Saturday, April 16, 2011

The scoop on my tongue

Or should I say, the piece that they are scooping from my tongue?

Whatever, I finally got the decision on what they are going to do about the small area that needs to be removed from my tongue.

It is a little unsettling because it changed from one day to the next, but all things considered it seems to be a minor matter, so I think I am OK with it.

Thursday I got a call from Dr. Trevor, the resident in the oral surgery department at Brigham and Women's. He said the specialist got a chance to look at the biopsy and thought that it would be fine to remove the remainder of the spot at the oral surgeon's office rather than at Dana-Farber. It is more than just pre-cancerous and is in fact a cancer on the surface of the tongue, but it is at a very early stage. He said to make an appointment with Dr. Treister, the attending in the department, for Monday May 2, when I will be in the area for my Dana-Farber checkup.

But yesterday morning, Dr. Treister called and said the plan had changed. He and the other doctors who studied the biopsy would be more comfortable if the surgery is performed at Dana-Farber's department of head and neck oncology. It doesn't change the diagnosis, but the change in venue did slightly crank up my anxiety level. A head and neck specialist will remove a larger portion to make sure the margins are clear. I will also receive a head and neck scan.

It adds another layer to the process. I must first meet with a new doctor and then schedule the procedure. Dr. Treister said the small amount of extra time doesn't matter.

"It's nothing to lose sleep over at this point," he assured me.

"At this point?" I wondered. What's the meaning behind those words? I know, I know, the answer is...nothing. Those are only words that he needs to say, and they don't mean anything.

I told Katie that I get to visit a new floor – the 11th – at Dana-Farber's new Yawkey Center for Cancer Care.

She remarked that it's interesting that a specialty involving the head and neck, the top part of the body, is at the top of the building.


Something to chew on...if I can, what with my missing teeth and the piece cut from my tongue!


Elayne said...

Hey Ronnie!
Have been thinking about how things were going with you. Thanks for the update.
Seems like it is always something huh?
Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers :)

Nelle said...

I understand feeling anxiety when they said it had to be at Dana Farber but I think you are better off doing it there. If follow up would needed to be done, they are the experts. I had a breast biopsy done once at a regular hospital then they made me have the entire process redone because The Cancer Institute does it differently. I was at Dana Farber in Boston with my sister-in-law four years ago. They were wonderful to her and us. I know you will be glad when it's over. Sending you healing thoughts,

Jonny said...

Man! "Detected, Inspected, Neglected, Rejected" a la Arlo...I'm amazed you're keeping sane.

I do like Katie's hospital archetectural-bilogical symmetry:

so your Plantar faciaiitis should be treated on the first floor, but if you have to stick your tongue out for the procedure, insist on the top floor's balcony...

just stay way from intestinal problems-- they may have to be treated on the nearby metro!

Be are doing great!

xop said...

Dearest Runder-Woman,

you will be fine, and i love the attitude about Dana Farber and Discovery -- i am thankful that it will be done there, for you are always in the best hands...with the love and support of family, friends, and admirers and dogs!
happy passover, this, too, shall pass...

it's a good omen that it is emily's bday...