My Journey Through Cancer - Behind the Mask 1

My Journey Through Cancer


April 2016 I received a biopsy on a lump on the left side of neck.  I discovered the lump December 2015 but thought nothing of it, until it was still there in February 2016.  I set an appointment with my provider who ran a lot of blood work, resulted in nothing. She prescribed me antibiotics and instructed me to find an Ear, Nose, & Throat Doctor (ENT) if it was still there in a week. Me being me, I waited weeks before contacting an ENT. I meet with an ENT, at the end of April, who ran blood work and performed the biopsy. Now the wait began…benign or malignant. May 2016 I received an email alert, I opened that email and signed into, and a ton of bricks fell upon my chest. The result read "suspicious of malignancy." WT….Why was I reading this information at home instead of the ENT doctor explaining this information to me? I needed confirmation! WT….I called the ENT and guess what, he was on vacation for a week. I was left with my own cognitive abilities and Google. A week later I was referred to an ENT in Dallas at UT Southwestern, where my diagnosis was confirmed, I had CANCER. A non-smoker, non-pork eating, beef once or twice a year eating, and regular exerciser diagnosed with throat CANCER.

May 2016 My Journey Through Cancer officially began. I was married June 25, 2016 and on July 6, 2016 I was on the surgical table for 6 hours at UT Southwestern. I was discharged July 12, 2016;  July 15, 2016 I woke up with blood gushing from my mouth and nose. I was rushed back for a Cerebral Arterial Embolization procedure because of an aneurysm that ruptured in my neck. You have to wait for the movie for more details on that situation a lot happened between my admission and discharge date.

So, here I am, facing my 2nd week of radiation. Thus far, the worst part is the MASK they use to literally pin you down to a bed. Can you say panic attacks? I'll keep you posted during My Journey Through Cancer. Everyone's journey through cancer will be different and nothing truly prepares you. However, I'm hoping that this information does two things: (1) informs and (2) inspires someone during any hardships. "This life is not without sorrow," one of my cousins reminded me. Days after surgery, liquid pain medicine put me in so much agony that my spirit literally ascended from my body.  Yes, crazy but something moved! In that moment I surrendered and gave it to God. Our FAITH and how we deal with those sorrows determine the progress.

*After surgery I experience excessive saliva, excessive swelling, swollen tongue, speech impairment, and difficulty swallowing. Oh, and the ruptured aneurysm in my neck that scared the ***** out of everyone.

Updates of my 2nd week of Radiation will be posted by August 29, 2016.

My Radiation Mask



August 27, 2016 @09:24 am
Tonika I pray God's healing over your body, mind, soul and this situation. I pray that you continue to share your testimony. There will be people that can not fatimon your experience and your reply will be Only God. He will be your rock when you don't understand, need to cry, need to talk or when you don't need anything. I will be in continue pray for you and your family...Sha Trakena
August 25, 2016 @04:39 pm
I am so sorry that you went through such a frightening experience. I am related to you. My Doctor recently found a mass on my thyroid. I am waiting for results from a sonogram . I go back on Tues the. 30th. I don't smoke and even though I am over wait I exercise on a regular basis. If you have any advice for me I would like to hear it. I also moved to Longview 2 years ago from Calif. Debra Williams Parker
August 24, 2016 @07:52 pm
Toni, you've said a mouthful when you stated that you surrendered and gave it to God. Yes, your faith and how you handle your current situation will indeed determine your progress. God is a healer! He also works in mysterious ways. You will have a beautiful testimony. And when this is all over He will use your creativeness, poetic and theatrical experience to speak through you and use you in a powerful way to reach others. Know that I love you dearly and I am still praying with you and for you! Catina
August 23, 2016 @04:20 pm
I'm praying daily for you. I'm so sorry that you're having to endure this thing called cancer...BUT GOD. Keep the Fairh and stay encourage, love ya Patricia Mayo
August 22, 2016 @09:15 pm
I did not that my friend and classmate was going through this .. I know God has you and I love you .. If you need me I am here .. Cass'andra

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