap smear at 21 came back abnormal. For the past 14 years, I have gone through aggressive amount of surgeries, doctors and specialist visits and invasive tests to ensure that it does not get any worse, or progress to cervical cancer.

I have heard many times 'it will not come back' and many times they were wrong. Because of all of the surgeries to my cervix, I lost my only child while I was pregnant, but she was beautiful. My family ignored the loss for many years until I spoke up only a year ago. I have changed careers to help kids in need and now study psychology as talking can help a great deal.

I have been given options and I may have a hysterectomy in the future. So no more kids for me.

I wait for the phone call every 3 months to see what the test results are. It engulfs your daily existence. Nothing allows you to break away from any of it even just for a moment. Relationships, work, family, friends, money, health, etc. are all effected.

Fourteen years is a long time. My child's life is forever. I fight every day, even on the bad, sad days. When times get tough, we need to hold on to those around us and cherish every moment.

Thank you for reading my story.

All women aged 18 to 70 who have ever been sexually active should have a Pap test every 2 years, even if you're no longer having sex. This is the best way to reduce your risk of cervical cancer.We have information on our website about cervical cancer screening. Contact the Cancer Helpline on 13 11 20 for further information and support about coping with cervical abnormalities or cervical cancer.

Updated: 23 Feb, 2011