Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Vanity, where are my teeth?

Did I mention my tooth loss issue? I really don't even like talking about it because it makes me feel stupid and a bunch of other things including angry.

I never liked dentists. Sorry. Just never did. But I've had extensive work done over the years. Lots of crowns and so forth. Right before I started on that journey of mine I had several root canals and crowns. I spent a ton of money. You could probably say that most of my teeth had root canals etc. And my teeth looked pretty good. This was necessary because I had been avoiding the dentist after having kids.

A year after moving across the country, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Bi-lateral breast cancer stage 2 to be precise. After a double mastectomy I had chemo, a reconstruction, and then started a therapy of after meds. That medicine it turns out is very hard on some people. Everyone, a little different.  I was avoiding the dentist again.

I started losing my teeth! Well the first one you couldn't see really. But as time went on another, then another. Turns out I wasn't losing my teeth I was losing crowns because the bone and the part of tooth that holds the crown was becoming bad. This is a rare side effect of the medication. A more common one is hair thinning. After a couple of years that happened too. :(  They say that will reverse when medication stops (I have another year and several months to go).  But back to my teeth.

After moving again I vowed to find a dentist I could tolerate. I finally did, and voila~ I am now the proud owner of dentures (uppers to be precise). Yuck. However this wasn't an easy process. It required extensive oral surgery, done in a hospital because of my lymphedema in both arms.

Yes, there are wonderful things in the world of medicine that save many lives afflicted by cancer. The down side is you will never be the same and the treatment takes its toll. The upside is you are ALIVE. So I'm not complaining here. But jeesh, my teeth? I never would have thought this would happen. It was a traumatic experience and I'm ashamed to say that it turns out I am a very vain person apparently. But I am alive. :)