We arrived back home from Vanderbilt at 11:30pm. It was a long day. We were very impressed with Dr. Netterville and his associates. The resident came in first and took pictures of me and my tumor, actual pictures! He used a dentists mirror to look down my throat, felt of my lymph nodes, checked my ears, and then the big unexpected surprise…..he ran a camera up my nose and down my throat! Are you holding your nose while reading this? I’m still holding mine when I think about it!!!! He sprayed numbing stuff up my nose first and it wasn’t physically painful at all, just psychologically uncomfortable!!! Stephanie thought it was cool watching it on the screen, Wendell couldn’t watch at first, but was rubbing my leg so hard I thought he was going to shake me to the point the camera was going to pop out my ear!!! The good news is there was no sign of tumor on the back of my tongue (too much internet researching let me know this would not be good), or my throat, or my vocal cords.
Then Dr. Netterville and another Dr. joined him and they all hovered over my mouth like I had ate an alien or something! (That’s when I wanted to tell Stephanie to get behind me and take their picture from my prospective:)
After all their poking, prodding, and my gagging, this is what we found out…
The tumor is large. It has involved my hard and soft palette, which is unusual. It goes to the center of my hard palette. We will not know which cancer it is until surgery. The best out come: Low Grade Adenocarcinoma…The tumor is contained and all cancer can be removed during surgery, no radiation will be needed. The not so good outcome: Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma…The tumor has spikes that spread out, radiation will be needed. Either way, after surgery, I will be left with a big hole going up into my nasal cavity which will make eating difficult. So I have to see a prosthodentist to have an obturator made (a devise kind of like a retainer ) to cover the hole left in my mouth, where the tumor is currently residing, all this, in the hope that I won’t be left blowing spaghetti out my nose :) (another thing Stephanie would think cool!!!) Then I need another CT scan, Dr. Netterville believes the tumor is moving bone. I didn’t ask if this was the reason for my massive head aches lately? I also have to meet with the anesthesiologist. Then surgery will be scheduled. All of this hopefully within the next two weeks. No appointments were scheduled today because it was so late, they will be calling me in the next few days to set things up. Hopefully things will move a little faster now, the future of my bathroom scales depends upon it! You see, for the first time in my life I am eating everything I want, not worrying about the weight gain, because after surgery I will have a feeding tube for at least two weeks, probably longer. I’m thinking unless I can figure out a way to shove a white chocolate Reece’s down the tube I will lose the extra poundage!!!
All humor aside… I still desire your prayers. Although I know this will not be an easy journey I am still trusting God. His grace continues to be sufficient in my life. And for this I rejoice. God is good.