They will not force us.
They will stop degrading us.
They will not control us.
We will be victorious.
Muse - Uprising
And victorious we were! Those following my escapades in hopsital recently will be happy to know the Purple
Wedding Surgery went very well indeed. The kin- er, tumour is dead!
I've now been home from hospital ten days, and my stitches came out four days ago. When I went in for the stitches to be removed I received the best news ever in time for Christmas - Joffrey wasn't a cancer. Plenty of people jumped straight to the conclusion that my hospital mucked up, so I'm not going to beat about the bush in their defense. None of my clinical team had ever seen a benign tumour behave in the way mine did, so they would have been in very dodgy territory indeed to have assumed to leave it alone. As it is, the news is tremendous and the hospital now have my signature to keep Joffrey for research - I like to think they're going to poke him with sharp things many, many times. Serves him right.
The healing process has been relatively uneventful. The scar itself is knitting very neatly and aside from one day when the pain level was tremendous (as in, waking up and pretty much screaming the house down level of pain) it's been nowhere near as unpleasant as I expected. I managed to drive a short way yesterday for the first time and have been out and about a couple of times. I still tire ridiculously easily however.
(There you go. It's nowhere near as angry as I was expecting, and it looks neater every day.)
There are some other side effects - my body can't quite figure out balancing saliva levels at the moment. My throat is permanently dry, so I'm drinking water as if it's going out of fashion and that makes the level bounce. I'm constantly alternating between a dry throat and a runny nose. It is already better than it was thought and will only improve.
There was some fairly hefty damage to the nerve controlling my lower lip on my right side. I've seom exercises to do, but at the moment it doesn't really work properly. However, that also will hopefully improve over the first six months (although according to my surgeon full recovery is unlikely). I can live with that!
Luckily, most of the scar will be under my hair anyway so you will be unable to tell, and from a distance the portion that is clearly visible already looks like just a fold in the skin. I really can't fault my surgeon at all, he's done an incredible job.
I'm still mildly surprised by what a shock something like this is to random passers-by though. I threw my hair up to try a dress on in a shop yesterday and the look the changing room assistant gave me suggested I'd brandished the Dark Mark and commanded her subservience. I mean, I haven't done anything to that photo above - that's what it looks like. Surely that's not that offensive to look at is it?
I understand it's something a little unusual and unexpected, but I think some of the horror-struck reactions are far from reasonable. Maybe it's swearing at people when I'm not looking or something.
I could be on my own in this (not that such a concept has ever bothered me over much) but I'm quite resolutely not hiding the changes to my appearance. For the first couple of days out of hospital I was a little shy about smiling and laughing, because that's when you can really tell the right side of my lower lip isn't moving at all, and the muscles and nerve grew tired after only a little talking and so the change was more noticeable.
After this though I shook myself and decided to get on with it - I refuse to be embarrassed about it or feel the need to try and mask it in some way.
We already have an unhealthy relationship with the idea of perfection as a society, but I do think it's a little sad if this idea has grown so unchecked that people can't handle the sight of a scar, or a slightly altered facial expression. Spending a week and a half processing the idea that you have cancer (although thankfully not the case) is a sobering reminder that there are so very many more important things to be concerned with.
So, another photo. This was taken the day my stitches came out and I found out I definitely did not have cancer. I should probably be grinning like a maniac, but I'm taking baby steps with the damaged nerve. Slow and steady wins the race.
It's not a perfect face, but it's mine and I'm quite fond of it.
(Crooked smiles and accompanying new dimples are very this season, I hear *snigger*)
Hoping you all had a lovely Christmas, and wishing everyone a very happy new year (and many spoons!) xxx