I have spent several days at Mayo Clinic, the past few months. It is time to remove the cancer in my ear canal. I was sitting at work with my supervisor one day a couple of weeks ago and she interrupted me to tell me that blood was dripping from my ear unto my shirt. I quickly grabbed a tissue and covered my ear. Now that blood is combined with blackness, I have to cover it constantly with tissue or it will drip out--when the tissue is not in my ear it feels as though the wind is blowing from one ear out the other. Not to make light of this, but maybe there really is nothing in between my ears--ha ha Dr Barr's will take my ear off, lay it to the side of my head where he can see more clearly what is happening down the ear canal--my ear has had so many surgeries on it as a child, the ear canal is smaller than an infants, so it makes it hard for him to see how bad or good it really is in there.
As a young child I was standing outside of our home throwing a football back and forth to the neighbor kids across the street, someone had rolled over the ball with their car and the tube inside the football was bursting through the seems, but it didn't keep us from throwing the ball we loved those simple pleasures. As I caught the ball it blew up in my hands, I immediately grabbed my ear, it began to bleed and my mother rushed me to the hospital, once again for another surgery, the eardrum had exploded. This time it was not able to be repaired enough for me to ever be allowed to be immersed in water--no swimming, no baptism--those things were not a big part of my worries at that time I was so little I didn't think of it as a burden. I do remember being in that hospital more times than I ever wanted to be--same room--same nurses--same surgeries, seemingly to get progressively worse after each surgery. Dr Brian Borland was my ENT, I loved him because he loved my grandmother who was an RN at the hospital where he worked and he always told me incredible stories about her--she passed away having melanoma and he was always impressed with her ability to live as long as she did--she was a fighter.
I never swam, I was baptized at the age of 10 with my ear covered in complete packing, taped down and covered with plastic--with all of that said and done it never took away from the spirit I felt that day.
At age 29 I began to have symptoms of my equal Librium being off, and I was falling to the ground, actually Eric and I would laugh about it, being young and newly married we had no idea what was going on--I went to see Dr.Borland he took one look in my ear and sent me to another ENT specialist, I'm assuming much like Dr. Barr's at Mayo Clinic, he specializes in the inner ear only, his official title is Department of Otolaryngology, Ontology and Neurology department. He explained after he takes the ear off and is able to see the tumor he cannot give me a clear indication as to the severeness of it, but is 70% sure it is in tact and will be able to be taken out. Then he will graft skin from my back or another part of my body to cover the hole in my ear drum, he will make a small hole in the eardrum to allow relief of pressure. We want to attach the Bone Anchored Hearing Aid --the proper name is the Cochlear Baja device for people with SSD, single sided deafness. Basically I will never be able to have hearing restored in my right ear, but with this device it will take the sound from the bone and nerves on my right ear to the bone and nerves on my left ear to help me hear better with the good ear --getting older it is getting even harder to hear, and this will give me a better quality of life. The day before my mother died, I was told because of the Obama Care, what was approved last year is now not covered anymore--It was a let down but I have lived without hearing in that ear for so long, I can do it and continue to read lips, until it is approved.
This recovery will be long and hard. I'm not sure what he means by that, chemo and radiation were no walk in the park, and I've had plenty of ear surgeries. Today I tried to get a clear picture of what my ear looks like....it's hard to see in there, but I forgot to put the tissue in today when Kayla came over and she was pretty sickened by what it looks like, so I'd better keep it covered and cleared from getting infection. You may be wondering why we are waiting until the 10th of December to have the surgery done, well that was my decision, I need to see one of my oncologists on December 3rd which was the earliest Dr. Barr's could get me in, so I opted for my pre-op appointment on December 3rd after my Dr. Magtibay appointment, then surgery on the 10th. Yesterday, Eric and I went to the Audiology department at the Mayo Clinic on Shea to have another hearing test done for the insurance company, I'm pretty sure the audiologist was grossed out when she saw the cotton ball soaked in black cancerous goop, and blood, she asked "Has Dr. Barr's seen you recently? because that does not look good" After explaining to her I saw him a couple of weeks ago, and now he is on vacation I do not want any other doctor doing this surgery, she proceeded with the hearing test, only on the left side this time since they now are convinced I have 0% hearing in the right ear--left ear hearing is still there same as last year--just a tad bit worse--nothing to be alarmed about. Hopefully the insurance will listen to my plea for an exception to be made, so I do not have to go through yet another ear surgery.
|Carcinoma in the ear canal (I wish mine looked this good)|