Barbara's Cancer Blog

Checking in after a long time

Hi everyone,  Haven't been on the site for a long time.  In July 2017 I had to have a fibula free flap to mandibullar transplant on the left lower jaw for osteoradionecrosis.  2017/2018 was hard.   The thing with my jaw started in January 2017  - hyperbaric chamber, followed by molar extractions that didn't heal and culminated with the surgery in July 2017.  Its been 1 1/2 years and life has been different but as we always do - we adjust.  No more cancer scares since then.  Finally got a sleep study and started on a CPAP a month ago and am sleeping for the first time since 2012.   

Well, I know all of you have had your many challenges and victories since I last touched base.  I'll try to stay in touch better.  Love to you all


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Prayers for healing and no more pain.
Glad to hear no more cancer scares, dang cancer, go away, way away.

Great for getting on a Cpap machine. I've been on it for about 7 years. It's made quite a difference in my life. I told myself failure wasn't an option. Good luck and enjoy your new dreams.
Thomas likes this comment
Prayers going up! Expecting blessings to come down. And you are blessed to have a great family and friends.
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ORN Journey and Surgery

Hi my dear friends, It's been a while since I posted. Beginning in January 2017 my journey culminating in a Free Flap Fibula to Mandible surgery to replace my necrotic left jaw began.  I know we have all been through so much in this journey with Cancer, but I am amazed how resilient the human body and spirit are. I am now 4 weeks post surgery. I won't lie it was brutal, but it isn't a recurrence of cancer so I remain so thankful.  I have been blessed with wonderful husband, children, grandchildren and 2 precious girlfriends who stuck by me and loved me through it all. Basically, in January during my routine 6 month dental checkup and cleaning the dentist found infection in gums under the last two molars on the radiated jaw. Next to periodontist who said I had 60% bone loss to the mandible. Next to Oral Surgeon, teeth just come out. Next HBO treatments 30 before and 10 after extractions. Over the next 3 months gum didn't heal and then bone appeared. Got news it was ORN in early July and had surgery on July 24th. In the hospital for 6 days. They basically cut through my original neck dissection site and then some. They took my left fibula and fashioned a new jaw. And here I am 4 weeks post operation and am able to walk without the walker and just started soft foods on Friday. I wanted to share my journey in the hope I can help someone on this site who maybe facing this issue. I have a strong faith in God and I have definitely felt His presence during this time. Love to you all 

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I'm sorry too hear about the necrosis. Thank you for posting your journey. It's very helpful. I pray that all goes well from this point on.
You are a blessing to share with others. Praying all continues to heal.
Your procedures sound invasive and intense, I believe having a wonderful family and faithful friends must have helped a lot. And, you attitude is wonderful. Thank you for sharing this part of your journey. And, as you said, it's not a re-occurrence. Good for you.
Oh Barbara you have been through Hell I am so sorry about all of that. I hope things really improve for you, you deserve ! Cancer and the aftermath really do suck. I had the oral surgery and HBO treatments in 2016 to get ready for implants a year plus after having my teeth extracted I am still patiently waiting for my last appointment when they will put the teeth in. Everyone is amazed I am so patient, but after what we have been through we know not to hurry the process.. you my friend are a total inspiration to me and I do hope for the best for you to come Hugs xo
Ron likes this comment
Thanks Valarie. I know you will be glad when your journey getting teeth is done. You are right I have learned to be patient too. I'm progressing well and looking forward to being able to eat real food in a couple of weeks. Love and well wishes to you.
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Vital Info


June 12, 2011

Jacksonville, Florida

September 10, 1951

Cancer Info

Tonsil Cancer

Stage 4



How blessed I am to have a great family and friends

Mayo Clinic Florida

Don't try to rush anything in recovery .. One day at a time..

April 1, 2011

July 5, 2011

Swelling on left neck found one morning in November 2010

December 6, 2010 left neck resection..

Cisplatin ....nausea and fatigue

IMRT 37 treatments which began Jan 17, 2010. Still not sure how I got through it.


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