I was diagnosed with (squamous cell) tongue cancer, stage 4 in Nov. 2012, after my jaw bone crumbled, then broke on the left side.
I had surgery last January, which took half of my tongue, and an attempt to rebuild my jaw and chin with metal plate and chain, and a flap pulled up from inside of chest. This took both of my breasts and a failed attempt. Then, during the first week of Feb.2013, a bone and skin graft was taken from my leg and finally was a success. High five to a great medical team in Augusta, and about 23 1/2 hours of surgery in total.
During the summer I completed six weeks radiation therapy and when the aftermath of that had left me I finally began to feel better, even though I had a feeding tube and still a lot of swelling in my face and neck. I dreamed of the day I could wrap my mouth around a sandwich, a burger, a pizza, and just take a bite. It has been almost two years, although I could eat a little bit and sip from a plastic cup that I could bend in.
On Christmas Eve everything changed, shifted --something. I could no longer eat or drink anything by mouth, and found it more and more difficult to talk as well. As I feared, it confirmed the cancer was back this month, in the golf ball size lump in my neck. So, the next move is surgery since I was told I had already had enough radiation.
As far as survival rates go, I will survive as long as I am allowed, and with each day I pray to find the positive thinking I know I need to feel. As for today, I'm here, alive and kicking. My kicks just aren't as high these days.