I wish I could say that the last few weeks had been a blur, that time is just flying by. But that would be a bald-faced lie. My days are long and pretty tedious, but they were tolerable, as long as my tongue was shrinking and I was making progress toward recovery, I could handle it. And I was making progress. It was slow, but it was there. And then, like someone grabbing the needle and scratching it across a record, it all came to a grinding, deafening halt.
About two weeks ago, my tongue started to swell again. I didn't think much about it, it always swelled a little bit in the evening, the result of too much talking, I thought. It was an annoying fact of my life, but it generally went back down in the morning. And then it didn't. It stayed swollen and grew more and more until I was back to having this huge, unwieldy, uncomfortable piece of meat hanging out of my mouth. And the pain that had moved away, came creeping back in, slowly at first, then ever increasing, until some moments, I felt like, feel like, a freight train is roaring through my jaw, my neck, my ear. I was so excited to be off the pain meds during the day, I was beginning to feel like me again. Once again, with the swelling and the pain, I feel somewhat like an imposter in my life, hanging out at the edges, not really taking part.
My surgeon is not happy with this turn of events. So, back to the drawing table we go, or in this case, the operating room. My surgical team will reunite this Thursday to debulk my tongue. They will go in and take out some of the excess tissue that is in there (ah yes, even my tongue is chunky. I have been told that because of my extra "padding", when they did the flap, the layer of fat was thicker than expected and they could only shave off so much without risking the integrity of the flap.) He has assured me that this is relatively minor compared to what I have already been through (My brother's response to that claim? Only an organ transplant wouldn't be minor compared to what I have already been through!) and that it might even be outpatient or at most one night in the hospital. I don't kid myself into believing that it would actually be outpatient, but hopefully I will manage to break out after only one night. We all know how much I loved being in the hospital last time!
Spitballs! I am feeling frustrated and discouraged and more than a little nervous. I am ready for something to go right in this process, to be easy. I guess that is my lesson...there is no easy when it comes to cancer. Expect the worst and you won't be disappointed, isn't that how the saying goes? It goes against my nature to think like that though, so I have to just keep putting my faith in the process. This surgery has to work, my tongue will get smaller, I will be able to move on to the next set of challenges.
My one sparkle for today...I have been walking in the mornings after I do my first feeding and before it gets too hot (you know, because it is still winter and all!) We have been in this house almost a year, but I am still exploring the neighborhood. Today I walked a street I have only driven down before. Driving, I wasn't able to appreciate the work that has been put in to many of these homes, to see the love and care in the landscaping. That is one of the gifts cancer has given me...I have been forced to slow down, to look around and appreciate my surroundings, to smell the flowers and count the lizards darting across the sidewalk.
Love to you all,