I’m okay. Now to stay that way.

I'm okay

I’m okay

Still dealing with significant pain, much increased after my exam yesterday.

My doc had to grasp and pull my tongue far forward in order to get a good look at the back portion of the healing area. He was as careful as he could be, but stretching and moving tissue I had been carefully NOT moving for the previous seven days dropped me back to about day three post-op on the “Holy crap, that hurts” scale.

I like my doc, by the way. He is determinedly and ferociously competent, which is the absolute best quality to have in a surgeon. He’s also a nice guy, and I appreciate that too. A lot.

But when your life is at stake, competent beats the shit out of nice.

Anyway, the results for the remaining tissue in the lesion came back with the result of “mild dysplasia.”

Dysplasia is not cancer. Dysplasia is cells that are changing in a way that can become cancer.

Mild dysplasia is better than cancer in the same way that a little poison in your system is better than drinking down a whole bottle. So this is not fixed, done, gone.

This is ongoing, and I’ll be going back to see him every four months.

In the meantime, I’m not going to hope everything will be okay.

I’m doing research into what I can do to prevent cancer. Because I don’t have it, I don’t want it, and I have had a warning shot across the bow from just about the scariest gunship out there.

I will follow conventional treatment. At the same time, however, I’ll look for ways to strengthen my immune system and decrease my intake of problem substances (transfats are evidently more of a problem than I’d though, for example).

And when I know how I’m going to handle this, I’ll pass it on here, in case you might find something of use in what I find out.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

13 comments… add one
  • Holly Jul 28, 2015 @ 9:37

    I did not waste my time. My research proved fruitful, and I can already feel the benefits of putting the first parts of into action.

    Thank you so much for being here for me.

  • Margaret Jul 27, 2015 @ 18:27

    Glad to hear it’s not cancer yet. Sounds like you have a solid plan for avoiding that diagnosis. Hugs on the pain.

  • Amy Jul 25, 2015 @ 22:29

    So glad to hear that things are going well, though we wished for perfect. But we all do what we can with what we have. Sounds like you’re doing everything possible.

    You’re still receiving the well-wishes of all of us who care about you. I hope you’re feeling 100% very soon!

  • Claudette Jul 25, 2015 @ 13:11

    So glad to see this update, Holly. Hang in there. We all know what a fighter you are. Pain in a passing thing, though at the time it’s a bummer and a half. Thoughts and psychic support coming your way. We’ll be here cheering you on.

    I’m glad to know, too, that your doctor knows what he’s doing and does it so well. Hugs to you.

  • Marie-Claire Allington Jul 25, 2015 @ 8:33

    Hugs been thinking about you wondering how it was going. MC

  • JT Jul 25, 2015 @ 3:51

    Glad to know it was only a little poison, and thank you for sharing your experience. I would certainly eliminate trans fats, in fact any of the common seed and vegetable oils (except olive oil and coconut). These are typically found in processed food; stick to real food. Best wishes.

  • Paula Jul 24, 2015 @ 11:14

    A lot of foods have super cancer preventative and fighting properties. Turmeric is specifically noted as well as omega 3s. Refined sugar feeds it, so do artificial sweeteners.
    I’m currently fighting a fungal infection that I’ve had for years and has wrecked havoc on my life. It was only diagnosed when I broke down and went to see a naturpathic doctor. I’d had enough of being told I was making it up when I knew damn well I wasn’t! I am now on the road to recovery, who knew plants had such amazing anti-fungal properties and without causing resistance. 😉
    I guess I’m saying just keep your options open, conventional medicine is not the only option nor is it always the best when it comes to prevention and treatment.
    Keep being healthy in the back of your mind and take health improving steps but try not to worry and obsess over it. Worry is a type of stress and changes cortisol levels making cells behave differently.
    Get better soon, I can only imagine how frightening and painful it all must be. 🙂

  • Jean Jul 22, 2015 @ 15:10

    I’m happy to hear from you.

    Fascinating commentary, Rez.

  • Rez Jul 21, 2015 @ 19:11

    Things you can do, speaking from under a biochemistry hat:

    Don’t overdo salty foods. Salt restriction is bad for you too (lower life expectancy, as it turns out), but significantly-salty food is an irritant specific to the nose and throat. Repeated irritation can trigger cancers.

    Don’t restrict dietary cholesterol, and for ghu’s sakes do NOT let anyone talk you into taking statins. As we age, higher cholesterol is protective, especially against cancer. Cell walls, the very things that help prevent cancer-causing viruses from setting up housekeeping inside cells, are largely structured from cholesterol. What happens when you pull bricks out of their walls?? (And the “insulation” on your nerves is cholesterol-based. What happens when you damage that? A: Multiple sclerosis.)

    Deb: where I used to live we had a world-class colon cancer researcher, who was studying a family with the misfortune to be affected far beyond the norm. And he noted two things:

    Colon cancer is 100% genetic. Given enough pedigree data it becomes *very* predictable. (From what I’ve seen, it appears to be a single gene that inherits as an incomplete dominant.)

    High fibre intake is actually NOT a good thing, and probably increases cancer risk. (Which made sense to me: to the gut, fibre is an irritant.)

    Mild dysplasias often don’t go anywhere or are predisposed to remain localized. But in dogs, they are principally a result of hormone imbalance (which is why benign fatty tumors are almost exclusively diseases of spayed/neutered dogs — but they also have an incidence of aggressive cancers ~4x higher than in intact dogs). So it is important to ensure that your entire endocrine system is working well. Get that thyroid panel done, along with a full hormone workup (don’t forget testosterone) and ensure that your levels are *optimal*, not merely “within reference range”. (And always “fix” thyroid first. Other hormones will typically normalize once thyroid is fixed. And natural hormones tend to be utilized better than synthetics by most, but not all patients.)

    EVERYTHING else depends on thyroid function, but relevant here, your ability to make proteins that are used to repair damaged tissue. (Hence some cancers that tend to result from chronic irritation are associated with untreated hypothyroidism.) Also, your ability to properly utilize cholesterol. (See above.)

    Anyway, that’s what come to mind that are relatively easy to nail down or control.

    And of course — GOOD LUCK!

  • Deb Salisbury Jul 21, 2015 @ 16:25

    Any tips on fighting cancer will be greatly appreciated. My mom had a foot of colon removed two months ago, and I’d love to be able to help her make sure the cancer doesn’t come back.

  • Roger lawrence Jul 21, 2015 @ 15:55

    Eat healthily and pray for the best. I will.

  • Texanne Jul 21, 2015 @ 15:21

    Glad to know you are okay and are doing all you can to stay that way. :)TX

  • Melinda Primrose Jul 21, 2015 @ 12:52

    So glad you are OK! Will still keep you in my prayers that it will never get to full cancer. Keep fighting!

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