its been a long time, sorry to have neglected you for so long, but there's really very little to tell.
I've had a few visits to the doc for checkups but am stopping them now, I don't see the need any more and my 5 years is pretty much up, so I am going to consider myself clear.
Had a few minor issues with pain in my jaw, which was largely resolved by the fitting and occasional wearing of a dental split to fix my jaw in 1 place when I sleep. That's not nice or especially sexy to wear at night but it does seem to work well, so I use it from time to time.
Longer term things...hmm letsee...well I still have discomfort to the touch on my neck below the back of my jaw and just above the incision site, its never been fully explained but so long as I don't rub too hard its bearable.
I never fully recovered the sense of touch in my cheek/jaw, I can detect touch but its a bit odd and a little intense, and often manifests itself as a tingle in my ear...still freaks me out when shaving.
Nor did I fully recover the movement control of my bottom lip on the right side, so speech and smiles are notably droopy when I talk, but I don't spit at people as much now, and only drool when singing ;)
My beard never grew back on the side the radiotherapy zapped, so that's unlikely to change, I can never grow a full beard again...half...but never full, so its shave every day or so now.
I do from time to time, have problems with my right shoulder and brachial neuralgia, this can be quite intense but there's not a lot that can be done. Doc gave me some stupidly expensive pills to try to ease it but they did little/nothing and over the course of a few months it faded away. I only really just noticed this week that I wasn't in pain any more from this latest bout.
Also from time to time, and usually at the onset of a cold of flu, I get what can best be described as spasms in my throat, when it constricts incredibly tight and painfully, for short periods, its random and not at all pleasant but wasn't something I ever had before the surgery. I must say this is the most unpleasant of the legacies I have, but its not common thankfully.
And that's about it, in April it will be 5 years since the diagnosis, its been a pretty reasonable 5 years since, (not counting the actual 6 months or so of treatment) I have some scars and a noticable chunk of neck tissue missing, a crooked mouth when talking or smiling but otherwise I continue on...
I'll get back to neglecting you for now.
Slowly readching the end.
5 days ago