Maybe not so marsupial

I may not be a marsupial mum after all.

Dr S called earlier tonight to see how I was.  He’d visited while I was in recovery but I’d been asleep.  I remember seeing Dr D briefly too but the memory is hazy.

The sore in the corner of my mouth would have been from wedging it open, he said.  They had to keep it open but not too open because of the fragile jaw. And the tooth was very loose with its roots eaten away, so they removed it easily.  I remember having my wisdom teeth removed was much worse, so that makes sense.

It is not a keratocystic odontogenic tumour, he now thinks.  My tumour is solid and not milky, not what he would have expected from a keratocyst. He hopes it will be a unicystic ameloblastoma. It may be something worse, but what that is he did not say and I must not have pressed.

The swelling should go down a fair bit by the weekend, he said, and not be noticeable by next week.  When I asked if it would be like this every six weeks when I have the bismuth-iodine pack changed, he demurred that it depended what we ended up doing.

At this point, I knew something wasn’t right.  So I asked straight out if he thought we weren’t looking at marsupialisation as a treatment any more.  He couldn’t be sure until the biopsy results come back, but he’s thinking there is a 50% chance we will go straight for surgery.  We’re talking surgical excision of a large part of the jaw, metal plates, bone grafts, facial reconstruction, etc.

I asked if the biopsy results will give us a certain diagnosis.  He said, yes, 100%.  That, at least, is good news.

It’s now a waiting game. He will follow up with the pathologist this week and call me as soon as he knows, but he may not know until my post-op appointment next Tuesday 7 June.

Dr S said I had his mobile number and to call with questions anytime, even over the weekend. If anything happens, they have residents on call 24/7 at the hospital.

What I have realised over the past 10 months is that I am a lot more patient than I would ever have given myself credit for.  For that I am thankful.

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