Maxine Smith was only 29 years old when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer despite previously begging doctors to screen her.
The mother-of-two from Greater Manchester first noticed she was bleeding after sexual interaction in 2016 and said to her GP in Cheshire that she wanted a smear test. She was 27 at that time.
However, she said that the doctor refused as she’d had her routine test when she was 26 and was due to have the next one the following year.
“I knew something was wrong,” she expressed. “I’d kept on getting bleeding and went to the doctor around five times.
“I was screened for STI’s and was told there was nothing wrong with my cervix even though they didn’t do a test.
“I’m not a promiscuous person so it was all very embarrassing. I went so many times but kept on getting told it was my pill that was making me bleed.”
Now 31, Maxine says that her GP put her symptoms down to ‘contraception problems.’
When she moved to Cheadle and had a new doctor two years later, she was finally given a smear test.
A biopsy discovered a 3cm tumor on her cervix and she was diagnosed with grade three cervical cancer.
The mother-of-two had to endure the pain of chemotherapy and hysterectomy to get rid of cancer aged 29.
But in November 2019, her cancer had returned and had already spread to her bowel and lymph nodes.
“I believe I wouldn’t be facing the horrors in my life now if I’d have been given a smear test on demand,” Maxine said.
“I don’t think I would have needed all the hard treatment of chemotherapy and then have to be battling it again to lose my life a few years down the line.
“It’s left my family feeling heartbroken and helpless, my mother keeps saying it should be her and not me.
“My family are not ready for me to go, they feel cursed.”
Maxine continued: “The worst feeling is looking at my beautiful children and realising that I’m going to be stolen away from them.
“My children are quite young but I’ve tried to explain to them what’s happened. I’ve said there’s a flower that’s opening up inside of me and it’s getting bigger and bigger.
“I’ve told them I have to go to hospital to get this magical treatment that makes the flower close. They know I’m poorly but that’s all I’ve told them. I want to protect them as much as I possibly can.
“Not a day goes by that my heart doesn’t break when I think they won’t have me around one day and I won’t see their lives unfold.”
Maxine is undergoing chemotherapy to shrink the cancer and give her extra time with her young children.
“I won’t be able to see my children grow up to be adults. The doctor’s have said I’ve got about three years at most,” she said. “I’m hoping to just spend time with my children and enjoy the little things in life with the time I have left.”
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