And everything seems to be fine. Though I have to have a bit of work done.
The hole in my top gum around my wisdom tooth is the tissue swelling healing and changing to suit the new conditions in my mouth. Unfortunaly its growing over the wisdom tooth and thats not good, since it is not being cleaned properly...so its gotta come out to prevent later issues. Not a problem really since it never fully erupted and it'll never have a mate to chew against (I had my lower wisdom's removed years ago).
So..an extraction is being planned. gulp.
More immediatly the oedema on my neck needs to be worked on, so they are sorting out an appointment with a physiotherapist who specialises in head and neck massage....not going to enjoy that, due to my previously mentioned dislike of neck touching. But needs must. It may help the nerve damage to my lip so it has to be tried, as I'd like to get my pucker back ;)
Once thats done, which should only be a few sessions I then need to see another physio to work on my mouth opening which according to Drs van Gemert is not bad, but can be improved.
And thats it, no pricks, prods, scans, needles or xrays, just a quick peek inside to check all's well and move on to sorting the swelling out.
Reconstruction in the form of a couple of implants can't take place till 6 months after radio therapy but its on the cards...apparently its up to me if I want to do it. I think so, I'm coping ok with chewing on 1 side, but it would be nice not to have a big hole in one side of my mouth.
Next checkup on 3rd December...I'll fill you in on physio and extraction details as they come through.
My Mum told me off last night for not updating this blog..she said she was getting worried??
No need to be worried mum I was just busy yesterday and there's not a lot to report.
I was supposed to have an RT follow up yesterday but work schedules and transport issues forced me to cancel it. Everything is fine though apart from the oedema under my chin which I was told about and probably need some massage to help reduce..but I'm one of these odd people who hates having his neck/throat touched so I will pass on the massage and continue doing it myself.
There really is nothing much to report, I am gaining in fitness, weight is levelling out nicely, I've lost my paunch and my moobs much to other people's amusement. I've been playing pool with collegues as a means to gently stretch and excercise my neck and shoulder and overall I am feeling tip top, except in the morning when it takes a wee bit of time to loosen up.
The only long lasting issue I am having is my total inability to eat any kind of spicey food. Even the remotest sense of a chillie has my mouth screaming at me...shame. I keep trying but nope...avoid spice at all costs.
I have a full cancer status appointment with the surgeon on the 28th and we can see what happens next. Hopefully we can discuss some repairs to my jaw.
Probably not going to post much here till then, unless the oedema gets worse or something else crops up.
This week has been quite busy with students now starting, and I've had to give lectures and working classes most of the week. But all has been well, even in the large lecture hall I was able to make myself heard and was clear enough in my speech, despite being aware from time to time of some slurring of certain words.
I have been really pleased by this. the large hall was a worry for me but I didn't need to worry at all.
Stamina has been increasing constantly, I do still have periods of exhaustion, but only after doing something physical, like a long bike ride or 3 flights of stairs, but I am recovering within a few minutes, unlike last month where such efforts left me for dead for hours.
I'm not taking any painkillers at all now, pretty much have avoided them for 2 weeks, headache or 2 aside. And I'm coping fine. I am still in some pain, especially when opening my mouth or "yawning" (or as close as I can get to a yawn), but its more of an ache and tolorable.
Neck is still a little tight and tender around the scar areas, and feeling is definitly returning slowly. I am trying to massage this to loosen it up and break down the lumpy swelling under my chin, not too successfully yet but the more I do it the better it feels. This tightness though is probably responsible for my aching shoulders as I tend to hold my head down a little to avoid pulling on my neck, again something I will discuss with the doctor when I see him
Inside mouth is odd, its clearly swollen and a little tender still at the back, efforts to improve my gape are not working, I can't get it open wider than 2 fingers, which does affect my enjoyment of eating if not the actual function. I hope its not going to stay this way, I would love to be able to open my mouth wide enough to fit some various forms of fast food in there withough pulling small bits off with my fingers 1st.
The hole in my gum appears not to be closing and is a possible source of infections so I am making sure when I brush nothing has slipped up there to hide. I have an appointment on the 17th so I'll mention it then.
Overall..I am feeling pretty good. Could do with a 24hr shoulder massuse on call, but aside from that I'm functioning pretty much at normal.
But Round4 has to go to the cancer, I took a helluva beating and it wins on points.. Round 5 starts when I see the Drs ven Gemert again later this month for my 1st cancer checkup.
Well its the end of a good week at work so I guess its time for an update.
I'm feeling good..not got round to sorting out the gum thing as I have appointments coming up for checkups, but I try to do something.
Might have a very slight infection in there which is swelling up a bit and restricting mouth opening but not badly.
Tiredness and stamina levels are improving all the time, I can do more and recover quicker, not quite 100% yet, maybe 75-80 but certainly improving.
Scar tissue on my neck is twinging a bit, I've been gently rubbing it and the muscles underneath to loosen things up but the skin is still pretty much without feeling and the muscles are tender..Some parts of the scar tissue are quite painful too.
I really wish I could feel my right earlobe...there is some feeling there but not normal, and kinda painful when I pinch my lobe...all a bit odd.
Lip is still not working, there is feeling there but still not control, and it does look a little like my lip is wasting away a little on the right side...hmmm we'll we're see..I am still confident that it will come back, after all I have feeling so the nerve is intact still. Swelling on my jaw is reducing, just one lumpy tender bit now.