Eight years ago, my friend was lying on her couch, and felt a lump in her stomach. She saw her doctor, who told her that she had advanced cervical cancer. She was an amazing person, who stunned us all with the way she accepted her diagnosis and treatment with grace. She died three years ago, leaving behind a devastated husband and three adult children. She faced her death with as much dignity—and at times humour—as she could muster, but it’s fair to say that there wasn’t a lot of modesty at the end of that battle. When I get my regular pap tests (even after seven years of marriage!) I reflect on how my little bit of immodesty and uncomfortableness compares with her struggle, and I feel a sense of resolve to not only continue to get regular smears, but to remind my mum, my sister and my friends, how important it is. On a lighter note, just in the last hour, I’ve worried about: 1. Did I leave the iron on this morning? 2. What I’m going to wear to a 30th on Saturday? 3. Have I transferred money to cover my rent due today? 4. Do I have enough money to cover my rent today? 5. Have I paid the credit card bill? 6. If it’s Father’s Day in Australia, does that mean it’s Fathers Day in New Zealand? 7. Did I lock the door? 8. Did I lock my bike? 9. Is it going to rain on the way home? 10. Is my boss about to tell me off for the amount of time I spend on Facebook? Luckily, the last time I saw my doctor, she reminded me to take a pap test. One less thing to worry about.

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