The Good, The Not So Good, and the Ugly: Next Steps for Treatment
May 10, 2014
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3: 5,6
I know that a lot of people have been waiting for updates since my surgery on Monday. I’ve been honestly trying to work through everything we learned and what it all means for me and I just wasn’t really ready to address it. Then we got close to Friday and that’s my daughter’s birthday. I determined that May 9th would be a cancer free (discussion wise) day for her if I could make that happen at all. So, not wanting to overshadow her special day, I waited for this update. It also gave me some time to settle my heart before dealing with all of the questions. But now we have little time for me to delay. I need to let everyone know what’s happening.
On Monday, my surgeon did several procedures involving my throat, larnyx, vocal chords and esophagus. Because no one can figure out where this cancer came from, he was concerned that it might have started deeper in my throat and come up into my mouth. I’m very thankful to announce that everything was clear in that region. This is a huge blessing because it would have significantly changed treatments and approach. Cancer in the throat and deeper makes a big difference in how it’s handled. So yay! No concerns in that area.
The Not So Good: It looks as if we’re going to need to do the previously mentioned surgery. On Wednesday May 14th, a good portion of my tongue is set to be removed along with the tissue under it. We will have a plastic surgeon do some level of rebuilding and that should result in me eventually being able to eat and talk again – though it will be a longer haul than we’d hoped.
This surgery is going to require a lot from me. More than I’d wanted/hoped. I’ve been told it’s 10 days in the hospital (five of those in ICU), a tracheotomy, and at least one other surgery to repair the damage that will come from the transplanted area for rebuilding my mouth. They plan to use the inside of my wrist and take an artery from there that will get ‘plugged in’ to an arterial area in my mouth. This will leave an open area on my wrist for about two months. (Yeah – not real happy about that one.) They’ll cover it with some sort of shark/pig plasma something or other and leave it there for that duration. And then after two months, I’ll undergo another surgery which will involve a skin graft from my leg to fix my wrist.
The surgeon is a good man. I really appreciate his care and I know that he wants the very best for me. He’s not there to just cut. I told him in our appointment that I was praying for a miracle and my hope is that when he gets into the operating room, he finds that the cancer is gone and everything’s whole and he doesn’t need to do a thing. After all, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever – and He healed people with a touch and in some cases, a word. So I know that He can do this. But I also said that I’m not sure what God wants my testimony to be after this. If it’s the miracle (Hey there’s no cancer here to operate on!) I’ll be overjoyed. But if it’s a woman who discovers she has cancer and overcomes obstacles to come out on the other side, I have to accept that too. (Admittedly, not wanting that outcome – but understanding it.)
I will say that I’m a little freaked by this. I wish they’d just knock me out, let me heal and then wake me up when it’s all over. I mean I’d happily give them that couple of weeks! Sooo much easier, don’t you think?
I do have some friends who are working on putting together a list for help, meals, offers, etc. I am so thankful for that. I also have some friends who will keep people updated via my Facebook. For those who aren’t friends of mine on my personal FB page, I’m going to have a friend update my public page as well. That can be found right here and all you have to do is click ‘like’ to keep up on it.
I appreciate the prayers and continued support. In the dark night when things are quiet, I’m struggling to keep my mind out of the bad places – and your notes and letters and emails are helping with that. I love all of you and appreciate you more than you know.