Yellow and Blue at Vegas and Rose

18 Jul 2016

Today I had surgery and I’m currently sitting on the couch with my sister, a warm open fire crackling away beside us. It is one of my busiest and most important weeks at work, but this particular health inconvenience has left me handing the reins over to one of my team members, and taking a whole week away to recover. The surgery was to remove some CIN3 abnormal cells from my cervix.

The whole saga began some weeks ago when I went for a routine lady parts check at my local GP, commonly known as a papsmear. No lady finds this particular examination pleasant. It’s invasive, it’s uncomfortable and if things don’t go well, some ladies have had to have them done again. My GP did the test, and then told me that the practice would call should there be any results worth discussing.

The following Monday, I got called by the practice at work, and they asked me to come in to discuss some results. I asked them if I could have the appointment on the coming Friday and they politely but firmly told me that I would need to come in either ‘today or tomorrow’. I knew they were aware that I was working, so I figured it was important and my manager gave me the afternoon to find out what was happening. The GP discussed my results with me, saying that there are stages of abnormality that can be found on a cervix. These abnormalities are graded from CIN1, which is mild, through to CIN3, which is severe. My result had come back as CIN2/3 and more tests needed to be taken to be more accurate. He booked me in to see a specialist and then called the specialist to ask for a prompt appointment. ‘It’s not serious,’ he reassured me, ‘but I don’t want to delay in your treatment.’

Even then, it was 3 weeks until I could see the specialist. The specialist did some more thorough (and more painful) tests, and sent them off to a lab for results. After packaging up the tests ready to be sent, he sat me down in his office and like some strange relative of Mr. Squiggle, drew me an upside down picture of a cervix (it was the right way up for me). He then began explaining what I was doing there. ‘The most common forms of cancer occur in places in the body where cells grow and change rapidly, like the skin and the cervix.’ 

‘The skin in the opening of the cervix changes as is progresses through its life cycle and this is where we look for abnormalities.’

‘You’re showing CIN3, which is severe. Left untreated, these cells will develop into cancer.’

‘Are you planning any overseas trips in the next few weeks? No? We will book you in for surgery in the next week or so.’

I looked down at his magnificent upside-down diagram of my lady parts and he explained how they would be cutting a piece out of my cervix, what to expect in recovery and so on.

‘It’s not serious,’ he reassured me.

It then began to make sense to me that what they meant was ‘we are on a scale of serious, and modern medicine has got you covered, we’re not letting this become cancer.’ Time off work, the sudden need for surgery, cutting things out of my body; these things are serious, but they are much more appealing than the alternative.

A week later I had my surgery date and this morning my mum picked me up from home and drove me to the day procedure centre. She asked me in the car if I was nervous and a chirped my new life motto: ‘my courage outweighs my fear’. Something about those words makes my nerves take a step back. The thing I was most nervous about was the anaesthetic. My fears were well founded as my veins ‘proved an unusual challenge’. Apparently I have the veins of a child. They found a vein with only 3 or four attempts though, and the next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room.

My sister picked me up and took me back to her house where I curled up on the couch with my nephew, and held him while he had a bottle. Then he had a nap and so did I. I napped for a few hours and then woke up and drank tea. We’ve now had dinner and so far I’ve mostly not had any pain or discomfort, but I certainly have no energy and I haven’t yet had to do anything strenuous. I have a week off work but a full recovery will take some weeks. Then there are check-ups with the specialist to make sure that all went well.

Big love to Penthea’s amazing team at Vegas and Rose who were so friendly and supportive when we took these pictures. They even offered the resident yellow typewriter to use in the pictures and let us stay while they packed up around us at the end of their day.

Top: Dangerfield
Earrings: c/o The Peach Box
Shirt: Review Australia
Skirt: Modcloth
Shoes: Chelsea Crew via Zulily
Hat: vintage Laura Ashley from Etsy

Photos: Goldfields Girl
Location: Vegas and Rose

This is the second time I've done a photo shoot in a straw boater (and this skirt) at V&R. See the other photos here.

Hooray for modern medicine! :)
- L

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