My tongue cancer is back. After being told by two different doctors that the thing on my tongue could not possibly be cancer, so there was no need for a biopsy, after four months of pain during talking, eating, swallowing, I finally see an ear-nose-throat (ENT) doctor who tells me it is cancer. And it's had all these months of pain to grow and spread. I've been referred to UNM Hospital, where tomorrow I'll learn the next step. Most likely a bunch of tests, then surgery, then some sort of follow-up treatment. And learn soon how much more of my tongue will be cut off. Last time I could speak clearly although with an impediment. This time, who knows? Talking, tasting, maybe eating or swallowing altogether might be gone.
Everyone thinks I'm so brave because I'm not a quivering mass of tears. At least, not on the outside. On the inside it's a different story as all the possible futures play out in my head, most of them short and painful. But you go on. What else are you going to do?