After waiting three weeks, I finally get to see Dr. N, my otolaryngologist (head and neck surgeon), about the sore spot on my tongue. My oncologist, Dr. Barbara, discovered the tongue sore during a routine visit on June 23. The pain level has varied from day to day and sometimes during a given day. Not an excruciating pain by any means, but mostly aggravating when noticeable.
I’ve tried not to worry about it during the past three weeks and I’ve been mostly successful. However, sitting in the waiting room, my anxiety level was slowly rising. What if…
First Dr. N’s assistant takes a look at the sore spot as well as “scopes” the back of my tongue and mouth. He does not seem too concerned, but cautions that Dr. N will have the final say. A bit later Dr. N arrives and proceeds to poke around at the sore area. Later he says that he was trying to make it bleed, and that would not be good. However, the good news is no bleeding. But my tongue now really hurts!
The verdict – Dr. N feels that it is an “artifact” of the radiation, a very delayed artifact since my radiation treatment was a year ago. He did not feel that a biopsy was necessary, but would do one if it would make me feel better. What to do? If he thinks this is not abnormal and that we just need to monitor it to make sure it doesn’t get larger, then I’m comfortable with no biopsy.
I have an appointment with Dr. N already scheduled for late September, so we decide to do nothing now, “keep an eye” on it, and see if there are any changes in September. He took a couple of photos of my tongue for the records so he won’t have to rely on his memory or written notes.
If the “lump” gets bigger and impairs my eating (can’t have that), Dr. N says they can “just cut it out.” Not a pleasant thought.. But for now, I will wait and pray that it heals on it’s own.