Surgery, part 3

Wanna see something gross? Click “More” in order to see the first picture from the surgery. Mind you, it’s gross. I don’t suggest looking at it at all unless you’re OK seeing gross surgery photos.

This is the adenoma prior to surgery. Β The molars are those on the upper left jaw. Β Mr. Lumpy stretched from the soft palate in the back of my mouth to past halfway up on the hard palate, as wide as from the gums to just past the central line in the roof of the mouth. Β To say the least, Mr. Lumpy was huge.

Mr. Lumpy, my tumor

Mr. Lumpy

This is the tumor as Dr. Moss worked to remove it. He had to cut all the way around the outside then start working down in order to ensure getting the whole thing. He wasn’t sure whether it was cancerous or not, so he had to keep an eye out for tendrils or other outcroppings that might indicate Mr. Lumpy was spreading outward from the central bulge.

Mr. Lumpy, getting his comeuppance

Mr. Lumpy during surgery

Here’s the tumor once removed. My scanner isn’t great, so it actually lightened all of the pictures I scanned, but if it weren’t so bleached out, you could read the ruler to see that Mr. Lumpy was just over two inches long. The nurses kept referring to it as the size of a walnut. Hard to believe that managed to grow so big in such a short amount of time and yet be benign.

Mr. Lumpy no longer calls my mouth home

When you remove the tumor, all you’re left with is a lump of gross.

And here’s the result: a crater in the roof of my mouth that removed part of my gums and soft palate and much of my hard palate down to the bone. The large white patches in the center of the crater are where my skull is showing through. Yup, my skull. I’ve seen it on X-rays, I’ve seen it on CT scans, and now in photographs. By the time I was well enough to stand and try to take a look at it myself in the mirror, the crater had scabbed over and it was no longer visible. Still, the nurses right after the surgery all had to have a look for themselves. They had left a flashlight by my bedside in the recovery room so they could all take turns coming in to see for themselves. I found it funny, and my sister Katie says this is pretty typical behavior for nurses. Still, the crater is intimidating and makes for difficult eating, sleeping, and talking. It will take an estimated total of six weeks to heal up more or less completely. I’m really looking forward to that day. It’s still taking getting used to not having this large lump up there for my tongue to always hit. Can’t say I miss it.

What's left after Mr. Lumpy is removed is Mr. Crater

The crater after Mr. Lumpy vacated

So there you have it: really really really really gross pictures of a procedure that divested me of a huge tumor from the roof of my mouth. There aren’t pictures of the adenoids or tonsils because those procedures are both common and boring. Removing a tumor like that from the roof of my mouth? Far more interesting. πŸ™‚

6 thoughts on “Surgery, part 3

  1. Aunt Rachel

    How are you doing now Erin? (The photos are fascinating.) You’ve sure been through a lot. I’m glad that the worse part is over for you. (It is right?) Did all of this affect your teeth in any way?

    1. Erando Post author

      Hi! Nice to hear from you. πŸ™‚ I’m doing all right considering the giant hole in my head, lol. The doctor did have to remove some of my gums, so now they’re swollen up pretty bad while they heal, which means they’re putting a LOT of pressure on my teeth and making my jaw ache all the time. I’m hoping the swelling goes down soon, but it probably won’t until the roof of my mouth really starts to grow back. Talking hurts, eating hurts, sleeping hurts, but I’ll get through it. It’s just going to take time, probably another two or three weeks. I’m looking forward to all of this being over! Thanks for thinking about me. I hope all’s well up your way!

  2. Aunt Rachel

    You sure do have a great attitude about it all. If you took away 3 of my greatest joys in life: talking, eating, and sleeping, I’d probably have a “pity party” every day and be miserable!
    Yup, we’re well here, as long as we stay in the air conditioned house or car!! :o)

  3. Erando Post author

    I’ve had some “pity party” moments, but I’m generally too focused on “avoid the pain” moments to really think too hard on how miserable all this really is, lol. Dr. Moss told me right off the bat when we first scheduled the surgery that I was going to be miserable for four to six weeks, and I’ve been trying to live beyond that prediction and be more cheerful and optimistic about the whole thing. I figured it’d help me heal if I didn’t spend all my time worrying and moping. I think it’s helped to stay positive. Being cheerful doesn’t stop the pain, but it’s probably making everyone’s lives around me better. I can’t imagine how much more miserable Ian would be if I were depressed all the time. πŸ™ So I muddle through. It’s nice knowing there are people out there who care for me and want me to get better, so I’m going to do that. πŸ™‚ And at the end of all this is a steak fixed by my father-in-law who makes awesome steaks! πŸ˜€ What’s not to look forward to? πŸ™‚

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