Tara’s Story

68 days ago I sat in a doctors office and was told there was a problem.
How could that be? It was 2 weeks before my 30th birthday, surely it can’t be that bad??!

2 days later I was seeing a specialist who was pushing me for a radical hysterectomy and sending me to counselling sessions in preparation for this. A stuff up in the cone biopsy procedure meant they couldn’t give me a definite answer.

15 days ago I got a second opinion from a private specialist. He also told me surgery was the most likely option, and all points indicated I had cancer.

After the longest 15 day wait of my entire life, I have been given the fantastic news today that this has been caught in time and I don’t have cancer. My specialist was extremely happy to be proven wrong in this instance, and although I still require surgery, it’s minimal.

Before this I had been having smears annually. Due to family history and previous irregular results. My last normal result was 12 months ago. How do I go from normal to the distinct possibility of cancer within 12 months? The gynaecologist thinks the previous smear may have been incorrectly processed, or not swabbed correctly, which is terrifying.

I cannot stress to every woman I know enough to have regular Pap smears. It is 15 minutes of discomfort for the sake of your health, children, and all your loved ones.
To all the men, I plead with you, please ask your wives, mums and sisters and girlfriends if they are up to date.
It is truly not something that can be missed!

My tips for Australian women about cervical health

Regular smears. Not negotiable. There are so many symptoms that do not present. Do not risk it.