that post where I said I wished I could cry. Well my wish was granted and I’ve spent quite a few hours bawling my eyes out today.
To be honest I’ve been using the cunning trick of denial the last few weeks. Denial is a great protector for unpleasant things. Unfortunately it doesn’t last forever and I knew today everything would become real when I went to the hospital for my pre op.
Pre op’s in themselves are nothing to worry about. Tick lots of boxes, weight and height, blood pressure, blood tests, swabs all that gubbins. Bit of an old hand at all that now.
But before all that standard stuff I had to go and have a chat with Mr Johnson. He is so lovely and appreciated his gift from me of a bottle of real ale!
He explained what was going to happen and why, the risks and the benefits.
One of the opening questions was ‘How much pleasure do you get from deep penetrative sex?’ Answer available if you send in a postcard.
I don’t relay these details for fun. They are to describe how intimate these meetings are. They are challenging on so many levels.
In a nutshell,
Remove top inch and a half of the vagina I have left.
This is to prevent vaginal cancer. If vaginal cancer develops I will need Radiotherapy which has many side effects and he clearly wnats to avoid that.
The risk of vaginal cancer is unknown but his educated estimate is between 1 and 10% for me.
He thinks the likelihood of finding cancer is ‘unlikely but possible’
There is a 1% risk of a fistula (hole) forming between my vagina and my rectum and/or bladder. This will result in stoma or catheter.
There is no guarantee that the precancer will not come back the vagina that is left behind.
The MDT (Multi disciplinary team) including teams from Bath and Bristol believe I should have this operation but as he said ‘It’s your vagina’ I am an ‘unusual case’. This is a rare procedure and he does 1 or 2 a year.
He told me to tell male friends and relatives that they should imagine having an inch and a half of their penis cut off if they want to empathise!
It is highly likely that deep penetrative sex will be painful and this will be difficult to fix.
Went away after that, had a coffee and a couple of smokes and a little meltdown. Exercising my rebellious streak by refusing to sign the consent form. Because really who the hell would want to consent to that?
Having spoken to a few friends and family tonight I realise that I need to have it done. If I didn’t and I got cancer I’d never forgive myself.
I’m just scared. Very scared.