More curve balls


Coming up to my wedding in 2008 I had noticed a lesion in my mouth that hadn't gone away. I had it biopsied a few weeks before my wedding but asked them not to tell me the results until I returned from my honeymoon. I could tell from the doctor's grim expression that it wasn't looking good but I at least wanted to get married and let the happiest day of my life be just that. 

As I am not a heavy drinker or smoker the doctors feel it was a mixture of bad luck and an unfortunate side effect of all the chemo and radiation I had in the past. 

The doctors in London's Eastman Hospital were extremely good (especially Dr Tim Hodgson who was exceptionally caring) and my work were very kind and accommodating when I broke the news. I managed to avoid chemo and radiation and instead had surgery to remove the tumour. From 2008 to 2012 I would have 6 (I think, I lost count) biopsies and surgeries of the site as the bugger kept resurfacing. 

In 2012 I quit London, moved to California, and gave up alcohol, even though I was only an occasional social drinker. We're here 2 and half years and no more mouth surgeries, yay!

I have spent a lot of time in 'Head & Neck' waiting rooms in hospitals. When the person to the left of you has no nose, jaw or ear, the person to the right of you has a lump on their neck the size of a baseball and the person across from you has their face stapled together starting at the hairline and zig-zagging across their face ending at their chin, you know to count your blessings. When the person with the stapled face tried to smile at me, I was close to tears. Smile as much as you can in life, even when it's really hard to summon the courage, because some people physically can't but nothing will stop them from trying.  

It wasn't my first brush with cancer (for more on that read here) and it wouldn't be my last (story here) but I'm in remission now and think (hope) that my dances with the devil are behind me. Never give up hope people, without hope, life is a lot harder.    

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