When cancer comes back…

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. 


2 thoughts on “When cancer comes back…

  1. I really hate to hear that! 😦 I will be sending good vibes your way. I love your list of positives, though – and please add one more to your list, you’ll have more time to work on your blog! Please keep us posted on your treatments and recovery.


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