Sunday, August 16, 2009

Making a list

Time to pop the cap of my Sharpie and flip to a fresh page in my legal pad. Tomorrow morning I have another appointment with Dr. B1 and I'm full of questions again.

I may feel listless, but tha morning. And at the top of my list of questions for Dr. B1 is asking him if the time has arrived for getting rid of my trach.

You can see a bit of my trach in the self-portrait I posted here. It's that white plastic thingy below my chin. The trach has been a fixture in my body since Jan. 14, when I had my first biopsy. The trach was installed to facilitate breathing since the swelling of my tongue was closing off my airway.

The one you see in the photo is what Dr. B1 calls the "high-profile" model; the removable tube sticks out further than the low-profile trach I prefer to wear. The only advantage that I can see to the high-profile model is that it gives me a place to hang my car keys.

The swelling in my tongue has since diminished, and a biopsy two weeks ago apparently cleared me of cancer, so I'm crossing my fingers that Dr. B1 will greenlight the surgery to remove the trach and stitch up my neck.

I'm leaving the decision in Dr. B1's hands. It's my neck that's on the line, but Dr. B1 is the guy who has shepherded me throughout this cancer ordeal, and I have a great deal of trust in him. There is still plenty of weirdness going on with my face, and it may make more sense to wait till I achieve progress in recovering mobility of my mouth and jaw before removing the trach.

My other major question for Dr. B1 is asking him what I should be doing to regain the ability to speak. After eight months, I'm ready to bow out of this vow of silence.

But my motives are not completely selfish. It would also be good for the planet for me to speak again.

You have no idea how many trees have fallen to keep me supplied in legal pads.

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