We have been told that my Dad has “Squamous Cell Carcinoma” in his mouth. Apparently, it was too large for the Oral Surgeon to treat and we have been referred to another doctor – an ENT (Otolaryngologist) who specializes in oral cancers.
My Dad is now a ghost of the father, leader, thinker, joker, husband, friend and man that we all knew. If you are a regular in his life, he can recall some recent events, sometimes in shocking clarity, but most people, events, locations and accomplishments have disintegrated.
My Dad is not leading the life any of us imagined retirement to be. He is no longer interested in playing racquetball, looking through his stamp collection or engaging in social activities. He will ask you on a visit to share current events in your life and does ask for my family members by name. He can inject jokes into the conversation and when music is playing, his eye’s light up and he will tap his feet, drum on the table to the beat and even get up and dance on occasion.
We have no clear diagnosis, but the fact that the Oral Surgeon is doing nothing and referring us to another doctor doesn’t sit well with me. I am starting to prepare myself mentally for what may come. Braced.