June 2, 2017 I had my first appointment with Dr. Ridge. I went to the Fox Chase Cancer Center. I was nervous. Maybe nervous isn't the right word. I felt very timid. Like, I wasnt supposed to be there. I walked up to the counter and checked in. I felt so proud of myself for not crying as I was explaining to them my situation. Mind you at this point (even though it was only the second day) I hadn't really told a anyone, just my close friends (which is like 25 people, don't judge). So I sat there texting my bff, she was basically telling me what maybe to expect or not to expect. Then this cute little old lady came over to me. She gave me information about resources the cancer center has for patients and then she walked me back to the waiting room for my doctor. As we were walking back she said to me "Dr. Ridge is phenominal. He's really a great doctor". That made me feel better because not only did she and my dentist tell me that, the lady on the phone who made my appointment had also told me that the day before. So I sat in the waiting room and then a nurse called me back. They checked my height and weight, took my vitals, and asked all the typical medical questions. I was a little nervous because I honestly couldn't tell you when I had been to the doctor prior to this visit. Then the nurse left and I sat there reading my book waiting on my doctor. The next thing I know a guy comes in, I don't remember his name but he told me that he works closely with Dr. Ridge. He asked me questions about when I noticed the lump, if it hurt me, and then he stuck a mirror down my throat (pause). That was a little uncomfortable because its like omg I dont want to swallow this thing, get it out!
After he checked me out, a few minutes later the big guy came in the room. I'm not exaggerating when I say he is a big guy. Well not fat, just super tall. So he comes in, introduces himself, shakes my hand and asks me what brings me in. In my head I'm like, uhhh aren't you supposed to know this. But whatever, I answered the question. Then he checked me out the same as the other doctor, and asked me the same questions. Well he also asked me about myself like what I do, where I live, and stuff like that. Then he broke it down:
"This is a very slow growing cancer in your saliva glands. It is not a very common cancer. We first want to get you to get molds of your mouth made for your obturator. You will get a CT Scan, MRI, and Chest X-Ray. This type of cancer duplicates on your lung so we have to look and see if it has done that. We will perform surgery to remove the cancer. We will also have to remove two or three teeth. After the surgery you will have an oil cloth to patch you up. This oil cloth will be left in for about a week. After that week you will have it taken out and then go to the dentist to get your obturator. Now, the obturator is a lot different than the oil cloth. The oil cloth is smooth and it is easier for you to talk and swallow. A lot of times when people get their obturator they get frustrated because they felt like they were making progress with speaking and swallowing and then the obturator feels like a set back. You will have to go every few weeks to get it adjusted. You will also have to go to speech therapy. They will help you with talking and swallowing. The goal is for you to sound exactly how you sound right now. 6 weeks after the surgery you will have to do radiation. The radiation will be 5 days a week for 6 weeks. There are a few side effects to radiation like making you tired or sometimes you get sore and sores in your mouth, BUT we will get to that when it comes".
I just sat there blinking like the blinking meme. You know how when you don't know something to the point that you don't even know how to ask a question? That's how I was. I just said okay. He said any questions I said nope. He said okay we are going to get you fit for your obturator, they will call you to set up your appointments. I said okay, he shook my hand and then left.
So of course I called my bff after the appointment to tell her everything and make jokes about how I would never be able to give top ever again. I called my mom and my other good friend Donnie. He and I actually went to lunch that day. It was so hard for me to eat because I was still healing from the biopsy on the roof of my mouth. It was also hard to eat because I couldn't stop crying. "They're going to take my teeth out!" I just now realized a few months ago that I have a good smile and now I'm going to be missing 3 teeth *rolls eyes*.
I had to work at T Mobile that night. I figured if I went to work it would keep my mind off of the situation. I walked in there and I went straight to my manager and I said "I have to tell you something". She said whatever it is just spit it out, it will be fine. So then I told her and I was crying and I was just a hot ass mess. It's like my biggest fear is dying. I believe in God whole heartedly so why don't I accept being with him? She calmed me down and assured me its okay. She literally said "Cherry you are not going to die" lol. That made me feel better. I also told a couple of my co-workers (yeah I know I talk a lot) and they made a few good points.
From that day forward that's what I was going to do. I made a mental note to myself, no more crying to people. If I seem scared then they will seem scared and we don't need two scaredy cats. I'm Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman doesn't cry she kicks ass. That's exactly what I intended to do. Kick this Cancer's ass.