Betty R. Ferrell, PhD, RN


May 10, 2016

A New Diagnosis and Old Memories

Aretha C is a 48-year-old woman diagnosed with stage III cervical cancer. She only sought medical care when her abdominal pain became unbearable. She has had surgery and was scheduled to begin chemotherapy but she has postponed treatment for the past 3 weeks. She is now seen in the emergency department (ED) with vaginal bleeding and pain. She confides in the ED nurse that she has avoided starting treatment because she becomes extremely anxious with gynecologic exams. She then became very distressed and cried, finally confiding that she was sexually abused as a young adult and that any physical exam causes her to relive the abuse experiences.


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