This week could of gone totally the other way, I could now be sat here writing a totally different account of things. I shared two waiting rooms with lots of other women who today are facing a different reality and trying to come to terms with how they will face and get through what lies ahead for them.
I should celebrate being single as a mature, happy life preference, and yet here I am, nearly 60, still explaining myself; so my subconscious clearly isn't celebrating, is it? And why? Because too many experiences in my life, like that smear test, exacerbate my self-image of social misfit: of being somehow lesser, if not outright forgotten.
The research, commissioned by Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, shows a third of those aged between 25 and 29 don't take up their 'invitations'. And the older group (60-64) waits an average of three years to get checked. Yet the procedure can prevent around 75 percent of cervical cancer cases by detecting abnormal pre-cancer cells, according to the NHS.