Wednesday 23rd June 2021

My Head & Neck Cancer Story* Wrapped Up!** 95/2020.

My Head & Neck Cancer Story* Wrapped Up!** 95/2020.

Why the * and the ** Denyse?

Well, yes it’s a story* alright, this head and neck cancer of mine.

Mine was a version of Squamous Cell Carcinoma found in my upper gums and under top lip. However my head and neck surgeons were never quite sure of my SCC definitions as it was “very unusual” and “could have been…something …something”. Nevertheless, for ease of writing and for others who may read these posts, I refer to it as SCC of the upper gums and under the top lip or Oral Cancer. I keep it consistent for me and for readers who may have found me following a head and neck cancer diagnosis for them or a family member. This is why I keep a page here devoted to all the posts.

Now, about the wrapped up**

Considering that my head and neck surgeon said in September 2020, “see you in a year” and my prosthodontist said in October 2020, “see you in 6 months” there is not a lot I need to consider at all treatment and care wise.

I am in my 4th year since diagnosis and recoveries have been fine…even with a few setbacks so here I am.

In Collage Form: My Head & Neck Story Wrapped Up. As of November 2020.

First: Time span: July 2017 (first & major surgery) including 3 other surgeries and many, many visits to the prosthodontist to May 2018.

Second: Time span: June 2018 – December 2018. I had my upper prosthesis added on 21 August 2018. Smiling and eating felt so good!

Third: Using my upper prosthesis to eat took FAR longer than I expected. Nevertheless I remain very grateful and my smile tells the story.

Four: In early 2020 (the famous year of COVID!) my cataracts were removed from both eyes, no more glasses other than reading. I also had major bowel surgery. So happy to be WELL…after all that and to have found a hairdresser whose cutting of my hair is consistent and amazing.

That is it. For now. This year and beyond.

To all who have continued to cheer me on when I have been down and help me see how well I am doing….

             T H A N K    Y O U

and I am off to:

Denyse.

Joining here with Leanne and friends for Lovin’ Life linky on Thursdays.

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Comments

  1. This is great news! Hope you continue to be well and enjoy whatever comes next. I’m sure this will be a great relief to leave this behind and continue to move forward.

    • Thank you so much. I was in a bit of shock which then turned very positive back in September when my professors said ‘see you in a year’ and I decided I can actually live my life without threat or concern about the cancer returning as I may have in the previous years.

      Your words are true Christine. I am really enjoying wellness thanks to the recovery from my other surgeries too .

      Denyse.

  2. This is fantastic news Denyse. What a year 2020 has been for you? But it’s ended on a great note. You must be feeling very relieved and happy

    • Thank you so much Jennifer. Yes, despite the negativity about the year, mine has ended well. It occurred to me that it was timely to conclude my head and neck cancer posts as all is going splendidly.

      I never say never but I have every confidence in my Professor’s forecast of needing to see me in a year!

      Denyse.

  3. Great news Denyse. I’m sure your recovery will continue to go well as you seem to be doing all of the right things and are in the right frame of mind.

    It’s certainly been a long journey for you!

    xx

    • Thanks so much Deb.

      It is not until I do this kind of a review from time to time that I can better judge how far I have come.

      You, my friend, and your supportive comments & care have continued to boost me along the way.

      Denyse.

  4. Those collages really show you how far you’ve come and what a HUGE ordeal it’s been.You should be proud of yourself because in the day by bay steps (that we’ve seen on the blog) you were chipper and your attitude must have really helped the process.
    Congratulations to you and it is little wonder you were an ambassador!

    • That is true about the photos. It’s been incredibly important for me to have these for “I” see the progress in me.

      My Professor & teams have some of my collages along the way too as it helps them gauge their work too.

      I thank the blog and friends via blogging for all of my posts being well supported and the fact that whilst recording this, I help me and potentially others.

      I am continuing as an Ambassador for 2021 with gratitude I can do so!

      Thank you for your kindness along the way.

      Denyse.

  5. Denise, fabulous news! It’s been a tumultuous and scary time but you have been so brave and strong and inspirational to us all. Though I know you’ve had your moments, you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for! Here’s cheers to happy, healthy years ahead, and I gotta hand it to your hairdresser – I love how she cuts your hair – it looks fabulous! xo

    • Oops – sorry I spelt your name wrong Denyse. I have a friend called Denise and I sometimes get muddled & call her Denyse and you Denise. Must be the menopause! lol

    • Thanks so much Min. I understand about the name confusion and in my husband’s family we have a Denise Whelan and a Denyse Whelan!! We are both teachers too.

      I am very glad to be blogging this post and it seemed right to think it is the end…until of course, there is a need for updates.

      47 posts! I am proud to have come through and been so very well supported by my blogging community too.

      Yes, how good is my hairdresser and her symmetry!

      Denyse.

  6. Your beautiful smile says it all, Denyse. What an amazing story. You documented your transformation so well with all of the photos. Your writing and advocacy give hope to many other people going through similar situations. Can you breathe a sigh of relief now that your story is told?

    • Thank you so much Laurie.

      It has been quite the slog to come through…I learned a lot about myself and becoming resilient too along the way.

      Since the appointment with my surgeon where he said ‘see you in a year’ I then had a couple of appointments with the prosthodontist and he said ‘see you in 6 months’…..and then, over time, it really has sunk in.

      And the purpose of writing was for me, and my lovely supporters to say ‘hey, this seems to be over’ and thank you!

      Of course, never say never blah blah but yes, life awaits…and in fact doing that as I type because two of adult granddaughters are arriving to take some photos of us for our 50 years of marriage!

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

      Denyse.