People do this Voluntarily I ask

I can’t imagine why anyone would want to have their teeth removed voluntarily.

I can understand that you need to have Maxillofacial Doctors to help repair your jaw / mouth etc if you happen to go through some form of trauama.  But this is not something you should be able to choose to do.

I regret being talked into it by the various experts.

I’ve feel like I’ve been in a very traumatic accident.  Almost beaten to death.  My body is trying to repair itself.  My mouth is trying to heel.  But most of all this hurt my mojo.

I am on the mend.  A few more days of bruises.



Lost my Mojo

Day 2 after my mouth surgery

Am in no pain but feel very uncomfortable still.  Face still very swollen and bruised. BUTCHERS!

Should have gone to work today – but I work in a very dusty environment and am worried about infection, so decided to stay home.  That and the fact that my bed was so comforting this morning.  Couldn’t find the will power to get up.  This is not me.

I did some paperwork.  Half-heartedly.  More shuffling and putting things aside for others to do.  I want to work / have to work.  But can’t find the mojo to actually deal with anything.

Trying to move apartments too – desperatly want to move but again have not got the inclination to actually do anything.  That and the fact that there are things I can’t do myself.  Curtain rails to hang and the like.

This is just temporary.  I know it.  Tomorrow will be better.  Perhaps I need to stop the pain meds.  Never a big fan of them and they are probably whats bringing me down.

Called my daughter-in-law,  shes coming to take me out for awhile.  Perhaps a light lunch – a soup perhaps!


Worse than Childbirth

I had the best intentions of sitting in my hospital bed yesterday morning posting a little more but as I was a”special” case patient, they rushed me through to surgery as soon as I’d finished filling in various documents at the hospital.

Yesterday was truly the worst day in my life.  I was at my lowest when I woke up from surgery.  It was worse than Childbirth.

Not that I have much experience with childbirth.  I had 4 children but only the first was via the natural cannal.  I was not shy to use pain meds either but with an epesiotomy, I found myself in pain and unable to sit for 6 weeks.  It made me wise enough to elect to have a caesar for my last 3 children.  I love sex far too much to be weary of my nether regions.

So what happened yesterday……

I had 13 of my back teeth extracted and 6 implants put in their place.  I have 7 less teeth as apparently you dont need them all.

Feel free to read up on some of the Oral complications during radiation here.

Just before surgery I lay on the theatre bed while they were prepping me for my drip.  I looked up at the lights.  And all I wanted to do was run.  I wanted it all to stop.  I didnt want any of this to happen.

I am no stranger to surgery having at least 8 previous surgeries, the last being the removal of the 3 lumps in my neck in August this year.

The procedure was long and I woke up feeling very uncofortable.  My mouth, chin, face is swollen.  In fact my left side of my face was virtually resting on my shoulder.  I looked worse that the main picture on this blog.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to be in a car accident and have to have major surgery to ones face but I can now take a best guess.

I felt truly ugly. Like a botox session gone seriously wrong.

They placed lunch before me – a small bowl of icecream and yoghurt.  Yummy!  I was starving.  But have you tried eating without any muscle movement in your lips or mouth.  It is impossible. Then a coke to drink through a straw.  But the concept of using a straw requires being able to create a vacuum in your mouth to slurp it up with.  I couldnt even nearly close my lips.  All I could achieve was drool mixed with icecream, blood and coke.

I was duly released and my partner took me to the Prosthedontists to fit my new teeth for the implants.  They were not ready yet so I had to wait and hour in the reception area.  I found myelf snoring away within minutes and I’m sure my partner took a sneeky video of me snoring – just one for the records haha.

They duly fitted my new teeth.  A few adjustments meant waiting some more and the relevant doctor and assistants stayed well into the evening to complete the process.

I was then briefed about dental care and told that the teeth are only temporary.  The real ones would only be fitted about 6-9 months after I am cleared of this dreadful disease.

They kindly gave me a face mask to wear to hide the hideous me behind the mask.mask

Shit they forgot to mention prior to the procedure was that I cannot chew for 3 months.  Solid foods are extrmely limited as the only foods I am allowed is something I can mush up againt my palette.  I am not allowed to use my teeth during the healing process especially seeing as though the radiation combats the healing process.

Feeling a bit better today.  My face at least looks like a face.  Bright blue purple bruise on my left hand side.  Still no feeling in my lips and unable to use my mouth, but at least by lunchtime I was able to use my top lip to scoop some yoghurt into my mouth with – so there is some hope.

Been taking my pain meds religiously and taking it one step at a time.

I’d love to be able to say the worst is over, but then I havent event started my treatment yet.  21 Days to go. Its going to be a long few months.



Prosthodintics et al

I am going in to surgery tomorrow to remove 13 of my teeth.  And having them replaced with implants.

Feeling a little anxious.  Primarily because I have just read the little booklet the provided me with which states that I will be left black and blue for a few days around my jaw and face.

Apparently the  radation thereapy I am going for uses in exess of 50-70Gy (whatever that is),  and as a result they recommend having your teeth removed in the field of the radiation and the teeth replaced with implants.

On my first appointment to see the Prosthodontic specialist, they called me into a boardroom and had the x-rays of my teeth on a huge display.  The doc started off telling me all about teeth and their make-up and then proceeded to go through tooth by tooth as to why it needed to come out, the location of it, where my nerves were located, where my sinuses were located etc.

The gist of it all was that I had to remove all of my back teeth on both sides.

I am fortunate enough to have medical cover as this is quite a costly exercise costing in the region of R200,000 (around $15,000).  Cancer is clearly not an illness for the poor.




The Vascular Surgeon

My GP decided to send me for an ultrasound scan of my neck to see if there was anything to worry about.  The ultrasound clearly showed there was something there which needed much more investigation.

The ultrasound technician  reported that she thought I have a Schwannoma which are usually benign.  My GP thought it was a little more serious than that and thought the lump was attached to my carotid artery, so he referred me to a Vascular Surgeon.

A few days later I found myself in the rooms of the Vascular Surgeon.

He walked in to the reception area and his opening comments to me were “I just love a challenge”.  This is when I knew it was very serious.

So the Vascular Surgeon did his own Ultrasound scan and picked up 3 lumps on the left hand side of my neck.  He had no idea what they were but there was a list of things that could go wrong with them there – apparently a slow death if it constricted my coritid artery or airways.

I was next scheduled to have a biopsy done a few days later with the untrasound technicain and a lab technician.  The results were inconclusive.

So back to the Vascular Surgeon who scheduled me for surgery a week later.


No Sympathy Required.

Hello dear world

This post is written by a mere mortal.

A self realization has dawned; that there are things that scare me and the reality that we all die.
I am not the sort who plays the victim or who likes to play on others’ emotions, so this post is not meant to envoke any sympathy from any of you out there.

I was reading FB earlier today and noticed a post by a friend who was in hospital having what I think is her breast removed. Yes, she has cancer.

And yes, so do I.

At first, I thought about contacting her and asking questions and telling her that it will all be ok. But to be honest it all feels a bit awkward.

One doesn’t want to pry.

So what does one do in a situation like this?
I suddenly realized that she is probably not too different from me.

She is a strong woman too, and would not like people feeling sorry for her or hear the quiet whispers behind her back about her illness. But just like me, she probably needs a little strength and a little help in getting through it emotionally. A reminder that we are not alone and that we don’t have to hide what we are going through.
I try to be strong for my partner, knowing he has suffered much loss in his life, and I do not want to be remembered as a loss to him. Bringing a tear to his eyes when he remembers me, should the worst happen.

Or him having to call on all his strength to continue without those close and dear to him. Those he doesn’t miss for a second in the day. I know I am being very arrogant in the assumption I will have a place in his heart should I pass on.
And then my mind arrays many thoughts about where I fit into his life and should I leave quietly or perhaps end it all quietly as I don’t like to cause pain. Especially pain that may be felt for a long time.

And the realization that I am being very arrogant in my thoughts. The reality being that I am a mere girlfriend who has no place in this mans life other than the today.
So I am shaken back to reality. The reality that just like others out there that it is our own fight.  We cannot burden those around us.  We cannot envoke sympathy.

We cannot play the victim.

We cannot make those around us feel any guilt about the part they play in our lives.
All we can do is smile.  We pretend we are ok.  We put on our shield each morning, look outside and notice the beautiful sunrise, fill our days ignoring the weakness within us, and then noticing the beautiful sunsets.
Remember that we are blessed with each breath we take and need to be grateful for the time we spend with those we love.  As without love, life is not worth living.  A reminder that I have a pretty awesome life and the love I have for this man and the love I get in return makes every second I live worth every breath.
So, refocusing on the positive; I want to live forever!

Be damned if I can’t, but before I pass, I will live a life worth living.

I will see and do things that most others can only dream of, because I am blessed in many ways.

I am thankful to those around me who make my life worth living and fighting for.
I will be contacting my friend and asking her about her path as whether she realizes it or not, she needs people like me by her side as a reminder that there is no shame in being weak.  We need to stand up and rise and put on our big girl panties and the brightest red lipstick we can find and live a life worth living.

No sympathy required!

Incy Wincy Spider

I was bitten by a Violin Spider about 18 months ago on the right hand side of my neck.  No idea how he got there or why he chose that spot – but perhaps it was the universe trying to point something out to me which I failed to notice.violinspider

It was then that I discovered a lump on the left hand side of my neck.  I didn’t think anything of it.  I had no discomfort or pain from it.  It was just there.  I assumed it was a swollen gland caused by the spider bite.  I did some research on spider bites and some sites suggested there may be swelling for a few months.

I did see my GP at the time who provided me with a cream for the bite.  It healed quickly and life went on.

However, the lump was still there.

Almost 18 months later, I returned to my GP with a sore foot.  I am seldom ill so I don’t frequent my GP very often, so whilst I was there I pointed out that I had a lump on my neck which had been there for quite some time.  He pocked and prodded a bit and thought it required some investigation.

So this is the start of my story……..