I’m Kay, 33 years old and mother of two wonderful boys (16 and 8). My journey with VIN is a long one that I am still travelling.
It began when I was 27. I had been going to see my family GP for about two years with a terrible itch, month after month I was sent away with cream for thrush.
In February of 2001 the itch became so bad I again went and begged for him to do something. He finally decided to take a look. Upon examination he said he noticed a white film developing over my vulva, but told me not to worry as it was probably nothing as I am so young. With this he said for me to attend a GU clinic and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases when I wished and gave no indication of the importance of it.
So me being me, left it until April, and then only went as I could no longer cope with the itching. The doctor took one look and ordered a biopsy ASAP, now I was worried, I had three quite large white rough areas, one at the entrance to the vagina and two either side of clitoris. I had the biopsy done (very painful) on one area and it came back as VIN II. I was then referred to a specialist who decided that I needed to have the areas removed.
Due to the results I had a partial vulvectomy in Aug 2001.This involved the removal of one inner labia and the area at the entrance of the vagina. Initially the gyn wanted to remove the area around the clitoris but after much debate agreed with me and left it. The surgery went very well, all areas removed as well as the margins.. although very painful. I returned to the hospital the following week to get my results and to have my stitches removed. The areas removed during surgery came back as VIN III.
In February 2002 I was back in hospital having my other inner labia removed, part of my right outer labia and another area from the entrance. Again I was unsuccessful in getting clear margins and the results showed VIN II. Recovery was slow, the difficult part was the emotional side of the recovery, physically the wounds have healed well. I remained on 3 monthly watch with the hospital.
In Ocotober 2002 I was again in hospital, the VIN was still around the clitoris area and had returned to the entrance, I had also had abnormal smears. It was agree that to to pervent it spreading to the cervix I would need a hysterectomy, that was done on 24th October and whilst I was in the theatre further areas from the vulva were removed. People often ask how I coped with the knowledge that I could no longer have children, I was fortunate that I had my boys and I would rather live to see them grown up than risk cervical cancer.
The results showed the areas removed were again VIN III and no clear margins. It was decided we would watch the areas for any further changes before putting myself through more surgery. I had 18 months surgery free, although the itch remained. Since that date I have had a further three surgeries to remove the VIN III , but it keeps coming back and each time we have been unsuccessful in getting clear margins my last surgery was December 2006. This I would say was the worst one yet, I had areas removed from around the clitoris and a large area removed from the entrance to the vagina.
Post op I was quite poorly and had complications in healing, thankfully 6 weeks later I was back at work and smiling as I always do. I do regular self exams and it was during on of these in February this year that I discovered a small white lump, I called my specialists and she saw me later that week. The VIN III has now moved inside my vagina. Due to the complications from the last surgery it was decided to watch it and see what happens. I am due to return to the hospital in April and depending on what the VIN is doing will determine what steps we take next.
VIN is scary condition, you never know what it is going to do or what grade it is at, I prepare myself each time to be told that it has gone invasive. It feels that the past 6 years have been one rollercoaster ride that I just cant seem to get off, up and down, up and down.
When I am up its great but when I am down its very lonely.
VIN attacks the most intimate part of a women and the surgery that is used to treat and test it can be and is emotionally damaging. People often ask how I cope, simple – I am too young to give in to it, I have a life to live.
All of our Experiences are Copyright to VACO, and remain the sole property of the writer. Please do not use any of our experiences or reproduce them in any way without prior permission of the owner. Please contact email@example.com if you have any interests in our experiences.