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Public cervix announcement

Right, people with a cervix, let’s talk about vaginal health!
Not a usual topic for me, but today I wanted to share my latest escapades and remind you all to think about your cervix.

I am up to date with my cervical smears, but for the past six months I have been having odd symptoms ‘down there’. Bleeding and spotting inbetween periods, bleeding after sex, weird discharge and pain.

I went to my GP who examined me and sent me for further tests. I had swabs for infections that all came back negative and had an ultrasound scan where they looked both at my abdomen and groin and also internally.

From there I was sent for a colposcopy where they found some cell changes in my cervix and an area of bleeding.

We had to talk about the possibility of cervical cancer as well as abnormal CIN cells that could be Pre cancerous. It’s been a few very tense weeks of waiting for results.

I’m over the moon to say that there are no signs of the big C, just some cells that have changed slightly. I am going in to have cryo cauterisation where they’ll remove all those cells and the area that is bleeding.

It was easy to ignore these symptoms, to put the pain down to my IBD and operations. After all, my smears came back normal 2 years ago.

But I did the right thing and got it all checked out, all though it’s been a scary, old time, I’m so glad I did.

According to charity Jo’s Trust, 1.12 million people did not take up their screening invitation in the past year and figures show cervical screening coverage in England is at just 72.7%, meaning one in four women may be at risk of a potentially life-threatening cervical cancer diagnosis.

Please guys, if you have a cervix, then look after it. Go for your regular screenings, they save lives. Check now, yes right now! When was your last smear? Are you up to date? If not, call your doctor and book it in now.

And if you are up to date, but are having any symptoms that aren’t normal for you, then go get it checked. Don’t wait for your next planned smear, do it now.

When you have other illnesses, it’s easy to forget about the rest of your body, or to put symptoms down to your health problems. It’s easy to forget about the regular screenings you should be having when your life is taken up with Drs appointments, meds and treatment. But it’s so important to take care of yourself.

I was terrified that my results were not going to be healthy, that I had cancer and it was going to be terrible. I’m lucky and I am going to have a minor procedure and have no huge concerns.

But even if the news had been that the big C was lurking up there, the sooner it is detected, the better the treatment.

So please, go check your dates and if you’re overdue, get booked in TODAY! And if you have anything not quite right going on, get it checked out.

There are some recognised symptoms associated with cervical cancer that you should be aware of. These include;

  • Abnormal bleeding: during or after sexual intercourse, or between periods
  • Post menopausal bleeding: if you are not on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or have stopped it for six weeks or more
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse
  • Lower back pain.

These can all be symptoms of things other than cancer, but they do need to be checked out.

If you are concerned about embarrassment or discomfort, know that the staff are so well trained and understand that it’s not the easiest or most pleasant thing to do, but they aim to put you at ease.

Also if you aren’t cisgender and don’t identify as female but have female genitalia, don’t overlook this important part of your health.

If you’re under 25 and not been called for a smear but have any concerns, call the doctor and speak to them.

If you’re over 65 and aren’t up to date or have issues, call now!

Basically I’m speaking to all your cervix owners! Look after yourself and get checked.

And so this ends your public cervix announcement.

Much love

Sam xx

Medical ID app

I found out about this app on the iPhone recently and thought it would be of interest to you all. 

It’s called Medical ID and allows access to some vital information on your phone in an emergency situation. It’s free, simple and easy to set up and so I thought I’d talk you through the set up process. 

Go to the Health app on your iPhone.   

medical id app apps to help with disability Go to Medical ID in the bottom right hand corner.   

medical id app apps to help with disability 
Click on that and fill in your information starting with name and date of birth and medical conditions as well as medical notes.  As I have a jpouch, I added in a note explaining that rectal exams must be taken with extreme care. 

 medical id app 
You can then add your emergency contacts (you can add more than one), blood type and if you are a donor. 

 medical id app

Then save the information and it can be found if necessary on your locked screen by pressing emergency and then Medical ID. 

  medical id app  

 medical id app apps to help with disability 
 
It takes a couple of minutes but allows you a little piece of mind that in an emergency, your medical needs are right there for the people who may need them. 

Hope this helps! 
Sam x 

  

Op update

After my latest hernia surgery 2 weeks ago I have tried to rest and recover as well as fitting in quite a lot of work! I know people say to take it easy but both my husband and I both run businesses where if we don’t work, there’s no wage!

I wore a corset whenever I was up and about to support my stomach but found after a week, a large hard lump formed behind my scar. I was scared that the hernia had come straight back through but it feels different to that.

As always I have been trying to tell everyone around me that I’m fine and just power through and deal with it. In reality I feel gutted that there is yet another setback.

Mr Brown doesn’t think it’s anything to worry about and suggested it was a seroma. A seroma is a pocket of clear serous fluid that sometimes develops in the body after surgery. When small blood vessels are ruptured, blood plasma can seep out; inflammation caused by dying injured cells also contributes to the fluid.

He has booked me in today for an appointment to take a look at it and so I will update as soon as I know anything more.

I just want to be healthy and to not have any more issues. I know this sounds really minor and it is in the grand scheme of things but it tough when you feel that it’s just one thing after another. I want to know when I get a break from all this, you know?

I’m so fed up of hospitals, doctors and medical crap! I just want to be healthy! It’s not too much to ask is it?

Anyway rant over, I will update soon.

Sam xx

Tired, emotional, guilty

I’m so tired. And the tiredness leads to anger, hurt, guilt.

I have no idea whether fatigue is something I just need to accept? Whenever I mention it to the doctors they look at me like I’m daft. “You’ve been through a lot” they say, “give your self a break”, “it all takes time”. Perhaps I expect too much of myself, but I really just wish I could be normal.

Every night, I get up once or twice to empty my jpouch, several times a night I wake thinking about whether I need to go to the loo. Since surgery I tend to have these vivid dreams, you know the ones where you feel like you’ve had a workout when you wake up? I also sometimes have stomach pains, butt burn and accidents.

So when morning comes, I just can’t open my eyes. I just don’t hear the alarm and Timm gets up with the kids. Every day. And the guilt builds… I wake up feeling so drained and exhausted that I can barely function. My limbs are like dead weights, my head fuzzy, my brain screams at me to go back to sleep. I feel lazy and guilty.

Timm leaves me to sleep as long as I need to. He never mentions it apart from asking if I had a bad night. But the guilt inside me is enormous, I feel I’m letting them all down. I feel like everyone thinks I am lazy.

I usually get up at 9am, a full two hours after I should get up. Some days I manage to get straight down into the office, some days I work from my bed. By midday I feel more energised and I try and get as much as I can done, but by 4pm I am flagging massively and could quite easily nap. Evenings are better for me, I feel more awake and often try and get housework done in this time. Then I’m usually in bed by 11pm (sometimes way earlier).

I don’t know whether it’s my routine that isn’t helping? Some nights, despite being completely exhausted I just can’t get to sleep and lay awake for hours.

Or I wonder whether it’s my diet? I have found I am now really intolerant to most vegetables and so my diet is quite restricted. The lack of vitamins and minerals worries me. I’m waiting for an appointment with the hospital dietician and have thought about asking to have my b12 levels checked. (People missing certain parts of the colon will have difficulty absorbing vitamin b12 and some need regular injections).

Sometimes I realise I don’t remember what normal is. My normal is so far away from other people’s that I wonder if my comparing myself to them is stupid?

When I say I’m tired, others talk of their tiredness too, and I think maybe I’m just not as tough as most people! Then I remember that my body has been through so bloody much in the past 18 months. That I’m missing an organ, that I’m learning how to use my pouch, that my body fights against me eating most healthy foods, that my immune system is knackered.

The thing I need to deal with the most though is the guilt. I feel like I need to apologise to Timm for how rubbish I am in the mornings. I feel like a bad mum and a rubbish wife.

I feel I need to explain to everyone that often I have a big front on. And that front is the mirage to tell you “I’m fine!” “I’m not weak” “I’m as good as you” “I don’t need anyone’s help”.

So when I’m seen on Facebook or instagram in the pub or walking the dog, know that it takes a big effort to do that, and I do it because I want to have the same abilities as others, I don’t want to be sick.

Know that every journey or trip requires planning to know where toilets are, a packing of wipes and underwear, a knowledge that using public toilets is an embarrassing experience because of the noise, that I’m using up valuable spoons to do that thing and will suffer for it later.

Please just have a little understanding that despite my brash, shouty, activist exterior I am still healing, still learning how to accept and use my new body and still dealing with the emotional trauma that the past 18 months have thrown at me.

Sam ✌️&❤️

If only for a second…

The Mimi Foundation supports the health and well being of cancer patients.  This video shows 20 cancer patients who participated in a unique makeover experience.

mimi foundation

They were invited to a studio. Their hair and makeup were completely redone.

During the transformation, they were asked to keep their eyes shut.
A photographer then immortalized the moment they opened their eyes.

This discovery allowed them to forget their illness, IF ONLY FOR A SECOND.

 

So beautiful xxx