So my job involves speaking. The school where I work has been very facilitating, here - I've been allowed to work from home, so as to keep me safe from COVID (for example) until I can get into surgery (scheduled for the end of September) - but there's no way around talking with students when you're an English tutor. And whatever-it-is growing on the side of my tongue - or growing "into" the side of my tongue, since it seems to be intruding from without, not extruding from within - is different from my last round of cancer: it hurts in similar ways, but it's bleeding more, and seems more sensitive, and is having more of an impact on my speech. It's maybe not as bad if I favour it and speak like a mush-mouthed lush, barely opening my jaw, but I have to speak clearly with students, you know?
Friday last, I had eight students (plus a few breaks). Suffice to say, it hurt. It felt good at the time, in a way, to power through work, but here's a measure of how bad it is in my mouth right now: yesterday - without having been too talkative at all - I took half a slice of apple off Erika and popped it in my mouth to suck it for a second before biting off the edge with the peel. After I bit, I took the peel out of my mouth - not trying to prove anything, just removing something that would require effort to chew - and we could see that there was a patch of blood on the bits of apple still connecting to the peel, corresponding to the sores on the side of my tongue.
That's a bit scary. A bit distracting. Though weirdly, it doesn't taste like blood in my mouth - it tastes a little bitter and chemical, not coppery.
I am thinking I might be wise not to save all my sick days for my recovery, but to use a couple for the run-up to surgery. Have cancelled my tickets for the Paul Pigat show. Had made plans to eat out tonight - Downlow chicken, which Erika and I both love - but I'm thinking I might be better going next door to the fish and chips place, because... ouch.
Lot of writing to do this week, so forgive me if I don't blog about this much. I probably wrote in great detail about what this was like the first time I went through this in 2017 - the fear that I'll wake up tongueless, the oddly sore throat and stuffy nose and even mild earache that go along with the cancer and leave you wondering if it's spreading... I'm not quite as terrified as I was, because I had the living example that my terrors LAST time were hyperbolic: after my surgery I was (more-or-less) fine (for a few years, anyhow). But on the other hand, whatever's on the side of my mouth now, it feels a bit worse, I think, seems a bit bigger, "hotter," more tender.
I should go write work about taking a couple more days off.