Kinky Boots versus Kill Bill: the night before the knife

Tuesday October 23rd (just before midnight) – three weeks after diagnosis

consent.jpgAn air of calm has descended; I’ll take that for however long it lasts – probably until lunch time tomorrow.  Today I met with my consultant surgeon.  He calmly explained my procedure – the purpose, the risks, my right to choose … and asked me to sign on the dotted line that I understood all that he had said.  Tomorrow afternoon he will skilfully wield his scalpel to carry out a wide local excision of my vulval lesion.  The purpose of this procedure is assessment, diagnosis and treatment.  The risks are excessive bleeding, infection, damage to adjacent structures (particularly nerves and blood vessels), wound infection and breakdown, DVT and pulmonary embolism. In my head he is Uma Thurman brandishing a massive sword to annihilate the nasty knicker beast. kill bill.jpg

The consultation was followed by the taking of blood, an ECG and instructions on fasting (nothing after 6:30am), and that was it! Out by 12:30 with instructions to return around 11 the following day.  So – what to do with this unexpected afternoon of pre-operative freedom?  Well lunch seemed a good start.  Pasta at Prezzo on the seafront at Mumbles with my sister, courtesy of Meerkat 2 for 1.  It was a glorious day – sunny and warm andmumbles comforting.  A gentle stroll along the seafront calmed and distracted me.  A mooch around a lovely little gallery and the local shops, an unexpected glimpse of the gem which is Oystermouth castle, followed by coffee and cake.  I held on to that preciousness for as long as I could, until I could ignore the nagging, gnawing of the knicker beast no longer.  Time to head home and have a rest.

And rest I did. A massive 3 hour nap. I was still relatively calm, though somewhat preoccupied with an urgent desire to evacuate my bowels which was not accompanied by any bodily urge.  The thought of having my vulva sliced and stitched, and still having to pee and pooh just did not compute.  How is that even possible?  How much agony will I have to endure? How in the hell do you keep everything clean, heal and recover?  Amongst the messages of good luck and warm wishes were some gems on Twitter from @gencritlou and @hurtieh .  I am so appreciative of these two women who took the time to respond with their supportive words and advice following their own recent surgery.

I am nearly 5 weeks post my own vulval cancer surgery and it wasn’t anything like as bad I’d feared. I got through and so will you.

I’m 2 weeks post WLE, pain wasn’t too bad, […]  All in all, my bits are less painful than they were before the surgery! I hadn’t realised how uncomfortable I was ALL THE TIME!  Spent most of the first couple of days lying down, short walks around the house etc. I just had to be careful and slow sitting down, getting out of bed etc. Showered lots, just plain water, no fancy dancy gels etc.

Advice absorbed, I sought to distract myself for the evening.  After much trawling through my on demand services, I settled on Kinky Boots. What a gem!  I was taken to kinky_boots_postcard_9822.jpganother place, the fictional, yet all too real, challenges of the lives of other people accompanied by a fabulous soundtrack.  Note to self: download favourite music before tomorrow.  Kinky Boots was followed by a heart to heart chat and plenty of cuddles with my youngest daughter who arrived home, with my son, a little after midnight.

This time tomorrow, the knicker beast will be gone.  This will either be a total victory, or the first win in a series of battles.  I cannot change the trajectory that is laid before me, but tonight, thanks to all those wonderful people around me – including those who have reached out across the web – I feel in a better place to take on the challenges ahead.

 

 

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