Friday, March 28, 2008

Gaining Hope Cautiously

Wednesday was a good day at the cancer center. I had seven appointments and they were generally on time. I was there for 8 hours. About half that time was spent with my doctors or their professional assistants. All the news was good. It’s been a little over 5 months since my last operation where my surgeon removed two cancerous tumors from the left side of my face. That makes it officially five months with no evidence of disease (NED). In another week, it will be the longest period or NED since my initial diagnosis almost 3 years ago. I actually know all the exact dates, but will spare you those details. I read a book yesterday that said remission begins at 2 years and one is considered cured if they remain in remission at the 5 year point. For me right now, I’ll take it one day at a time.

My biggest worry going into Wednesday was an irritation in the upper back part of my throat. It was in the exact area where surgery was performed to remove cancer cells/tissue from my soft pallet two years ago. I was hoping the irritation was caused by my new mouth device and not by something more sinister… like a cancer recurrence. Once people have cancer, worrying about recurrence is commonplace. Once people have a recurrence, they worry even more. It’s a vicious cycle. Having had 4 recurrences in the past 2.5 years gives me rational reason to be worried. It’s a longer story, but I’ll cut to the chase. I showed my dental oncologist the spot of irritation. He’s the one who designed my month device. He said he could see it right away and strongly believed it was the device that was causing the irritation. He took the device and refined it a bit. I slipped it back in my month and almost immediately all the friction irritation was gone. Just like magic. The spot itself is still sore, but I’m now thinking it is not sometime sinister and it will heal over the next week or two. It was a huge relief and I’ll sleep better because of this knowledge. Once again my thanks go out to all of those at my cancer center who saw me on Wednesday and all those other professionals who have helped me over the past few years.

I hope you all are well. Take care.

1 comment:

John said...

Ed,

That is really great news. I am so happy for you. I wish you the very best.

Take Care,
John