Everyone Should Read This Woman’s Love Letter To Her Vagina
Ever since the beginning, you’ve been there for me through thick and thin.
At first I was afraid of you. I was told you were not something I should play with or touch. As a teenager, I grew braver and began to know you more and, dare I say, became very fond of you and the time we spent together. Our exploratory moments together allowed me to know you on much deeper levels.
You treated me well, even after I traumatized you and pushed a human life from you at a young age, resulting in inner tears. I’ve always wondered are you upset that you never returned to your original form? I did make attempts by way of endless Kegel exercises, although I would often forget to continue mid-Kegel. I persisted anyway. Life went on, and we continued to be friends. Those were good days.
Things sailed along smoothly until I completely ignored you while going through a very traumatic breakup. I let you down; I would even go so far as to say that I neglected you. I went on hiatus for six years, and as a result, you came along for the ride. While I had a few flings, I chose complete celibacy for three and a half years. I was quite content to be single and do the healing work around why I seemed to always attract the frogs, not the princes.
Fast-forward to my early 40s. My specialist told me that I have VIN 3 (the last stage before vulvar cancer) and he would have to perform a wide local excision to remove part of my labia. Yes, I was freaked out but had complete trust in him. That first surgery was in October of 2016, and a couple of weeks later, I left for hot and sunny Arizona. The surgery became a distant memory.
In June of 2017, I saw my surgeon for a follow-up and was told that more surgery was needed. As I faced a life filled with cancer, I became more fearful. I started to research VIN3 as a way of helping myself understand what I was really up against. It stands for vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, meaning that the abnormal cells (pre-cancerous skin lesion/s) are found on the surface layers of the vulvar skin. If left untreated, and the abnormal cells break through the membrane into the deeper tissue, it is then classified as cancer.
As I researched further, the statistics I found terrified me. According to the Canadian Cancer Organization, as of 2013, 955 Canadian women were diagnosed with other and unspecified female genital organ cancers, and 280 Canadian women died from these! In the United States, stats found on the American Cancer Society siteshowed that as of 2017, vulvar cancer accounts for 4 percent of cancers of the female reproductive area and 0.6 percent of all cancers in women. I learned that out of 6,020 diagnosed cancers of the vulva, 1,150 of these women will die.