Christine's Second Surgery

End Of An Era

It seems we are hopefully at the end of this long journey of recovery.

Dr. Garvey took up the knife again at the end of March and sucked out the excess tissue under my chin and with additional massage, it’s looking much more normal. I expect it to get even better with time. I also ended a long, administrative battle with dental, culminating in some rather wonderful teeth.
Dr. Cardosa and Holly Woodhall. Oral physio doctors.

My goal was to be able to bite into a sandwich or burger without having to cut it into small pieces.
I’m happy to report that the results are way better than I ever imagined and I had my first burger in over 2 years, after my last dental consult. It tasted SO good!

So…. we are done, except for the routine 3 monthly checks. My last scan (last week) was clear yet again so that's well over a year cancer free now, although the recovery has been ongoing. It’s pretty amazing to consider where I am now after having 1/4 of my face removed twice and only half the bones remaining in both my legs. I’m able to eat normally, speak normally and I’ve taken to walking around the neighborhood on a semi regular basis. I use a cane for stability but that’s my only aid. The next big step will be a trip to UK when COVID permits.

None of this could have been possible without the skill, confidence and encouragement from my entire medical team at MD Anderson, to whom I owe my life. They have a very aggressive approach and work on the cutting edge of medicine but it worked for me and I am considered something of a walking miracle. Also to CIGNA health insurance who footed the bill! It adds up to around $750K in all so if you’re in UK using the NHS, be grateful it costs you nothing! And let's not forget Andy who has been through hell with me, by my side and held me up the entire way. My rock. Thanks also for the encouragement and support of some very special friends who never wavered and made life “normal” through the tough days.

This will be our last blog post as the journey comes to an end, but of course………its never done. Cancer is always in the back of your mind.

Even More Good News

We had some great news today. Christine’s latest three monthly scan came back clear of cancer. Also she is getting her first COVID vaccine in a couple of days, and hopefully there will be some progress with her prosthetic teeth next week (although the dental department so far has been rather underwhelming). After this, in late March, she will be having a day procedure to re-sculpture her face. This will involve some liposuction and some tidying up of the scars under her chin. This will be performed by the mercurial Dr. Garvey. Seems he will do anything for cookies…
Looking good!

After this, who knows? Christine will continue to have three monthly scans this year, and with all of her knowledge from the last two years has volunteered to help other patients who are stepping into the unknown with their cancer experience. We are hopeful that at some stage this year we will be able to head to the UK to see all of our family. It's been a while… The only sticking point is Andy getting a vaccine. With him losing so much weight, he has fallen out of the obese category required to be in the 1b vaccinations. Let's keep our fingers crossed the rollout speeds up!!!

Stay safe!