Ok, so first things first. Let me go ahead and be a big baby over this dang canker sore. I know, I know, Eve has cancer. But my mouth really hurts!
It started on Thanksgiving. A pretty large canker sore appeared on the side of my tongue, right where it rubs my teeth. I took Thanksgiving dinner slow, as it hurt terribly to move my tongue around. And the resentment starts. I have nothing but ire for things that get in the way of my favorite pastime: eating. Food and me go waaaaaaay back.
Luckily, there are random tubes of Baby Orajel around the house, half-used from teething children. That provided enough relief for about 3 minutes of turkey time. This sissy stuff has got to go- off to get some adult Orajel!
Ok, so big people Orajel stings twice as much before your mouth goes numb and lasts about 5 extra minutes. Kind of worth it if you can eat fast. Hard to eat fast with a giant ulcer in your mouth, though. Once my tongue is asleep, I start to eat and realize my throat hurts when I swallow. Is there a canker sore in my throat?? Better get some Chloraseptic on that. Nothing like having your mouth squirted with something that tastes like cherry-flavored bandaids. NOW I'm ready to give it a go! Bring on the food!
But wait! What the heck is that? MY EAR! Is there a canker sore next to my ear canal? The pain comes on quick several times a day. Nothing a fistful of Motrin can't handle.
By Monday, I'm pretty mad. I have not had any yummy snacks to stuff my face with while I Hulu old television shows because it hurts too bad. Watching 21 Jump Street without chips and dip is like watching 21 Jump Street without Johnny Depp! (Who even watched Season 5, anyway?) I got a quick fix by swishing with warm salt water. Mmm...sodium.
Matt came home from the drugstore with something called "Canker Cover." It's this little patch that turns into a gel which covers your sore for 12 hours. There is a disclaimer on the box: Some discomfort may occur during the first few minutes for a small number of users, but will quickly subside followed by hours of soothing relief. Holy moly. This is not a joke. If you want to impress party guests by crying on command, carry some of these in your wallet. The pain subsided after 10 minutes or so and the patch began to turn into this strange substance that felt like I had packing tape in my mouth. I woke up the next morning with my tongue glued to my molars. It stayed on for exactly 12 hours and came off in what looked like, for lack of better words, a giant snot ball.
I mixed up equal parts of liquid Benadryl and Maalox and swished that around my mouth while typing "canker sore" into Google. Lots of websites with remedies come up. I see multiple sites that inform me canker sores are caused by trauma or stress, so I should just stop being so stressed out and it will make things better. Thanks, internets!
Next I type in "canker sore ear ache." While the first 7 results showed me that other people experience ear aches with canker sores (so maybe I'm NOT [that] crazy), the title of the 8th was a bit distressing. Oral Cancer Facts. Wha, wha, what? "...Actual cancer while it is still very small...may appear as a...common canker sore...Unilateral persistent ear ache can also be a warning sign." Hold the phone, Pat Sajak, I typed canKer, not canCer.
Time to stop Googling.
I took Eve to the pediatrician's office today for her blood work. She makes me feel really bad whining about a stupid canker sore. I need some of this girl's chutzpah.
As soon as we sit down in the exam room, Eve holds up her finger to the nurse and says, "Boo-boo, finger, bandaid." She knows the drill. Watching her get a finger stick gives me wild ideas of checking her blood sugar at home. Eve doesn't flinch and marvels at the pretty blood. "Pwetty wed bwood!" Her ANC has dropped to 734. I'm not sure if it will be higher on Friday or not...the first time she had Doxorubicin and Dactinomycin, it took a full 14 days to bottom out before coming back up. The ordinary time is 7-10 days, though Eve is anything but ordinary.
I find myself extremely anxious for Friday's clinic to get here. I want to be done with Phase 1 of this process. Eve will have a CT scan on Monday and then we will meet with her surgeon to determine if she will be able to have surgery the following week, or if she will need another 6 weeks of chemo to shrink the tumors further. I do not want this to turn into a DOT project with no end in sight. While it feels strange to say out loud that you want your child to have surgery, I'm fine with typing it here. Bring on the knife!