My cancer story… Part I

So I haven’t really written about my cancer before, and its not cause I am ashamed or scared – I am actually really open about it in real life. When people ask about my scars or why I sound a certain way when I talk I tell them. But there is something about writing it that kinda makes it more real.

When I was twenty eight I was diagnosed with tongue cancer – the weird thing is that I knew it would happen. I knew even before I went to my first dentist appointment for a check up that it was not a normal sore on my tongue, even if it looked normal to everyone else. I was at a point in my life when I was starting to change my life – I had walked away from bad friends, let the guy I was in love with finally go. I was lonely, my depression was starting to get out of control and the icing in the cake was going to that first dentist appointment. The dentist came into the room, saw it and  did not even try to hide it – he said “we need to get a biopsy but prepare yourself for bad news”

Three weeks later I was sitting at another dentist office while he told me about the surgery that would change my life. On that day I was supposed to drive to New York City to pick up my brother and spend the weekend with him. I was devastated as my cousin and I picked him up – and as I told him on the back of the car about the surgery I could see it in his eyes that he did not believe for one minute what I was saying – truth be told neither did I.

I was to have a hemiglossectomy (If you are brave you can look at  videos and all kinds of stuff  online). This means I was to have half of my tongue removed and an implant put on its place. This implant was to come from either my chin, or my arm. If it came from my arm that means skin would also be removed from my leg to cover the spot in my arm – so like three surgeries in one. the hemiglossectomy itself would be like fifteen hours if any of the other scenarios happened then up to 20 hours if lucky.

I remember talking to my brother about the best way to tell my mom in Costa Rica and that kinda fell on him. I remember getting her call, she sounded so well put together and she was ready to come up with a plan. She explained how she could only come for sometime to stay with me but my baby sister who just happened to be taking a semester off from school could come and stay with me and help me with whatever I needed… Two weeks later I had my surgery.

My brother and I right before he left to Costa Rica to tell my mom


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