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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tongue Cancer Awareness....

  It's Follow Friday 40 and Over at Never Growing Old. Come and join along.

    I'm using this post today to hopefully get more people to read this.

(This is long, but please read. It could save your life or someone you love.)

Those of you that knew me before blogging came into my world, know that in March 2008 I found out that I had tongue cancer.
 I had some crusty places on my tongue that my dentist, and my oral surgeon were very concerned about. They sent me on to some maxilliofacial doctors - Ghali/Kim.
 After the first 3 biopsies within about a 3 year span, they just told me to watch it, and come back if I suspected anything, but to come once a year for checkups if I felt I needed to.
 Those places started getting sore so I figured it was time to return to the doctor. Good thing I did, because this time they were malignant - squarmous cell carcinoma.
 Anyone who had had any kind of cancer diagnosis knows the feeling. I will never forget the look on my son, daughter, and husband's face when I woke up, and asked if everything was ok. Utter despair! but lots of reassurance that all would be fine. Well, no one except God above knows that for sure!

 In May 2008, I had very major surgery. You can read about it in my Archives (just scroll down the page) if you wish.

 That's why my daughter started this blog.  It was traumatic, painful, and overwhelming, but in the end, I had a good outcome. There was no cancer in the lymph nodes, and I didn't have to take chemo/radiation. Thank you God!  (Short version: Dr. cut out the cancerous tongue, took the main vein in my left arm to use for my tongue's blood flow, took a piece of muscle from my forearm to repair my tongue, took skin from under my arm to repair my forearm. Basically cut from my left ear down and back up to my throat. 12 hr. surgery)

  Of course they explained all of this to me during my post-op appointment - but hello! Do you think I really understood what was going to happen? and neither did my family. I think in some ways it was harder on them than me - at least for the first few days because I was in ICU unconscious.

  The miracle part is - on the 8th day I was talking! Amazing to say the least. As horrible as it sounds, the inside of my mouth gave me the least amout of pain and discomfort.

  Now my message is this. So many people do not realize how common mouth/tongue cancer is, and people don't get these things checked as they should. I was in the 4% to even get this as I had never smoked. Smokers are in a very high % to get mouth/tongue cancers. One reason mine was so successful is that it was all confined to the tongue area, and they were able to remove it. Yes, I have regular checkups. I have wonderful doctors. They know me personally if I see them on the street. That's how often I've been there. They are like my family.

  Just last week I went to the funeral of the sister of a friend. She died from tongue/mouth cancer. She was only diagnosed/operated on a little over a year ago. Hers was already in Stage 4. She had a lot of complications after the surgery. It was so sad. She was only 55 years old.

  Dr. Ghali was at the visitation as she was also his patient. The first thing he said to me was, "When do I see you again?" I will be there in September!

 I have met two other bloggers whose lives have been affected by this cancer. I will post their links for you to read and meet them.
 SIMPLY DEBBIE - she lost her precious daughter to tongue cancer.
 WHEN I'M NOT WORKING - Peg's husband is a tongue cancer survivor.

  Thanks to blogging and social networks maybe we can spread more information about tongue cancer.
  Feel free to post a link to this. It is very important to me to inform people about tongue cancer.

8 comments:

Cortney Lyon said...

Thank you! You posted this and I opened it at just the right time. I am a smoker...well non-smoker now (15 days today) but I am still having cravings. Well, I was in the middle of a pretty major caving when I opened this post and read it and it reminded me of one of the many reasons why I am quitting. So thank you, for sharing your story.

XOXO
Cortney

Rettabug said...

What an important & timely post, Shirley! I'm so sorry to hear of the passing of your friend's sister. 55 is waaaay too young to die!

My DH has a squarmous cell carcinoma removed from his lower lip several years ago. Thankfully, he's had no reoccurrence...PTL.

Courtney's post above gave me chills! The Lord does work in mysterious ways!!!

jen said...

Visiting from over 40 bloggers. I'm always glad when I find blogs like yours--real people with real issues, not these glossy superbloggers. Thanks for a timely post, and I'll be back. I'm following now.
Come on over for a visit--
bjdentonfamily.blogspot.com

Weezer said...

What a wonderful message. I don't think I've ever heard of or known of anyone personally who experienced cancer of this type. I do know it exists. I'm an ex-smoker of 9 months now and your post told me that I made the right decision ... no matter how much I enjoyed it then.
I'll help you get the word out. I'm visiting from Follow Friday and will be following now.
Come visit.
Weezer
at
http://weezershaven.blogspot.com

BLOGitse said...

Thanks for sharing!
I had breast cancer...

Follow Friday 40 and over greetings from Casablanca, Morocco...

SurvivorDiane said...

Glad you stopped by my blog. More importantly, glad you are a Survivor. And also I see we are neighbors - I'm in the southwestern corner of MS tucked between two Louisiana towns.

Donna @ The House on the Corner said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I honestly had never heard about tongue cancer ~ although it does make sense that you could get cancer in any part of your body - I didn't realize it was so common. Hopefully this is information I will never have to apply to my life, but thank goodness, I know now what to watch for.

Rosie said...

Nice article about "Tongue Cancer", I appreciate for putting this together! "This is obviously one great post. Carcinoma tongue or malignant tumor of the tongue presents several symptoms and clinical features. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here. Keep it up!"