When Jade Goody walked out of the Big Brother house back in 2003, I thought that all she’d taught me about life was a) never to have sex on TV and b) that salmon satin looks good on no one.
How wrong was I?
The woman single-handedly raised awareness for cervical cancer in young women.
Sadly, it took her dying to do so.
Left undiagnosed, it can become terminal and treatment can grow futile. Wishing to avoid this fate at all costs, I went for my annual smear test this morning.
As I sat in the waiting room for longer than anticipated, due to strains on the NHS, which we shan’t go into now, I grew anxious. As somebody who is, let’s say, unafraid to bare all, these nerves came as a surprise.
Will I wee on her face? Will she find a tampon up there from 2008 that has now turned into a foetus with cotton wool hands? Should I have shaved? Will she care? And WHY does this waiting room smell like poo?!
These were just some of the thoughts running through my mind pre-inspection that I thought I’d share with you because, well, nerves are normal when you’re about to show your private parts to a complete stranger.
But then my name was called.
She closed the door behind us and asked me to remove my pants in the same way you’d ask someone if they’d like to remove their jacket at a dinner party. Naturally I obliged, in awkward silence, and lay down on the bed.
She then pressed on with it – poor girl – and it was actually fine, aside from her awkwardly complimenting me on my pelvic floor muscles and the impromptu arrival of a young man looking for his umbrella. We had a laugh about his ill timing, I put my vagina away and all was well with the world within a few short minutes.
And now it’s over for the next 1095 days and I will endeavour to forget the whole thing until then.
But I don’t want you to forget it. Not the part about me opening my legs – you can definitely forget that part – but I don’t want you to put off getting yours done.
If you weren’t aware of what a smear test was before reading this, then hopefully it’ll spark an interest and if you’ve been putting it off: don’t. It really isn’t that bad.
I can’t help but feel that post-childbirth, I’ll look back at this post and think ‘Dear girl, if only you knew’.
But until then, I will continue to dread them in a mid-twenties, without child, ignorance but I will also endeavour to endure them on a regular basis. And so should you.