Healing Choices and Abnormal Pap Smears

by Amina Tumi, Hair Salon Owner, London

When I was 20, I had a Pap smear test, which was abnormal. Because of this I have had to have yearly tests since then. I had colposcopy and treatment 6 years ago but every smear test was abnormal, until 2012.  Last year and this year the results have been normal again. I have not had any additional treatment since the colposcopy six years ago although it is possible I missed follow up appointments due to moving house and changing doctors.

What strikes me as very interesting is that I have changed my life so very much in the last two years; the way I eat, the way I sleep, the way I work, the way I am with people. I feel that this cannot be a coincidence. I feel that my recent choices must have something to do with this change in my smear results.

How powerful are our choices if this is true? Well it has to be said I am very glad that I have started to make these life-changing choices now. I am 32 years old and I have had the threat of cancer hanging over me since I was 20. I do not want to suffer with some awful cancer if I can help it, and looking at these recent results it may be that I can help myself.

What I have asked myself is, why have I not taken time over my teens and early twenties to reassess how I was living and how this could affect me when I am older? I remember thinking that being old was so long away and that we get old and die anyway, so there is really no need to think about being old now, that now was always about having fun and working hard. But what I now see as I stand here at the age of 32 years is we actually spend more time being old than we do being young and so this brings to my attention the serious importance of taking responsibility for my own body and how I am with it and how I treat it.

What would the end result be if I did not stop and change the way I was living?

What have I already done to my body thus far that cannot be undone?

These are questions I find myself asking now, which feels a much more realistic way of looking at it, than the ‘whatever, you only live once’ attitude that I once had.

It can feel like we are going to miss something if we don’t go to that party or visit that friend, or it can feel that the world will end if you don’t get certain jobs done, but what about asking your body “Hey, how are you feeling today and what would you like to do?” and “How would you like to do it?”

I have started a relationship with myself and this is how I see the changes in my life. I do not just do things because everyone else does or because it is expected of me. I also say no to others if I feel their hectic crazy life is impacting mine. I see myself as important and worth spending time on. Although I have much work to do here, I do not feel in a rush and I am enjoying me along the way.



252 thoughts on “Healing Choices and Abnormal Pap Smears

  1. Amina this is a great blog for all to read as you are very honest when you say
    ‘I do not want to suffer with some awful cancer if I can help it, and looking at these recent results it may be that I can help myself.’
    No one wants to be diagnosed with cancer or any other illness so why don’t we take more care of ourselves? Why is it some of us only wake up when presented with the diagnoses and some people don’t even then.
    When we have health issues that are asking for us to stop and consider our life choices, it seems the way we have been educated is that we just expect the medics to cure us when we get sick. After all that’s what we have health insurance for, isn’t it? There has been no consideration that the way we have been living is a contributor to our ill health.

  2. Amina the gold from this is, ‘started a relationship with myself’ – this is so important when we have a breakdown in our bodies. We need to take care of ourselves and our bodies, as no one else is going to. As far as I’m concerned, bringing yourself to the forefront of your own health and wellbeing isn’t selfish, it is loving, living and nurturing.

    1. Leigh spot on, I am now doing this, asking questions when I have any injuries or anything. What have I done to experience this, and then I listen to it more.

  3. For a 2 year old a 20 year old may seem old but we are still the same human being whatever numerical age we are.

  4. Feeling the disregard and unloving choices that we have lived with is just agonizing, but regret and wallowing won’t do much, neither does ignoring. Accepting that we have actually wanted love all along and starting giving ourselves more of that brings about much healing.

  5. A great sharing Amina, and a great reminder of our own responsibility of own health and how our choices are always reflected in our body, and how through changing those choices we are able to change the possibilities ahead of us.

  6. This reminded me how it is never too late to make changes and to support ourselves through those changes, there are many social events that go on late into the night, yet I have learnt through experience that it’s better to enjoy a quiet night in and rest my body ready for the next day than to exhaust it, and there are many more examples where putting ourselves first is a far more loving thing to do.

  7. Your blog initiates some incredibly important questions both for the medical profession and for patients, what have we done to our bodies that is irreversible? AND what have we done that can be changed with a change of approach to life? Could with a slightly different approach to life we be able to totally turn our health and well-being around? Surely it’s a question worth investigating.

  8. Amita thank you for sharing your experiences, and for the broader perspective you have provided of how we spend more time in an ageing body than a young one, and do the choices we make now (like having to get things done in a disregarding manner) really have to be made the way they are considering how long we will be in this body and the level of care needed now?

  9. When we are not with ourselves we will miss that and to not feel that is often done with unhealthy behaviours like overeating, eating sugary/fatty foods that we know we should not eat but find hundreds of excuses for to eat, like going to parties and keeping ourselves busy with that or isolating ourselves and going up in a movie marathon and so many more things. Yet when we simply re-build a relationship with ourselves these things are less and less needed and we are also way more supportive of our body and its health.

  10. When we are in relationship with our bodies, illnesses, potential or otherwise, can be understood and with commitment to making loving changes, be healed.

  11. The problem is not having energetic awareness of whole body and whole life with understanding that what we do in early life and adulthood becomes us in elder years. We must learn to build our body from young and not waste it.

  12. So many people feel completely disempowered when they are ill and give their power over to the medical system to come up with all the answers and remedies to whatever is ailing them. Yes of course we do need the support of the excellent medical treatments we now have available, but what if we added in the element of honestly examining how we are living and whether it is truly harmonious for our bodies or not and then looking at making the necessary changes that the body will always guide us to make. This means it is no-one else’s responsibility other than our own to heal us.

  13. This is such a ground breaking blog and such a needed conversation to have. Here we have clear evidence that we are not an innocent victim to illness and disease and that we have far more say in our health and wellbeing than we realise or perhaps allow ourselves to be aware of.

  14. I can so relate to that attitude of ‘as long as it gives me what I want right now, I don’t care what happens afterwards’. In my early 20s I was at a chemist trying to buy an ointment for a skin rash, and was told at the counter that they would not recommend the specific one I had asked for as it contained adrenal cortex hormone that might improve the condition now but in a long term not a good thing to have for my body and years later it might come to the surface, and my reply was ‘If it’s going to happen when I am old, I don’t care. I would be wrinkly and not well anyway.’ My mother who was with me at the time had more sense and thanked the chemist and ushered me out. It took me many years to truly appreciate what had happened then.

    1. Fumiyo I know that one far too well, I would want everything regardless of the consequences. I would go against the advice of others and also embrace the advice of others depending on what suited me, but all the time going against what I felt in my body.

    2. Absolutely – we rarely have appreciation or consideration for what might occur further down the track and instead only care about a quick fix now. It doesn’t make sense when the long term consequences can be so great, it would make much more sense to consider the bigger picture of our health.

  15. The truth is we can never really escape our bodies, only when we die do we leave it, otherwise our body is with us 24/7 in whatever state we have, through our choices, allowed it to be in. It is actually crazy that we have set-up the normalities in society to be that of bludgeoning our bodies with food and alcohol, and that these are activities that we worry about missing out on when we begin to consider caring for our body and being. It goes to show how far away we have ventured away from living in connection to the love we are with and the love we all deserve to live with, and how it is possible to return to living love at any moment whenever we are willing to develop a loving relationship with our body.

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