Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Post-Op Report...

     The VAIN3 was so thick and deep in the back vaginal wall that he had to laser it until the wall was almost paper thin.  At one point the wall tore because it was so thin and he had to create a small flap and suture it.  I'm healing well, and he feels he got 95-98% of it.  Time will tell.  I will have to have exams every six months for several years, and then yearly for the rest of my life if there is no indication that it returned, although there is an 80% chance that it will return and/or spread.

     My nagging worry now is that when the vaginal wall tore, some of the cancerous cells could have gotten into my abdominal cavity.  I'm telling the nag to shut up for now, but I will have to be extra vigilant about annual physicals.

     One thing that he also said which I thought was interesting was regarding smoking.  I'm not a "smoker" as in a steady-pack-a-day-habit.  In the past two years, I have probably smoked one pack total as an occasional "I cannot deal with this stress right now" release.  This morning doctor told me I needed to stop, and stop immediately.  In his twelve years of experience with this kind of cancer, not a single "non-smoker" has ever had it.  For some reason, the carcinogens in cigarettes cause this cancer to accelerate, which is probably why I went from mild dysplasia in December 2011 to VAIN3 (actually called Cancer 0, it is the worst possible short of Vaginal Cancer Stage 1) in March 2012.  Those four months in Texas were the most stressful for me, and while I wasn't a frequent smoker, he said all it takes is a few to flip the switch on my immune system.
Stop Smoking
     He won't need to tell me twice.  With as much as he removed ~ even though it was much less than the third of my vagina that the Texas surgeon wanted to remove ~ I'd like to keep what I have left and know that  with the high possibility that the cancer will return even if I don't smoke... I don't need to push my luck.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you've quit and for excellent reasons. Your a wonderful person and a strong individual. Stay strong and if you ever need to vent let me know :) I have good ears and strong shoulders. Take care of yourself.