She Thought She Bit Her Tongue While Sleeping, But She Discovered Something That Left Her In Stun

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A mom thought she had bitten her tongue in her sleep, only to discover she had cancer. Jamie Powell, from California, US, woke up with a bump on her tongue in December 2019. Initially, she didn’t worry about it much. But as weeks passed, the bump kept growing.

Even though her dentist reassured her, Jamie, aged 37, decided to visit her doctor for a check-up. Tests were done, and in January 2020, she got the devastating news—it was cancer.

She had to undergo a glossectomy, a surgery to remove the affected part of her tongue. Later, her tongue was reconstructed using skin from her leg. Additionally, Jamie had a neck dissection after scans revealed that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes.

Recalling the ordeal, Jamie said, “I woke up one morning in December 2019 with a bump on the back of the left side of my tongue and thought I must have bitten it in my sleep. I had a routine dental cleaning appointment scheduled for early January 2020, so I waited for that so my dentist could have a look. He didn’t think it was anything to worry about, but I knew in my gut that something was wrong.”

Following the surgery, Jamie spent weeks in the hospital. Due to the global pandemic, she couldn’t have visitors during her stay.

During this challenging period, doctors discovered that her cancer had invaded her nervous system. Consequently, she had to undergo 30 rounds of radiation targeting her head and neck, resulting in severe burns.

“The radiation was the hardest thing I have ever done,” Jamie recalled. “I met with my radiologist, and she explained that it was a morbid treatment and one of the toughest types of radiation. I was told I may never be able to talk or sound the same, which was heart-breaking, and I worried about the effect this would have on my children.”

“For six weeks, every day, I endured severe burns to the inside of my mouth and neck. I was bolted to the radiation table in a mesh mask and zapped for fifteen minutes,” she added.

Describing her post-treatment experience, Jamie said, “My tongue felt like a foreign object in my mouth, and I had to re-learn how to move and control it. Cancer is just as much a mental fight as it is physical. I felt ugly and was embarrassed at how I looked and sounded. My mouth had a droop from where I had no feeling on the left side, and I lost forty pounds from being unable to eat.”

Despite the challenges, Jamie remains resilient. “However, I’ve survived one-hundred percent of my bad days, and I will continue to do so. I plan on being around for a long time to raise my boys,” she affirmed.

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