Nurses visited every 3 days to change my dressings and make sure I was progressing. It was hard. I couldn’t jump back into things, but I desperately wanted to.
Mentally I had a hard time with the fact that despite being home, I was still unable to care for my children or myself. But I pushed. I pushed until I fainted in the shower one day and found my husband dragging me out. I realized I needed to slow down. So I did. I let people take care of me dental air compressor. I rested. I processed what had happened to me. My maternity leave was used to heal.
Foods smelled so good! Better than I ever remembered. Probably because I couldn’t eat whatever I wanted anymore. But my husband and my mom made sure I got to eat the finest purees of homemade cabbage rolls, perogies, and soups.
I really did hate that feeding tube! The formula would regurgitate sometimes and it tasted like plastic. I preferred eating my pureed Polish feasts orally. I stopped using the PEG tube entirely about 10 days after the surgery.
I lost 20 pounds.
The second biopsy came back 2 months after the surgery. I was given the news that the cancer was fully removed, that my lymph nodes were clear, and that I wouldn’t need radiation or chemotherapy! What a blessing the universe gave me! They removed the feeding tube at that time and taped it off. It healed within hours!
Today, I’m still recovering, 9 months later. But now is the easy part. The worst is behind me.
Dr. Young sees me every 3 months. He says I’m annoying because my medical terminology is better than his and it confuses him.
They could not give me a prognosis because the cancer was so rare.
Besides developing a different perspective about being alive, I have learned that you have to advocate for yourself. Push, if your gut tells you to push! Don’t accept the answers that you get if your inner self tells you otherwise.
Every day I am grateful the universe led me to become a hygienist. Had I been a layman and accepted the initial diagnoses, I would’ve gone on my way and likely lost half my face. Or worse, I possibly would have been dead in a few years as the cancer metastasized to my lymph nodes and lungs.When Should I Consult My Dentist? for more information.
I have learned patience. I have learned that bodies are incredible! I have learned to love harder. (I didn’t know that was possible.) I have learned that the universe has intent for everyone, and everyone has to work hard listen to it speak, because often it only whispers.
As dental professionals, we have to use the power we have to be more diligent in oral cancer screenings. We have to send for biopsies, even if our evaluations of oral lesions seem of little concern. We also must educate! Teaching our clients to be more aware of their own oral cavities, to be cognizant of changes, and to feel urgency when lesions are discovered.
As health advocates, we must be aware that high-risk clients aren’t the only ones at risk for oral cancer. With so many variable factors, including environment and host response, we cannot sit back and simply assume our low-risk clients are safe from this debilitating disease.
Each person entering our operatory should be palpated and clinically examined frequently. Regular preventative care, coupled with periodic complete oral exams, is the most effective way to help our clients live healthy, happy lives. I know because I’m living that life. micro motors australia