ROBOJAW 3 REPORT

Update on My Most Recent Jaw Reconstruction Procedure

Dr. Marx

Last Thursday, August 10, I underwent the third in a series of surgeries to rebuild my right-side mandible.

Radiation treatment in 2005 eventually undermined the integrity of that bone. I suffered a pathological fracture as a result in late 2015.

Tongue cancer was painful. A broken jaw was excruciating. Worse than that, one can’t chew anything. Something had to be done.

Fortunately Dr. Robert Marks, an oral surgeon in Miami, knew just what to do for me. He is one of a kind. I’ve complained about having to travel 500 miles round trip each time I see him. But then I thank God he doesn’t operate out of Seattle.

Robojaw 1 took place in February 2016. They removed half the mandible and replaced it with a titanium plate.

After six months or so of healing, Robojaw 2 occurred the day before Thanksgiving that same year. They wired my jaw shut for three weeks to keep the bone graft to rebuild the mandible fixed in place until it was hard enough for me to safely chew again.

Another six months gone by brings things to the present with step three. Dr.  Marx removed four additional teeth in the lower front of my mouth. They would have eventually died from radiation treatment as well.

He also placed four implants below the jaw line. All this acts as a prelude to getting some teeth back in my mouth so I can chew food on that side, speak better, and prevent the upper right teeth from growing down and falling out since they have nothing to bite down on.

The surgery went well. It lasted about two hours. They were so pleased with the ease that they discharged me that very day. There was no need for an overnight stay for observation. I’m sure that made the insurance company happy.

Next Tuesday I will make yet another Miami trip for my two-week post-op check up. At that point I hope to confirm the timing for Robowjaw 4, six months from now and what it will involve.

By next February the implants should have become integrated with the bone. They will affix posts to the implants. These will set above the jaw line.

After three weeks of wearing some sort of mouth guard to keep them in place, the climax will happen. I will get eight teeth where now there are none.

I’ve already got a celebration plan mapped out. We’re sitting on a wedding gift card to Ruth’s Chris. I’ve never been. Might as well take those new teeth out for a ribeye spin and see just what they will be able to do.

Thanks for all for your prayers and support!

Jaw Wars

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The Star Wars saga has nothing on me. I’ve got more episodes in my journey than the popular movie series will ever produce.

This just in. My oral surgeon today said he’s done all he can do surgically. The problem with my escalating pain must be medical. What to do? Two things. One, hyperbaric oxygen therapy. I report for the first of these tomorrow morning, Lord willing, at Florida Hospital. Can’t wait to climb into one of those rigs (see image above).

Two, infectious disease consult. The surgeon removed all the dead bone debris he could find. My pain can no longer stem from that cause. The only thing he can surmise on that score is osteomyelitis–chronic infection of the bone. My oral surgeon referred me back to my medical oncologist/hematologist for this consult, especially because I had multiple infections of the blood during my chemo treatments back in 2005. I am still waiting to hear back from his office about an appointment. My understanding at this point is that treatment protocol for this involves inserting a central line for six weeks of IV antibiotics. Something to look forward to. But I am trying not to get ahead of myself.

Pain remains high. Still pushing the drugs to cope. Lots of rest required. The saga goes on.

I’ve hauled out a familiar friend from ’05, the promise of God in 2 Cor. 12:9, to sustain me along the way.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Oswald Chambers says this about one of my all time favorite verses of the Bible:

God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome. The strain is the strength. If there is no strain, there is no strength. Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy? He cannot, unless you will accept the strain. Immediately you face the strain, you will get the strength. Overcome your own timidity and take the step, and God will give you to eat of the tree of life and you will get nourishment. If you spend yourself out physically, you become exhausted; but spend yourself spiritually, and you get more strength. God never gives strength for to-morrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the minute. The temptation is to face difficulties from a common-sense standpoint. The saint is hilarious when he is crushed with difficulties because the thing is so ludicrously impossible to anyone but God.

 Not sure about the hilarious part, but definitely striving for strength in the strain of each minute. Appreciate all the prayers of the faithful on FB.
More importantly, regarding Nancy, there is not much to report. She continues to work her therapy program therapy. Thank you for your faithful prayers on her behalf as well.

Latest Update on Nancy’s Healing Journey

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Thanks to everyone who continues to pray for my bride as she works her healing regimen in the aftermath of ovarian cancer surgery four months ago. She had her second post-op visit yesterday with the doctor. She continues to heal quite nicely in terms of that procedure. For this we are certainly grateful.

Her physician had, in our estimation, surprisingly little to say about her CA-125 numbers from the blood test in March which showed a significant drop from 268 to 18 (34 or lower is within range). He prescribed another of those tests for three months from now at which time she will see him again to monitor her progress. He advised her that she should have these tests every three months for the next two years, her highest risk time period for recurrence.

Frankly, that’s all there is to report. But we praise God for His faithfulness in answering so many prayers for her recovery. She feels and looks great. Everything she ingests is organic, sugar-free, healthy as can be and its shows.

I joke with folks all the time that I am the only thing toxic in her life!