My name is Michelle. My journey has not been long, but it has been mentally exhausting for me and my loved ones. The death rate of Oral Cancer is high, not because it's difficult to diagnose, but because it's routinely discovered late in its development. I was fortunate to have surgery to remove these lesions so early.
Because I am a non-smoker, oral cancer was overlooked initially. I had seen 5 doctors before my surgery in 2016. The first 2 misdiagnosed me with tonsil stones and TMJD, causing these lesions to spread and become more painful and bigger.
Since then, I often endure painful infections that paralyze my mouth and recently seeing my 12th doctor to help me with the substantial pain I'm feeling daily, which also prevents me from eating and speaking properly. But I'm grateful that these are minor hiccups compared to those who have gone through radiation or chemotherapy or who have lost their lives.
While I am alive and well, I will walk for those who cannot and spread awareness for who those who cannot speak. Please support me in my walk for oral cancer and help me bring awareness to a cancer that is often forgotten.