Sunderland mum urges women to have smear test after shock cervical cancer diagnosis
A Sunderland mum has spoken out about her shock cervical cancer diagnosis in a bid to urge other women to have their smear test.
Jamie Lea Church, 34, who runs eyebrow business High Brow on Roker Baths Road, rushed to book her own smear test in August 2019 after a client broke down about her smear test results during her treatment.
The mum-of-three from Fulwell, had previously had regular smear tests but had left it later than usual to book her latest one due to her busy schedule.
Just three days later Jamie was asked to attend Sunderland Royal Hospital where doctors told her they had found abnormalities and needed to perform an immediate ‘Punch Biopsy’ to remove small pieces of tissue from the cervix for testing.
The results came back that Jamie had abnormal cells and that she needed to have them removed during a LLETZ procedure and sent away for testing.
After a three week wait, on October 23, 2019, the devoted mum was told the devastating news she had cervical cancer.
Jamie said: “I can’t even begin to tell you the whirlwind of emotions that flooded my mind.
“I just thought of my kids, who is going to support my kids?
“I also thought how the hell could this happen to me?
“But here I am sat in a hospital room being told I have cancer.
“The shock of that day will never ever leave me.”
Following the diagnosis, Jamie then underwent a procedure to cut away some of her cervix to remove the cancerous cells.
Returning to Sunderland Royal Hospital on December 4, Jamie was given the incredible news that the treatment had worked and she was now cancer free.
The mum to Jaxon, 14, Nevaeh, 12, and Asa, eight, said: “It was a surreal feeling.
“I felt like a fraud whenever I had to tell people because I wasn’t poorly, I didn’t look like I had cancer and I didn’t feel like I had cancer. It wasn’t real.
“I carried on every single day, kept busy at work and kept my mind off it in the hope that it will all just go away.
“But after that last procedure I got a call to meet with the consultant who told me that I am cancer free.
Despite being able to return home the same day after each surgery, Jamie suffered weeks of bleeding and cramps – but she said it was a small price to pay for being able to treat the cancer.
Now Jamie is on a mission to raise awareness of the need to go for a regular smear test.
She said: “My smear test picked up the cancer, I’ve been through hell and now it’s over.”
She has shared her story on Facebook and has been overwhelmed by the response – with her post receiving more than 1,000 likes and shares and more than 500 comments in just 16 hours.
Jamie has even been contacted by a major cervical cancer organisation who are keen to share her story.
In her post the brave mum explains what is involved in a smear test in the hope of reducing the stigma around going and reminding women that the small amount of discomfort could end up saving their lives.
She has had business cards printed with the message: ‘I spend longer doing your brows than the time it takes for a smear test book yours now.’
Jamie said: “Book your smear!”
“Yeah it’s embarrassing, but I’d take that over anything I have had to deal with since August this year.
“I’m lucky, I feel like the luckiest girl alive right now and I’m fully aware that some aren’t so lucky.
“My smear test saved my life.”