My mother was roughly the age I am now when she developed uterine cancer. She survived fine with a partial hysterectomy, but it’s still a bit worrisome to think of. In spite of that, my last PAP smear was 10 years ago. I cannot bring myself even to make an appointment for the bloody test. I found a clinic and dialed the number once, and that sent me in to a full-on panic attack, complete with shakes, sweats, and dizziness. Not fun.
Time for a little from the too much information file– my periods have been incredibly irregular lately. Considering I can usually count 28 days ahead and know exactly when the next will start, the irregular bit is bothering me, as is the slight pain in my right breast that has been there for about a year now. The sensible, adult thing to do, then, is go to an OB-GYN and get a look over. I can *not* seem to take that step, though. I know I need to have the test. It just feels like a violation. It feels like that word I still can’t bring myself to say.
For those of you who are female survivors of sexual assault, regardless of your age at the time, how do you cope with tests like this one? Gynaecological exams overall? I’d really appreciate any advice you can offer. Please feel free to email me as well if you aren’t comfortable replying on the blog. Thanks very much.