Done with the vulvectomy. Drs. G made fun of IL for obsessing over improving the cosmetic appearance when we were done. After all, they took out a chunk of skin from the base of the vagina to the top of the rectum, and about half the left labius. What can you do with what's left? She took a bit more labius, to get rid of the ratty edges, and tacked it down and patched it all together. And it looks kind of puckery, but it resembles what it's supposed to. I sympathised. She said I was getting a good grade just for that. We laughed.
These last few days with IL have been much much better. She even told MP, whom I have to meet at 0500 tomorrow morning to do rounds, that I wrote excellent notes and would be a huge help in the morning. That's encouraging. Very much so.
However, it is not encouraging enough to make me hope that she will send me home, just because it is 1715 and I have to be back here in 12 hours. In fact, I'm sitting in the residents' library, waiting for her to page me - she will page me when the OR pages her when our last patient of the day is ready to go.
Please note, O Best Beloved, that our last patient of the day was supposed to go at 1515, and the surgery is scheduled to last 3 hours. I thought 1815 was going to be a long day. I was even going to go work out this evening before picking up DaVinci's Notebook tickets. Never mind that.
This delay was caused by anaesthesia this morning; our 11:00 case didn't begin until 12:30. I have been largely useless all day, except for holding retractors until my hands cramped up and the scrub nurse had to take over because I couldn't keep them in place any longer. That was during this most recent surgery.
I don't have much cheering to say today; Gyn-Onc is not a place to find good stories. Our vulvectomy patient (chemo reduced her VIN from 6x4 cm to 1x1, and we took that out) is probably as good as it gets. She's probably cured.
Angel surprised me with news that he's once again forgotten to turn in his time cards for 3 months, so a mystically large sum of money will shortly fall into our laps. It will pay for Christmas, and maybe a touch of the credit cards. I will be glad when my student loans come in. They offer a flat 5% interest rate and it's all deferred through my residency. I like that.
There will be Dr. G-junior, Dr. M, and IL, as well as a scrub nurse and myself. I'm going to be stuck leaning on the leg. At least this time it won't be a logistical nightmare. The bilateral groin node dissection this afternoon was a double-scrub surgery. That means that there are two complete setups - two suction tubings, two Bovie cauteries, two Mayo stands full of instruments, two tables, two scrub techs, and two doctors working at the same time. Oh, and IL and myself. Somehow they didn't get that message, so there was only one of everything. Dr. G-junior refused to do the surgery until they had at least another scrub tech. Eventually we got a second Bovie, and we made do, but it was most impressive. At least the doctors didn't lose their tempers; they just bore it.
I wanted to write a more personal note, and then I considered the statement. It seems that everything I put in this journal is personal, O Best Beloved; my stories are so much the defining part of who I am. My English professors never believed that my first drafts were unedited works; my words come out naturally in story format. And when I choose to edit, the quality varies so wildly.
I wanted to say one thing, though:
To Angel: I could not have asked for a person more suited to me, more able to balance my wildly erratic moods, buoy my depths and share my joys. I could not have written someone more perfect for me, nor would I have thought it possible to create a real person who has your depth of compassion and understanding. You're wonderful, and I love you.
And my pager's gone off. Back to the OR for another 3 hours. Wish me luck, O Best Beloved.