Yesterday, the challenges continued. I woke up to realize that there is a bit of necrosis (dead tissue) on the flap of tongue partially broken loose from the original surgical wound. A filleted tongue was plenty noticeable - there was really no need for it to put on a black dress for extra attention.
Don't ever expect a specialist to get excited. Vanderbilt wasn't the least bit impressed by this little development. They assured me that I would be fine to wait until June 10th for the surgery, but did agree to examine me again this coming Wednesday at 10am. They mentioned the possibility of doing some pre-surgery chemotherapy. I'm assuming that would be an attempt to keep it from spreading and maybe to reduce the pain, as well.
All of this is sounding really negative, so let me hurry to the point. When you wake up to find your tongue in two pieces and different colors, you want someone to make you feel special. You know in your head that you aren't special. You realize that there are tons of people, in the Nashville area alone, suffering from cancers way more painful than your own. You know that in the context of all that suffering, yours isn't premier.
You know that with your mind, but your heart can't make room for pragmatism. Your heart wants your pain and stress to be moved to the top of the list. It wants somebody to do something! Vanderbilt couldn't do a lot yesterday, and I understand that. Everyone there has been very good to me, and I trust their judgment and expertise. So, this post isn't intended as a tirade on Vandy - please don't read it that way. It is simply an expression of my real feelings yesterday - pain, frustration, and some fear. The other purpose of this post is to give thanks for the ones who did do something yesterday.
There was ...
Ty, who came in on his day off to look at my janky tongue and tell me everything would be okay.
David, who on the eve of a long anticipated and much deserved family vacation, took time away from his own patients to hear my pain.
Doug, who trashed his plans to provide his usual bodyguard and taxi service, forced me to drink an entire 32 oz. smoothie dubbed The Activator from Smoothie King, and braved the fray at Verizon to get my texting plan increased - I kind of went over last month (tongue cancer would be even more of a drag without text messaging).
Terrah, who can make me smile even when I feel like I've just been freshly paved. She brought me movies and Scrabble (America's favorite word game is appropriate in every situation), but we didn't need them. Some people can make you feel better just by pulling up a chair.
Sweet Emma, who spearheaded the campaign to puree a steak for me. People, I hope you never need to know this, but Outback is almost as good blended as it is whole.
Becky, Jeff, and Dad, who are always there and should never be left out.
Coworkers, who encouraged me even in the midst of their own trials.
Dear friends and family, who continued to check on me. (Smooth and Kit, your special messages came at the perfect time.)
And, all those who did something that I don't even know anything about. Thank you for bringing some of God's light into a really dark day.
If we spent every day in comfort, we would miss out on the balm of his "everlasting arms." -Deuteronomy 33:27