Sunday, February 17, 2008

First Tonsil Cancer Surgery

All I could think of was Ohhhh, ! Now I realize that this is not the Christian thing to think. Nor is it proper to put into print. What you need to understand is the frame of mind. It is different and anxiety can bring out a lot of things that normally would not be indicative of your normal thinking. That is exactly what I thought though. As I was removing my clothing in preparation, I dern near chickened out! But...I " Manned Up" and donned the gown of shame and embarrassment. The nurse seem to read the situation well. She asked if I needed something to calm my nerves. My reply was short, quick and to the point. YES!! Thank God for valium. It makes you feel very mellow! Pretty euphoric I must say. You just do not care about much. So I went into surgery for my first time. I remember thinking that the lights were BIG, the table was small and the tools on the other side of the room looked scary! So I closed my eyes and they stayed that way. The less I know and see the better it is for me.

I used to be an EMT. I would do CPR on people whom were lying there dead. I would scrape people off the street who were badly hurt and in need of surgery or they would breathe thier last breath right under my nose. Something we would term as " The last Sigh". But that was them. This was me this time. Tis a different story now. Percentages are no longer an issue. When It is you, it is no longer 70-30. It is 100%!!!! Starting to understand the frame of mind yet?

I was deeply scared. But even this I found, would be nothing to what I was about to experience in the very near future. All in all, the surgery went fine. I woke up what seemed to be a few minutes later and had a mouth that felt like the Mohave Desert. I was denied drink but finally offered ice chips which can seem like a real treat. I later found that they removed one tonsil and the biopsy revealed cancer. Recovery was a BEAR! They removed the tonsil and what is called a reasonable margin. Means what ever they feel is necessary to try to get all the cancer in that area. Recovery was long and hard. They older you are the harder it is to get over a cold much less the pain from a tonsillectomy. But after the third week I was better.

I had Squamous Cell Carcinoma. A common cancer for the oral region. It was in my tonsil and in a portion of my tounge. I was now being referred to another ENT who specializes in Oral Cancer. I thought ok, Surgery it is not that bad. I have after all, one under my belt now. Little did I know what was entailed in this surgery. The options to surgery seemed bleak!