I went to the dentist this morning. I have a tiny wire bonded to and behind my bottom front teeth to keep them in place. This is a braided wire about the thickness of a piece of dental floss that over time, eating, brushing and munching frays and breaks and needs repair. I was in need of some repair a couple months ago and missed my appointment for a fix and then procrastinated in making another appointment. The wire continued to deteriorate and I found the offending wire carving a sore on my tongue. I couldn’t swallow, eat, talk, drink or sleep without severe pain and only gained relief using that magical dental wax – GUM-not the chewing, the brand. Most of us have had canker sores and can understand how a small disturbance in our mouth can make life miserable.
I didn’t realize the extent to which this had affected my daily demeanor until the moment it was fixed. The procedure took 30 minutes to remove and replace the old with the new wire and in the process the wire egregiously poked my tongue one more time and made me bleed. When done, with all the equipment, hands and cotton gobs removed from my mouth, the dentist said, “how does that feel?” I closed my mouth, licked my lips and spontaneously let out a huge sigh of relief, my shoulders fell, my arms relaxed, my jaw slackened. The doc and nurse laughed, “enough said!!” and I realized it takes so little to bring us down.
This wire with the tip the size of a pinpoint had consumed every waking moment without my recognition of the extent of the discomfort/fear. The wax did a fine job of covering the sharpie but I was always concerned about the wax coming off and the pain to follow.
On the way home from the dentist I felt so relieved and relaxed and then I started to think about my breast cancer. Started by a microscopic cell with a mutation that kept it growing, it didn’t cause any physical pain or discomfort, but upon its discovery brought me down.
I haven’t written in this blog in a while, I’ve been busy and treatment free. Yes I’ve had my tri-weekly infusion of herceptin, but that’s a piece of cake, 30 minutes and done. I’ve been miserable with my skin expanders, but no one needs to hear more about that issue. I have been exercising; back to eating vegan and traveling, lucky me. I stopped taking my Arimedex because it was giving me horrific tooth pain and have yet to take another drug (procrastination is one of my big faults), which I will have to deal with sooner rather than later. Reconstruction surgery is slated for October –which is scary and giving me nightmares– but is the end game of this process. Do I no longer have anything to say…hardly, but not sure it belongs in this blog. Although come to think of it, laughter and funny stories are what keeps me going so I need to rethink this.
Life is tough with cancer, without cancer, because the scary part, it takes so little to bring us down.