The day of the operation arrived. I recall the Registrar (a youngish-looking woman in her mid-thirties) coming to see me at my bedside to get me to sign consent forms. She told me she was going to be the one to do my operation, although the consultant would be in the adjoining theatre, if there were any problems, and she would try to do a bikini-line cut (going from left to right) rather than one going from north to south, although much depended on the location of said mass and its size.
The rest of that day was a blur. Obviously I was out of it for much of the time and only had snatches of consciousness back in the ward afterwards, as nurses came and poked and prodded or moistened my mouth or took my blood pressure.
The day after that the consultant visited my bedside. He was able to tell me that the mass removed by his Registrar measured 8 inches by 6 inches, roughly the size of a rugby ball, as if I needed to visualise it, but was thankfully a benign fibroid, as he had hoped it would be. He said he had never seen one so big in all his forty years of medicine. Trust me to produce a whopper!
Once I was over the worst Greg then broke the news to Kay about her granddad, as we had been anxious not to alarm her until I was up and running. Over the next week in hospital, I gradually went from horizontal to vertical taking a few faltering steps along the ward until by the end of the week I was able to move with more speed. Greg had already collected my mum, so she was living at home with us and stayed for a couple of weeks, seeing me back home again, before she returned to her home to prepare for the last-minute funeral arrangements. Three weeks after my operation, Greg drove us to my mother's house 60 miles away to be there for Dad's funeral, with a pillow stuffed between my healing scar and the seat belt! And the rest, as they say, is history.
All that was 12 years ago. The Registrar made a grand job of the scar, doing a left to right bikini line cut in a natural crease of skin. You cannot even see it now. The red line eventually went white and has now completely faded. However, the scar etched on my brain is still very much there.