In December 2005 I was diagnosed with oral cancer. Within 6 weeks I had been seen by Mr Simon Rogers and the multidisciplinary care team at the MaxilloFacial Unit at University Hospital Aintree.
Following a battery of diagnostic tests, I had my surgery on 23rd January 2006. I had 2/3 of my tongue removed and all of my teeth. A skin flap from my arm was inserted into my mouth (the butt of many jokes). I also had a temporary feeding tube inserted into my stomach to aid feeding in the early stages. After 12 days on ward 29 (many thanks to a great team) I was discharged home.
By March 2006 I was feeling better and then began a course of Radiotherapy (30 sessions) which lasted 6 weeks!!!!!
This treatment does make you feel tired, down in the dumps and some mouth burns can occur. However by June the tube was out, my appetite was good and Mr Butterworth had commenced rebuilding my dental work.
In September I flew to Ireland to attend a wedding and in January 2007 exactly one year after surgery I was cruising the Nile.
The last 12 months have been difficult but I have a wonderful partner who helped me through the low times. I remember Mr Rogers words "after the first year you will begin to feel more normal" The journey continues and to all those who are beginning it, REMEMBER there are a lot of survivors out there.