Two days after surgery the swelling inside my mouth started to go down and I was able to feel around a little with my tongue. The tumor was bigger than they first thought, so they had to take more than they had expected in order to get clean margins (area clear of cancer). They took three of my top teeth, the gums and some bone under those teeth, the parts of the hard and soft palette that contained tumor, and some muscle and clip some nerves. I was left with a hole that was bigger than expected so my obturator was too small. They had to add to it, with silicone, I think, and then wire it to my teeth and the roof of my mouth. The wires were a little irritating and it’s a good thing I had not packed my wire cutters for this trip!!! I was able to drink some but I did not eat anything at all during my hospital stay. I guess because of the pain meds I was not hungry.
Some people may have wondered why I didn’t postpone my surgery after my Mom’s passing the day before. We prayed a lot about what to do. I had found this tumor in October, I don’t know how long it had been there, but I didn’t get the diagnosis until January and then was not able to be scheduled for surgery until March 24th. The tumor was growing and there are some types of oral cancer that are very aggressive. We would not know which type this was until we received the pathology report after surgery. If I rescheduled it would be almost another month before they could do it. My Dad and the rest of my family were pretty insistent that I go ahead with the surgery and they would wait until I could be there before having my Mom’s services. My going ahead and having surgery was a decision we made after much prayer, we know it was the Lord’s will. I know it may sound a little selfish, but God was in control of everything that was transpiring and even though I didn’t understand the timing then, I do now!!! God is so good!
I was released from the hospital on Friday, March 27th. I was still taking pain meds every 2 hours, which worked quite well unless I got behind on taking them, then it would take awhile to get the pain back under control.