Earlier this week, I had to go see my ENY surgeon for the first time in 3 months. This is the doctor who sliced open a 10-inch section of my neck and removed the cancerous lymph nodes. He’s also the doctor who initially diagnosed me with cancer.
I still have only limited feeling on the left side of my face as a result of the “radical neck dissection” that he was forced to perform to remove the cancer. I assumed my appointment was to talk about my slowly-regenerating nerves, but I was wrong.
Apparently, I need to go back to him every 2 months for 2 years so they can visually inspect my tonsils and voice box for lumps or obvious signs of cancer recurrence. They use this:
The doctor starts by spraying my nose with an industrial strength numbing agent. He comes back a few minutes later and snakes that fiber optic cable up my nose, through the back of my throat, and twists and turns it to look at my trouble spots. It works kind of like this:
The good news – I have no visible signs of cancer in my throat and voice box.
That’s twice I’ve gotten a clean bill of health – first from the PET scan and now from this examination. I feel very happy and fortunate.