Wittier Word Weavers

Writers' Club of Whittier

A Fifth Anniversary

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“Yours will be a straightforward surgery,” Dr. Maghami said five years ago in a City of Hope examining room. “I won’t need to crack your jaw or do anything disfiguring.” That, believe me, was good news. I didn’t want my grandchildren secretly referring to me as Scary Grandma.

So, let me get right to the happy ending. I am celebrating five years with no recurrence of cancer. A spot of cancer was skillfully removed from the back of my tongue and also, as a precaution, 22 benign lymph nodes from my neck. My tongue seems as grateful as I am. Didn’t need chemo. Didn’t need radiation. This is definitely an express route away from Halloween and straight toward Thanksgiving!

Therefore, I deeply thank:

  • My dentist Dr. Kim who noticed that suspicious patch and advised me to have it biopsied.
  • Dave Harris, who told us how to get in touch with Dr. Maghami.
  • Ellie Maghami, my gifted Head and Neck surgeon.
  • Valerie, my speech therapist who taught me that the tongue is a strong muscle and won’t break. She also gave me those silly exercises to develop perfect speech.
  • My husband, who handled all the stress, all the paperwork, all the driving — and who slept on a chair in my hospital room. Don also walked up and down the corridor with me, closing the back of my hospital gown as I wheeled my IV pole out front.
  • My first-born son Darin who asked more than once when he could visit me in the hospital, even though I assumed such a visit wouldn’t help either one of us. But it did. He also brought:
  • His sister/my daughter Andrea, who taught me how to blog and who suggested the name Tongue In Cheek – while I blatantly added Cancer Is Hard To Swallow (click here) Tongue In Cheek – Cancer Is Hard To Swallow. It became my journal and also a reference for friends and family so Don wouldn’t have to repeat information over and over on the phone each night.
  • My middle-born son Justin who, from 2,000 miles away, sent a single-word expletive via email, which pretty much summed up everyone’s feelings. He and his family have since moved to California.
  • My dear mother who, once I was home, wanted to help. She toddled across the room with my glass of water balanced on the seat of her walker. “Oh, I feel so useful!,” she sighed with a smile. I miss you, Mom.
  • The Conners, who not only fixed dinner, but who drove it from Glendora to Whittier to sit and eat with us.
  • Juli, who sent humorous gifts from Illinois (my favorite item being a hand mirror with beautiful rosy lips painted on the non-magnified side).
  • Treasured friends who sent greeting cards and who wrote such tender expressions of caring. I saved those cards for five years and re-read them last week.

I will see Dr. Maghami on Tuesday and plan to walk in with a a big smile and a mylar balloon in the shape of a “5.” She’ll probably say, as she did on the First Anniversary, “This calls for a hug.”

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6 thoughts on “A Fifth Anniversary

  1. wow…thanks for this incredible story. Congrats on your 5 year anniversary!

  2. Dear Sherry, congratulations on a milestone! We wish you good health for years to come. You are a treasure for us all. Blessings, Kay and Bob

  3. How sweet it is, Sherry! God’s Blessing on you and Don!

  4. Wow, Sherry! This almost sounds like resurrection! I guess the power of prayers in your circle influenced your recovery.

  5. I am so glad you have come through this so well, Sherry! Sounds like you have had a great support system every step of the way and nothing heals so quickly as the strength of love. Peace and Love to you and your whole family!

  6. So happy for your 5th, Sher. Yippee! So glad for your family and friends. Love you loads!!! ~ Lucy

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