Kevin's Dead Cat

After surgery sliced off an entire tumor and 1/3 of my tongue, plus six weeks of radiation therapy, I've been re-learning how to eat, drink, and talk with my newly re-constructed tongue and coping with side effects. But the cancer came back and I don't know what's going to happen next.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Post-op Appointment

Went to Dr. McNicoll's office this morning. Luckily both of his RNs, Maria and Paula, were there so I could give them a couple of boxes of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. Brought Dr. McNicoll the bottle of tequila, but no thank you note. I decided to mail it instead. Didn't want to risk embarrassment if he actually read it while I was sitting right there.

So he checked out the swollen (but much deflated) tongue, which he reported is healing nicely. He slid the scope up my nose and down my throat to check the progress on the back part of the tongue; more good news, there's no swelling there. The skin on my arm is healing nicely. His colleague, Dr. Lueg, took some pictures, but I left Paula the URL for the blog pictures as well. I made the mistake of wiggling my fingers while looking at my healing arm. It's like a glass-bottomed boat. Saw some muscles and stuff moving and nearly took a header.

Because there was a small cancerous off-shoot from the main tumor, Dr. McNicoll set up an appointment for me with Radiation, so they can check for any microscopic cancerous cells (again, with the worse-case-scenario talk). But he's sorta confident that I won't need radiation. Then more talk about the healing process in my jaw, and how fluid draining out of the wound on my neck is better than... well, after hearing the description I had to put my head between my knees (I'm such a wimp).

We discussed physical and speech therapy. I'm doing alright with the modified yoga moves I've been doing since I got out of the hospital. I'm going to wait on speech therapy until after next week. Right now, I sound a little better than the adults on the Charlie Brown cartoons, which apparently is good news considering I'm only two weeks out of surgery.

Next week, I see Dr. Blackwell, then the week after that, the Tumor Board for a post-op evaluation, I guess. But tomorrow night, I think Agnieszka is coming over for another photo shoot. I'm hoping that next Wednesday, I'll be able to go to Cole's for the I See Hawks show. I miss you guys.


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