A significant event took place last week. I had a tumor removed from my tongue. Gross, huh?! Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. I was almost embarrassed to tell people. What! Your tongue? I could see the cringing faces. If only it was on any other part of my body. Maybe then the recovery would not have been as hard as it was too.
I discovered it about 11 years ago. Actually, I noticed it not too long after my first kiss. About 5 months later I felt something in my mouth. I looked in the mirror and there was a purple bump on the top of my tongue, kinda on the right and in the front. My first thought was that my boyfriend had given me something weird (since I had just recently started kissing). I called him and he didn’t have anything like that in his mouth. I went to see a dermatologist. She diagnosed it as a hemangioma. It was a filled blood and that is what gave it its purple color. I also saw an oral surgeon, an ENT, and my dentist measured it every six months. The consensus was that due to the nature of the tumor it was best to leave it unless it was growing or giving me problems. The risk of it hemorrhaging or growing back after being removed kept doctors from wanting to do anything with it. So there it sat for years. It was my silent little buddy.
This last year things changed. It started to become noticeably bigger and was beginning to give me problems. It would swell and feel like a marble in my mouth. It bled a couple of times and other times would have a gray murky color to it. It was time. It needed to go. Getting better could cause more problems. So, I saw an ENT, also considered a head and neck surgeon. She was confident that removal would be easy and didn’t expect there to be any problems afterwards. So, plans were set in motion.
My breakup with my boyfriend will have its 10 year anniversary this August. In my mind, my tumor is a marker of the beginning of our relationship. The relationship has been over nearly a decade and my heart has more than healed from the event. Though, that breakup was a significant event in my life and propelled movement in life that took me to places I would never have gone and have made me more into the “Alina” that God wanted me to be. Yet, I still carry some of that heartache. Especially as the years go on and I remain single. I believe in a BIG God and have seen him answer big prayers. I want a job in Washington: Bam, Kindergarten Teacher! I want a home of my own: Bam, a home rent free! I want a man: Dial tone! I know God hears me and yet I wait.
Like my breakup, the recovery of my surgery was rough. My tongue was SUPER swollen for about 5 days. I couldn’t eat or talk, barely. My tongue was so big that I couldn’t close my mouth. This made sleeping a challenge because I couldn’t swallow and my spit had nowhere to go but out; I drooled a lot. As that went down things got easy but were still difficult. The incision bled a couple of times when it should not have. Even after the swelling was gone, I still struggled speaking normally. I had to take more time off from work. I’m a teacher. Talking is my job. I need to sound normal. By day 9 things were looking up. It was a short season of suffering but not one that I would even wish on my enemies.
My breakup was a lot like that recovery. There was the removal of something that had become a part or my life. My heart bled. I couldn’t eat. Many are familiar with pains such as these. Moving forward, I will no longer have my little hemangioma. Instead, I will have a scar across the top of my tongue. I’m almost considering naming it. It marks a new beginning. It marks a new decade. I love what God has done in me. The good work he has done in my life, he continues to do. I praise him for this and eagerly await for the man I hope he has for me and maybe the removal of my tumor will mark the beginning of a new relationship like the appearance of it marked the old.