Saturday, June 28, 2008

Another Day, Another Fight

Noticed a new, painful ulcer on my tongue about two weeks ago and made an appointment to see the radiology oncologist. He explains that along the intersection of existing tongue incisions is an area where the tissue does not receive enough blood supply and often ulcerates. Well, the alien spawn sprouting from my tongue attested to the fact that was definitely out of the ordinary. It was recommended that I see the ENT who performed my right radial neck dissection to learn more about the ulcer and its ensuing painful visitation. The ear pain, kind of like being jabbed with a long knitting needle at odd intervals was caused by a mixup of the brain's neural communication net that transferred the pain signals from the tongue and placed them in the ear, where there is actually no pain source. Just feels like it is emanating from the ear, but it is actually carried by the nerves of the tongue.

What is this new threat, this pulsing, white-bulbed, ulcerated angry alien intruder? Biopsy time. A biopsy is when a sample of the tissue is taken from the affected area that can be analyzed for cancer. There are two painful components of this procedure, one physical and one mental. The physical part, of course, is the actual removal of living tissue from the tongue. Being a sensitive instrument of taste and communication, the process of removing tissue is to not cause pain or suffering and so a numbing spray is used to deaden sensation. Along with the spray, a shot of Novocain or similar solution is used directly into separate areas of the tongue. After waiting a sufficient amount of time for the nerves to be de-sensitized the biopsy is performed and the tissue removed. I'm sure every experience is different, but my experience brought me no joy.

The secondary pain associated is the waiting. Waiting for the biopsy to be analyzed and determined to be or not to be cancerous. A plan is made for both instances and a 'limbo' period opens up until the time when a face to face is done in the ENT's office that will decide what will be done. The best way to deal with limbo is to live in the present moment and enjoy and appreciate what you do have. The minute you find out the news is just another present moment we call the 'future', but if you can get your head around the fact that it will be 'now', in a block on the calendar, it is easier to place your reaction to that determination in 'now'. At this point, I am trying to be like water, to accept the situation and flow with it. To resist builds up a lot of negative energy that is especially hard to release under duress. Instead, I am trying to be still and listen for the lesson in this situation. It is at these junctions in life that we are revealed for who we are, not what we think other people think we are. I am going to be who I am no matter what my exo-person, this body, is undergoing. Tissue changes, growing or dying as time passes. The energy that lives inside the body is the engine that is going to fight. The body is there for the ride. Game on.

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