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Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 14
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Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 14
Hi Damien, sorry to hear of your diagnosis but welcome to the group.

Depending on the location of your tumor/what type of surgery you have, your speech may not be affected too badly. I had an SCC tongue and underwent a partial glossectomy with a flap reconstruction (used a bit of my forearm skin to rebuild the missing bit) in December and I was able to speak after a week. I have a bit of a lisp now but that's about it.

Try not to worry too much until you have a surgical plan and know what to expect! The waiting for answers is the worst part.

In terms of breaking the news like others said your kids are old enough to understand. Sounds like you have a beautiful family! In my case, I had a nonhealing lesion on my tongue and I had it biopsied but waited until I met with the ENT surgeon and knew what was ahead of me before telling my family, it's easier if you have answers to the inevitable questions they will all have.

Good luck! We are here cheering you on, don't hesitate to reach out with any questions!

Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 31
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Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 31
Hi Damien

So sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I went thru a similar situation last March. Not a tobacco user and only a social drinker yet stage IV tongue cancer jumped into my lap at age 52. I struggled with how and when to tell our four boys (ages 17-23). My wife thought it best to tell them early rather than wait for my biopsy results and all the treatment details. FYI, my ENT doctor said "99% sure that is cancer" after less than a minute of visual examination.

We ended up telling the boys early before the biopsy verified it as SCC. I realized I was more afraid of taking away their security. Note, I am the single source of our income, maybe some male bravado there too, my wife stayed home with boys for 23 years and counting. And, telling them makes it "more real."

But, I had no idea how their love, support, and strength would help me through. We told close family/work after the biopsy, and then extended family/friends once we had a complete surgery and recovery picture. The emails, letters, texts, and phone calls were so powerful and helpful. I look back now and think I could have opened up to more people earlier. I am also a fairly open person. For some people who are more introverted, this may not be the right path.

We are not big fans of social media. We did everything thru email lists, text, zoom, and phone calls.

Stay safe and keep the faith.

Nels


OC thriver, Tongue Stage IV, diag 3/12/20, surg 4/1/20, RT compltd 7/8/20
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