You’ve been told your chance of recurrence is very low. They really did get all of it. Yes, you’re definitely cancer free. For just 4 months. And then it’s back.
I was at one of my normal visits to the oncologist and he felt a lump in my neck. The same side as last time. He examined my mouth but found nothing. Off he sent me to my surgeon for a biopsy. Four days later…cancer again. Well, fuck.
I meet with my team of doctors to this week to talk about surgery and treatment options. They’re going to be referring me to a team at a local university who is doing work on second rounds of radiation for head and neck cancer patients-evidently it’s extremely risky to do radiation again in the same area and they’ve found a way to reduce the risk. On top of re-radiation I’ll be having chemotherapy.
I’ll be completely honest here: I was sobbing when my oncologist called me. I fell apart. I felt like I was going to die in that exact moment. But I’ve had a week now to process and try to find the positives:
- Radiation will not be on my tongue this time. Eating will be possible!
- Many people have told me when their hair grew back after chemo their hair was curler than before (mine has gotten more wavy than curly over time and I miss the curls)
- Lots of awesome binge-worthy shows are coming out right around my surgery. I’ll be home with plenty of time to watch.
- I’ll have more time to finish knitting the blanket I started last time.
- My cats and dog will be with me all day again.
- I have mastered knitting hats. I will need many!
- It’s almost summer and I won’t need to shave at all.
I did it once and I know I can do it again. It’ll suck just like last time, but I’ll do it.