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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Oh cancer, my cancer

Cancer. I have cancer. Why doesn't it seem real? I should be frightened. I should be angry - I have no risk factors for this cancer I now have had twice. Maybe I'm in limbo until I know the prognosis and what they're going to have to do to me this time. I know I'll lose more of my tongue. Will I still be able to talk? Eat? Has it spread farther? Has it metastasized? Will I lose part of my face, my jaw? What if it gets into my brain? Instead I'm just going on with my life until I face the doctor. Until they run the tests. How am I supposed to react here?

Terror, first. All Sunday morning I've been fighting back tears. Anger, second. At the two doctors who looked at it, told me it couldn't be cancer, and wouldn't do a biopsy. The first was in the fall. So it's had nearly six months to grow.

Best-case scenario, I lose another chunk of my tongue and have to do more radiation and/or chemo, but can still talk and swallow afterwards. Or I'm left without much tongue and can't speak clearly enough for anyone to understand, and have to be fed in a tube into my stomach. Or it's spread, and besides my tongue I lose the right side of my lower jaw and maybe more teeth and part of my face.
Worst case, it's metastasized and I'm terminal.

Monday I call the doctor's office to find out when my appointment with the oral surgeon is. After tests I'll have my prognosis and know which nightmare will come true.

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