Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ladies. Book yourself a Pap smear, we have a new Prime Minister!

As I woke to this morning news, I read in the paper, two facts that concerned me. 

Fact One: We have a new PM and his name is Tony. And some people are really, genuinely happy about this. Some could even be heard chanting "its Tony time." Wow. Tony, you've got a long road ahead of you, mate! I hope your up for it.

And fact two is according to Pap-screen Victoria, only 57% of women aged 20-69 have had a Pap smear in the past two years. That leaves approximately 43% of us women who have not dropped our undies in order to undergo a potentially life saving test that can detect {up to 90% of detectable} cervical cancers. 

And I get it.

Pap smears are no fun in a box {pun so not intended, but, it works}.

But they can save your life. Your friends life. And quite possibly your mum and your cousins life.

Lives all worth saving.

But, sadly, we are not talking about it. News-poll found that one in four of us women feel too embarrassed to talk about Pap tests. I am not embarrassed by pap smear talk. In fact, I will talk about it night and day with whoever wants to listen, especially if I know all this talking may get one or more of you banging on your doctors door, screaming "give me my smear."

I can see all the boys signing out now. 

And that's ok. Bye boys.

But, let me tell you, I have had not one but four Pap smears in the past year. 

Four! Poor me, right. Let me describe them. Smear by smear.

The first smear sample ended up on the emergency room floor when the training doctor shattered the smear slide in her hands. The second sample collected by the same doctor returned an invalid result. Training doctor, anyone?

And the third test suggested some abnormal cells with a repeat sample suggested post-baby. So I played the waiting game. I was convinced it would be all bad news until finally the forth sample came back with the news I was hoping for. Normal. Repeat sample in 2 years.

But you see, prior to these 4 Pap smears, I hadn't actually had a Pap smear in almost 5 years. 

I had my excuses. 

Too busy travelling, I'm growing a baby, my obstetricians on leave, I am breastfeeding, I have no car, I am too busy at work, there are no available appointments, my GP moved to Tasmania, the kids are sick. I'm baking a cake. I need a wax.

It's endless. And all pretty pathetic because really, there is no excuse.

And I am bloody lucky that after all those smears, it came back normal. But it didn't come without stress and worry. 

So, it is my hope that by reading this, you might be encouraged to show your bits. Book that appointment and take the test. Even if just one of you do this that would make me happy! 

Because unlike the Tony fact that I read about this morning that is now completely out of control. This, this Pap smear statistic we can change. 

Go on, go have your bits checked and while your at it ask at least one other friend if they too have had their bits checked lately.

Love Jo xxx