It Is Not a Question of "If" the Storm Will Hit but "When"

My husband was diagnosed with Mucoepidermoidl Carcinoma last Thursday. Some of you know and some of you don’t , but I felt I should fill you all in and give a little background.
Back in August, Anthony noticed a bump on the right side of the roof of his mouth. He didn’t want to go get it checked at the doctors and frankly I wasn’t that concerned either.
In early October I scheduled a dental cleaning for our whole family and it was there that Anthony mentioned it to the dentist. The dentist even had trouble seeing it at first and thought it was probably just a calcium deposit. It was near the main salivary gland though, so he decided to send us to an Oral Surgeon (Dr. Lebedovych) to take a closer look.
Oct. 26 - At our appt. Lebedovych was not too concerned either, but he did mention to us about a rare cancer that it could possibly be and that he would biopsy just in case. He said the chances of it being malignant were 3 -5%. That # was SO low that we were anticipating a benign result.
Nov. 5th - 11 days later I answered my cell phone and it was the Dr. on the other line. I could tell by his voice that all was not well. I will never forget standing in my kitchen while my husband mouthed the words to me, “I have cancer.”
The next day’s visit to the oral surgeon was even more unsettling. As many of you know, I have extreme dental anxiety, so the information I was having to process was VERY hard. I had always imagined myself being strong in such a situation, but I eventually had to leave the room . As I knelt on the bathroom floor (the thought of germs did not enter my mind at that moment) I surrendered my future and fears to God. I cried out to God – I had no other place to go in that moment. He has ALWAYS shown Himself faithful in the past, so I knew where I needed to place my trust.
The Oral Surgeon said that the cancer was in the intermediate stages and that it would be treated as high. Radical surgery (hemi- maxillectomy)that involved removing the upper palate, jaw and teeth on the entire right side would be needed along with radiation. He referred us to a ear, nose, throat doctor (Dr. Villeret) who might be able to do the surgery.
Nov. 12 – We left for Charlotte at 5:30 am and dropped off our boys at a friend’s house. This would end up being the longest period of time that the boys had been away from both of us at once. We are so blessed to have friends who were willing to watch 3 boys for 12 hrs.!
Anthony had a CT SCAN and then an MRI. We had 4 hrs. then until our next appt. We were able to get some breakfast and had time to talk for a while. The rest of the time we spent waiting in the car, and had a LONG time to read and study God’s Word together. It was just the refreshing time we needed.
I had had such a sense of peace up until we were sitting in the waiting room. Anxiety began to kick in again because I was very nervous about hearing the results of the tests he had earlier that morning. When we finally saw the Dr. he gave us news that we were definitely not expecting. He said that during surgery he would try to just core out the tumor and not do the hemi maxillectomy. Even though this surgery would still include removing a portion of the upper palate around the tumor up through the bone and into his sinus cavity this sounded WAY less scary to us! A prosthesis will still be needed but a small one in comparison to the one we were first told of and would be able to be made here locally, instead of traveling down to Gainsville FL.
Some swelling was found in his right sinus though, and the Dr. said the cancer could have spread up to there. He will have no way of knowing if this is the case until he is actually doing the surgery. If cancer is found, then the hemi -maxillectomy will then be a necessity. We are believing that this will not be the case. Anthony will not know until he wakes up from surgery exactly what he will be left with – which is a little daunting!
The scan also revealed some enlarged lymph nodes. The doctor then kindly asked us if we had traveled from the Greenville area. We told him that we did and he offered to see us after his 2 last patients because he would have a block of time to run more tests. Not having to take another trip to Charlotte to have this done was a BIG answer to prayer!
After an ultrasound of his lymph nodes, it was determined that Anthony would need a fine needle aspiration/ biopsy done. This was a longer and more painful process than I had envisioned , but he made it through.
We should get the biopsy results back in a couple days (Mon.?) if they come back positive Anthony will need to have them removed . If it comes back negative he will receive radiation to that area, in addition to his mouth because of a high false negative result.
Even though this is a difficult time for our family the hand of God has been apparent to us in our lives. It is amazing to think of all the little things that have transpired that were definitely NOT coincidences.
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