Getting confused?  My medical team consists of…

Dr S: My first oral & maxillofacial surgeon at Westmead Hospital.  He did my first biopsy and referred me to Dr P.  And, because he happened to have a surgery at Macquarie University Hospital on the same day as my main surgery and he’s that sort of guy, he assisted on my main surgery too.

Dr P: My second oral & maxillofacial surgeon at Macquarie University Hospital.  The best in the business.  If you are on the east coast of Australia and need an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, contact me for his details and a glowing recommendation.

Dr A: My plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Macquarie University Hospital.  He’s tops too.

Dr H: Head and neck cancer specialist, who assisted on my main surgery.  He was elusive for a while there, probably nothing to do with him, just the chaos of pre-surgery preparation.  He checked on me in intensive care in Dr P’s stead because Dr P is always on the move.

Dr W: Senior fellow in plastics who assisted on my main surgery.  Dr A’s sidekick (he’d probably hate to read that!).  They make me laugh.

Dr K: My anaesthetists on my second biopsy and main surgery.

F & C: My speech pathologists.  I started with a speech pathologist C, then changed in hospital to F, who works with another C.  Yes, confusing I know, hang in there with me.  Nothing to do with the original C who I really liked.  Just a mixup on the part of the hospital and I stuck with my new speechies because we’d worked together through my early recovery and I’d really liked them too.

E: My local physio after I left hospital.  (In hospital, my main physio was A, but I’m not if I mentioned her by name.)



  1. Hi Kirsten
    Your blog has been such a comfort to me over the past couple of weeks. Thank you. It’s very likely I’ve got an ameloblastoma on the lower left jaw. My GP referred me to Vinnies, I’ve met with a head and neck surgeon, had a CT, MRI, head X-ray and even an ultrasound. My husband and I are attending a clinic next Tuesday, to meet with all the specialists to work out a plan for treatment. A biopsy should be done a week or so after, with surgery 6-8 weeks from now. I’m going publicly as I don’t have private health insurance. I’m keen to know the name of Dr P, just in case I’m lucky enough to come across him.

    Also, do you know if there are psychologists that can help prepare you emotionally for what is to come? I am pretty weak emotionally at the moment, my sister in law passed away 3 months ago from melanoma cancer leaving behind a 10 month old daughter and beautiful husband. We are a large and close family and were all heavily involved with her care. I need to find the strength to lead my family through this. We are all still recovering, and have a long way to go.

    Thanks again for blogging your experience, it is confronting and comforting at the same time. Like you, I have a young daughter, and I’m guessing we’re of a similar age. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I think of your words, “you. will. be. fine”.
    Thanks for your time Kirsten,

  2. @Kristy – I’m so sorry about your sister in law. And this on top of everything you must all be going through already.

    Email me on marsupialmum AT gmail DOT com and I’d be happy to share Dr P’s name. As a public hospital, St Vincents could well have counsellors available for you – ask! I went to see a lovely psychologist and I’m happy to give you her name too.

    One of the lovely things about writing this blog is being able to help in some small way. Please feel free to email me. I live near St Vincents and I’m 33 with a 2 year old daughter.

  3. Dear Kirsten, thank you for sharing your journey. My husband just had surgery to remove the ameloblastoma from his lower right jaw. It has been so hard and it is only the beginning. He was hospitalized again after pus/infection began dripping from his wound. They had to reopen the wound, flush it out, pull out another tooth and suture him back 3/4 to allow it to drain. They will reopen him again to do a final flush and rule out infection. Apparently the surgeon had trouble closing up the first time and food was getting into a hole that connected to the plate. Needless o say we have lost faith in our team. It had been a heartbreaking and frustrating experience. We have a long recovery ahead but reading your blog makes me more hopeful that he will be fine again. I hope you continue to do well and thank you again for sharing your journey.


  4. @Shirley – Thanks for commenting. It certainly sounds like your husband hasn’t had the ideal road to recovery. I didn’t have any medical setbacks in recovery, just the plate in my jaw being too big. I entirely understand the loss of faith. If you’re considering finding a new team or just want advice on dealing with the team, have you considered the Ameloblastoma group on Facebook? Details here: I don’t go on there nowadays but they were terribly helpful. Best wishes, Kirsten

  5. Joy Ataderie says:

    Kirsten thank you so much for this blog I have been reading it in between consultant appointments without I would be a wreck right now. Your experience has absolutely filled me with more than I bargained for with information on the procedure recovery and the emotional element as that is really important. Even the small things like your diet exercise and your pictures are really great too. I hope you’ve recovered well and are somewhere close to that Kirsten before Blaster came.

  6. Glad it helped. 🙂

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