Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The most horrible news

Today is the hardest day of my life.

I have come to a crossroads where I have to decide. Is the way I look important enough to undergo another extensively evasive surgery? Or do I live with the way my face is forever.

Because that is all I have left. The bone graft is deteriorating. And even worse, they do not know why. In a few short months, everything I have worked for the past 18 months, all the surgeries I have healed from, all the staying at home hiding, all the tears I have cried, all the scars have been for nothing. Nothing! The doctor says I am otherwise a healthy, 25 year old female, never had an infection from one of the surgeries, had strong bone grafted into the site, taken care of my mouth. But it is all going down the drain. And now we have to start all over again. That is, if 'I decide that is what I want.'

In the past it was always 'This is plan A: Plan A is, we get enough bone in and we implant the teeth again. Then we fix your chin.' Plan B was 'We can make you a really nice looking denture. Then we fix your chin.' But both of those plans rely on me having a strong base of bone in my mouth to work with. At this point, even plan B has deteriorated along with the grafts in my mouth, and now I am faced with starting from square one- another 8-10 hour surgery which will take bone from my hip and bits of cadaver bone and graft them into my mouth again, going up through the existing scar on my neck. This means healing from more painful cuts made into the bones of my hip and another slice cut across my neck. The cut across my neck was one of the most painful parts of this whole surgery that I have dealt with, and I just dont know how I can do that again. My only other option was to do nothing. And this means they cannot even fix my chin. No cosmetic surgeon in his right mind will fix the area, if there are no teeth or at least a denture to hold its shape. It will just cave right back in.

How do I make this choice? Every surgery I have faced in the past, the weeks leading up to it I do not sleep. I fear dying. I think of my children. What if I died on the operating table, for cosmetic surgery? How selfish could I be to think of that? But can I live with myself looking this way forever? And if I do the surgery, there is no guarantee. The doctor said this is the last resort, if they do this surgery and it fails, I will be here again another year from now, crying, with new scars just healing and knowing everything I went through was for nothing. If this doesnt work, this is what I will look like, forever.

So, I come to a turning point in my life. Can one really learn to live with a disfigured face and come to love herself for what's on the inside? What is more important. That I am beautiful on the inside and know that I have those who love me despite what I look like? What does it mean to "come to terms" with my face. And how can I start that journey. I feel like it is so far away right now, and I am so lost. Can I learn to love myself looking this way.

So many questions. Too bad I don't know any of the answers.

21 comments:

Lisa (mothersuess) said...

Oh, Tina, there are no words to express how sorry I am about the report from the doctor. I will continue to pray for you as you make this difficult decision.

mcphee25 said...

tina,

i don't know what to say. i am so sorry the news wasn't what you wanted and have been praying for. i know you will do the best thing for you and for your family. we all love you and hope you can wrap your mind around those beautiful children of yours and remember that everything you do or don't do will never change the fact that those 2 angels love you more than anything. hugs to you!!! you know how to reach me if you wanna talk.

Shannon said...

Tina -

I will continue to pray for you. We should never give up hope for a miracle. In every tough situation I have ever been a part of, I have just always tried to remember that God will never put more on us than he thinks we can handle and what does not break us will only make us stronger. You are a strong lady and I know you will find a way to get through this.

Shannon

Stacey said...

I am so sorry Tina. I wish I could answer all those questions for you and make things easier, but only time will help with that. Please know that you are in my thoughts and am here if you need.

Jenn said...

Hi Tina, I am so sorry to read this news. I know how much the restoration of your chin and teeth mean to you. You are a such a strong person to have come this far in this journey. You are a fighter. As long as you and Chris are in agreement with how you want to proceed, that is really all that matters. We will all love you the same, your children will love you the same. Please give me a call to talk. I would love to listen. In the meantime, you are covered in pray. Jenn

Shannon said...

My heart broke when you called earlier. You are so much stronger than you realize. I don't know what decisions you are going to make in the future, but you WILL pull through this.

tracey said...

I am so sorry, i'm in shock for you. I am going to keep praying...

Anonymous said...

Tina, words cannot begin to express the sorrow I am feeling on your behalf. On the other hand, I am so happy for you that you are "here" to be the wonderful mother you are to your children. I am very proud of you for being so strong through your long journey. Something you said made me re-consider a choice I have been trying to make in my life, and one day, I will explain that. But I thank you for it. I prayed very hard for you last night, and I will continue to do so. Much love,
Monica (3M&MGirls)

Anonymous said...

praying for you

Christina (Jordynsmommi) said...

Oh, Tina I'm very sorry! I will be praying for you to help you through this decision. Big hugs girl I know you need them right now...

Emilie said...

Tina, my heart is breaking for you. I am praying for a miracle, because I believe that they can happen. You know that we love you, and are a strong group behind you, ready to help hold you up when you are not strong enough to do it on your own.

Jessi (littlelovebug21) said...

Oh Tina, I know you were praying for better news. I am so sorry you are going through this. You are a beautiful women both inside and out. Nothing will change the beauty your precious children, fiance, family, and friends see. I am praying for you.

Meghan said...

Tina, I am so sorry... Your post earlier this morning of your 2 beautiful children does show how much good is in your life despite the recent events. Whatever you decide, we are here for you...

Janice (polgara_j) said...

Tina, I'm so sorry that you are going through all this. You are beautiful inside and out and will continue to be no matter what you choose. We're all here to support you. Big huge {{{{hugs}}}}.

Melissa & Cooper said...

I'm not quite sure what to say but you've been so strong through all of this, don't give up now. Whatever decision you make, whether your appearance changes or not, you are absolutely beautiful! I can't even pretend to know what you're going through but I do know that you have 2 happy children and a great man that love you unconditionally so lean on them, and me and all of your yada ladies, if you need to. I'm always here to listen. Love you!

Cindy (Chocaholic) said...

Tina,
Sweetheart I cannot begin to understand what you're going through right now, but I want to offer my love, prayers and support. You are a beautiful person that is loved by many....((hugs))

Jason, Jonda and Jack said...

Tina;
I am SO sorry to hear of your report from the doctor. I know you will make the best decision for you, dont rush into it. Spend some time really thinking about it. You are SO amazingly strong you will get through this!
Love;
Jonda

allison said...

tina~ i am so sorry to hear that you didn't get the outcome or answers you wanted yesterday. sometimes life hands you things you can't imagine being able to handle but you always do. you are a picture of stregnth and i know that you will make the right decision for yourself and your family. it may not come easy, and it may take time, but you'll know what to do. please know that i am always here if you need to talk.

Anonymous said...

Tina, I have no words to make you feel better. I just want to say that God has the power to heal, restore and fix anything, and avobe all He can fill your heart and soul with more feith and more strength than the one you have already showed to all who have the honnor to know you, you have 2 beautiful children who as you wrote worth any pain.
Im praying for You and your DF, Aaron and Ashley. (((HUGS))) Karina

Aimee said...

Tina I'm so sorry sweetie. We all love you. Please lean on us when you need strength, we're here for you.

Melissa (Brady's mom) said...

Tina,

I read your entire blog. I guess this is the first time I have ever really heard your entire journey to date. My heart is heavy for you. My prayer for you face each day individually. Sometimes trying to look at the big picture can be scary and overwhelming. We never know what tomorrow brings, but today we can be sure of. I am so glad that Chris and your parents are behind you, showing you that you are worth loving because of WHO you are to them. Please know that I am cheering you on as you continue on this trying journey. (((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))

Melissa (MissBNPreggo)