Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Good News, good news!

It's still cancery, but it might not be as cancery as we all thought/feared.

I asked Dr. C. (who is the shizznit, by the way, and about my age) how terrified I should be.

Her reply: "Not terrified. See, this particular type of cancer is weird. We used to group it in with pleomorphic adenoma, which is totally benign--you take it out and that's it. Then we noticed that some types of pleomorphic adenoma would come back, so we started calling this sort polymorphic low-grade adenocarcinoma.

"The important thing about this tumor is that, when it gets bumped or irritated by food as you're swallowing, it can develop malignant bits, while the rest of it down deep stays normal. So the thing to do is to talk to it, tell it it's going to remain normal throughout the rest of its course, and we'll get it out.

"Either way, worst-case or best-case scenario, with your age and general health, this is not going to kill you."

So: best case scenario is a shallow lesion that does not intrude on my teeth or palate and which the oral surgeon could take out, and no radiation.

Worst-case scenario is a deep lesion that would require removal of teeth and a muscle graft to form part of the roof of my mouth, and radiation--but even that comes with a benefit, which is a cross-scalp incision that would tighten up my forehead.

I'll get a CT this week, an MRI next week, after the inflammation from the original cutting subsides, and we'll decide what to do after the oral surgeon and the ENT guy put their heads together.

Keep prayin', people. Eventually we'll get to the point where this blog can be about freaking NURSING again, and not being on the other side of the stethoscope.


45 comments:

bdaiss said...

Hurray for good news! And a potential "free" face lift? Well, there's a silver lining, eh?

So glad to hear this Jo. Still keepin' ya in my thoughts, for strength, and that the news continues to be minor.

thursdaynextgal said...

Too soon for this?
http://actinglikeanimals.com/2010/09/17/funny-animal-photos-hypochondriac-camel/

Congrats on the good news :)

JannieCPH said...

Thats soo good to hear. But I 'll keep the prayers coming. You can never have to many of those !!

Nora said...

Great News!
Still keeping fingers crossed & drinking scotch :)
Nora

Rebekah said...

LOVE the good news! Will keep Healing Thoughts cranked to MAXIMUM!

me said...

Great news!! Still sending all good thoughts your way ~~~

Homemaker Man said...

Excellent.

Anonymous said...

So, "Cap'n Lumpy" is back then? Well, if you have to talk to it, I suppose it needs a name.

Or perhaps rather than "Cap'n", it needs some wimpy soft normal name. Don't look at me - I suck at names. I still haven't named the puppy I've had for over a week now.

tm

Liz said...

HN, this is your cuz Liz in KCMO. I am so glad to read that you got some good news. I have been lurking on your blog, not feeling worthy to come out of hiding since my closest association to the medical field is that I live next door to a neurologist and anesthesiologist. I want to let you know that I LOVE your blog. I would even say that if I weren't related to you.
We will be thinking of you and praying for you.
Liz

Anonymous said...

Excellent news! Dr. C sounds very mellow and clear-speaking. Very cool.

Anonymous said...

The treatment for this tumor is to keep talking to it?!? Do you need me to send my mom over?

Hooray for Dr. Goodnews! Let's keep her.

R

Lurkette said...

Awesome news!

(I feel very stupid, but I can't find the right link to send the e-mail you asked for. Just the one to forward this post.)

Still sending hugs and light and healing from Jerusalem

Celeste said...

Hot damn, Sam! This is really wonderful news. If you have to have cancer, a non-killer's gotta be the way to go.

I'm going to hope that there's no more Extreme Makeover to do in your mouth, but if so...gotta love it when you can get Teh Insurance to cover some plastic surgery. I mean honestly, it's like being Mary Tyler Moore and catching your beret. SCORE.

Shannon Tucker Photography said...

Yay! Yay! YEeeeee Haaawwwww! I am still praying....
Shannon

Polly said...

Yea!!! When it comes to cancer, "this is not going to kill you" is about the best news there is, right? Whoo-hoo!

Jo said...

HOLY CRAP IT'S MY COUSIN LIZ! (waves furiously) Hi, sweetie! How the hell are you?

@Lurkette: try this address (the link is sort of buried):

johannebertha (at) gmail (dot) com.

Liz, feel free to email me there as well. How 'CITING!

messymimi said...

Hugs. Prayers will continue.

You are on the other side for some reasons, and one of them may be so when you get into those middle of the night discussions with patients about the meaning of life and death and the soul, you will have a depth of experience in seeing it through their eyes.

Moose said...

Sounds like Cap'n Lumpy has been busted in ranks to Lt. Lumpy.

That's 30 days in the stockade and only bread and water for him. [YOU can have the good stuff.]

Anonymous said...

Private Lumpy...

You cannot help but become an even better nurse after this experience. I'm delighted to hear that things aren't so gawdawful.

Drinks on the dock offer still open
Barb

Urbie said...

Hang in there!

Urb

C in Canada said...

Awesome news! Yaaay!

Anonymous said...

Yay to the yayest power of yay! You are being so incredibly gracious to all. . . and seriously some sorta weird energy shit is going on on your blog right here, it's the only page where my cursor and the scroll bar are acting all jumpy like and unruly. E in LA

Abilene Rob said...

RAD!!!

(Where "rad" ≠ "radiation.")

Judith said...

Good news! I've been reading your blog for a long time now but have never commented. This seems like a good time to de-lurk and send healing wishes your way, from a retired nurse in New Zealand. Kia kaha! (Be strong!)

Anonymous said...

"Low Grade" as in "low grade fever", "low grade infection"?

Snip, snip... stitch, stitch.. take two of these and call me in the morning.

JacquiBee said...

That makes two New Zealand nurses to visit on your taking a good long rest, world recovery tour. I'll just pop the kettle on and brush the cat. That new is the best news so far.

CCSutton said...

Fab!

birdergirl said...

What a deal - right from the shizznet's mouth! What a way to make lemonade from lemons - a tighter face from head/neck surgery-lol! All kidding aside - this is great news! You have humdreds, maybe thousands, of folks sending positive vibes and serious prayers.

Bardiac said...

That's good news indeed! Glad to hear it :)

nurse8's friend said...

Phenomenal news, Jo! Still sucky to have to go through, but we're all here for you. That doctor sounds worth her weight in gold for doing exactly what you asked for in your last post - doing the research you needed and presenting it in a balanced, trustworthy way. She sounds like a keeper. Congrats and thank Goddess!

PS And here's to your "general health" being a factor on your side - all that time in the gym sure pays off, eh? Way to GO!

Penny said...

Answered prayers, baybee.

Answered prayers.

clairesmum said...

Terrific news! I have uncrossed my toes (it was getting hard to walk that way) and breathed a deep sigh of relief. The roller coaster isn't over yet, but you sorta know that - you've just moved to one without so many scary dark places that seem to go on forever!
If your recovery tour includes New England, I've got a room.

nurse XY said...

Oh hell yeah!!

Dr. Alice said...

AWESOME. So glad to hear the good news. And you should definitely take that round the world tour.

Anonymous said...

That is terrific news. I am so happy and relieved. All the best to you, Jo, and thanks for keeping us informed during a difficult (to say the least) time. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts.
--Queen Anne's Lace

Crazed Nitwit said...

Yes with a fist pump!!!!! I had just been reading about this in my local (Seattle) news!!! Hooray and hugs of support.

mollie said...

Sending positive thoughts and love from New Zealand (I still have a ceiling, but then, I'm not in Christchurch.)

JennyJen said...

Great News! So very happy for you.

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Right on, Jo. Good news is great news.

Jo said...

What fantastic news! :-D

Leslie said...

So glad!!!!

Lunch Buckets said...

Nice!

Nurse Wannabe said...

So glad to here it!!!! Still sending you lots of love and healing energy from Australia!!!! Hope it helps!

Anonymous said...

Mysterious ex-BB poster says yay, way to go! I am really pleased to read this good news. I'm still keeping everything crossed for you that it is non-invasive and utterly benign.

Eileen said...

Since I've just been in S Korea for 2 weeks I posted my invite before finding the reason for the inquisition! (I catch up backwards from the latest post - am I the only wierd one to do that or not?). And so - even more welcomes extended!
My other half had a nasty 3/4 year about 16 years ago (from diagnosis to finish of treatment) and has no business being here at all really. So we know a lot about the cotton wool brain (both of us) and not googling it (him, I did the research and fighting). But this is brilliant news!