Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The cancer diaries: The Darth Vader phase

I'm getting hospital withdrawal today.
Every day for a week now, I've been schlepping myself down the road to visit the multi-tubal Jennette who has gone to Hell and has come out the other side, the result of her oral cancer surgery.
But today, I'm snowed in, so I can only reach her by text.
"They plugged up my trach," she told me. "Now I sound like Darth Vader."
Yesterday, was the first day she could talk at all and it was a bit difficult to understand her. She's having to get used to a mouth that must feel like a gigantic pot of Play Do. She also lost seven teeth and part of her gum, so that's got to be hard to negotiate.
Her tongue doesn't know what to do with itself.
But she's a determined little lady, and she's working hard on learning to talk again, while motoring around her room on her trusted cane.
I'm really amazed how fast the healing process is.
The human body is wondrous in its determination to right itself after utter and complete surgical violation. Seeing Jennette, who was fragile and terrified before the operation, zooming around, bossing around the nurses, would give hope to patients who are on the cusp of surgery.
She looks great to me, as if she's had her wisdom teeth out. She has stitches around her jaw and up to her mouth -- you can't even imagine what the surgeons were doing after peeling her like a grapefruit -- but they've done a tremendous job sewing her up. Her face is completely clean, devoid of scars, so I think she'll be pleased as she moves along her life's journey.
It will be scarf weather for a while, regardless of the temperature.

She's determined not to smoke again, and I believe her.
It was unfortunate it took surgeons taking a backhoe to her mouth to get her to realize that smoking was gonna kill her. The surgeons stopped that.
It was a pretty horrible lesson for anyone.
Anyway, I'm grateful for a day to catch up on my work emails, and play with the dogs.
It's a beautiful day to be healthy and alive.
Let it snow.

I'm in the mood for a little Adele!

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