My vagina: The final frontier
Great title, right?! Ha! I thought of this as I met with my Radiation Oncologist recently. You see, when they shoot radiation into your nether region there can be unfortunate side effects, those of which you don’t hear about in any of the movies, made for TV or at a theater near you.
Picture the scene: A few months ago, pre COVID-19 quarantine and before everything was cancelled, my medical team had decided that they wanted me to be in fighting shape for The Portland Air Guitar competition scheduled for April. They had proposed that I get radiation on my rectal tumor. I was hesitant but open as my goal was to get to Finland for the World Air Guitar Championships and I needed to feel better to do this. As I was listening to the myriad of potential side effects, my brain record scratched... “I’m sorry, what?” The doctor repeated “Vaginal narrowing can happen months after the treatment, but we can give you dilators.” As I tried to wrap my brain around this her medical assistant handed me a bag with 3 long yet narrow boxes that varied in width. I opened the biggest box and out came an alabaster, cold to the touch, solidly plastic, tubular flashlight shaped thing, one flat end and one rounded end. “So...You want me to...” I knew what I was looking at, or at least I thought I did... “These are medical dildos?” My doctor laughed, she was and is a lovely, very kind person (thankfully) “Very medical.”
I have heard of elective vaginal tightening procedures for women after childbirth but I have never had a child, this was not something that I wanted to deal with. Seriously not cool man.
I am assuming that if you are reading this blog you are most likely an adult, even so, if you are anything like me you can see the humor and the horror in this, inside I giggle at the same time as I cry.
“No way am I going to put that in me! There has to be a better option...” She assured me that there were other options that I could seek out and sent me on my way.
Fast forward to the follow up appointment with this doctor, almost 6 months after my radiation. I asked her “Regarding my narrowing vagina, is there a point of no return?” She said no but it would be better to start dealing with it sooner than later, scar tissue is better worked on in the beginning stages. “Are you saying you haven’t had anything in your vagina since we last spoke?” She asked in her gentle way. I hadn’t. Her tone, so caring made me start weeping in her office, she scrambled for tissues. I told her about the residents who mishandled me when I was 15, the seed of trauma that was planted in me (no pun intended) had grown into a pretty intense blackberry patch covered in berries of genophobia, shame and fear woken up when my intestines decided to betray me and really flourished after the colostomy, grapefruit sized butt abscess, two subsequent surgeries to deal with said abscess and a surgeon who ultimately wanted to crush my spirit and had some partial success.
This is where the giggling inside stops. This is real and this is intense. I am sorry if these words make you uncomfortable, imagine how I feel.
I am not a Star Trek nerd but I am married to one. I wish, like Spock, who was irradiated to death for at least a few minutes until the next movie came out, that I could be launched into a planet that is undergoing “The Genesis Effect” (not to be confused with the Phil Collins one). To start me all over, avoid all this hard shit, maybe not be mishandled, maybe not get cancer...Ha!
I will (eventually) boldly go where I have not gone in quite awhile, I will address this next hurdle and hopefully be better for it. Hardship builds character...Yadda yadda, whatever, I will forage on (again, eventually).
Beam me up Scotty!
Until next time ❤️
P.S. Charles Austin Muir aka Mr. Picante has 20 advance copies of his latest book “Slippery When Metastacized” which is as hilarious as it is moving and will be released to the public on all the platforms August 18th, 2020. If you would like to purchase a copy before then message Charles (while he still has copies) at email@example.com
(Link to latest work out if you want to follow my progress and check out the coaching of my personal trainer and husband).