While washing her face one day while getting ready, Trash Holly felt pain in her nose.
The 42-year-old woman had a problem with her right nostril in the summer of 2019, which she said was developing.
Trash, who lives in Huntsville, Canada, said she went to see a doctor who said her symptoms were due to an infection – but the fact was that Trash actually had a tumor.
When the doctor initially said Trash had an infection, she said she didn’t think it was a big deal and she believed it was something that would pass.
Doctors said she was not at high risk of serious illness because she did not smoke or take drugs, and did not describe herself as a major alcoholic.
As the months went by, the pain continued and he was given antibiotics and other treatments but to no avail.
At Christmas, Trash and her husband, Brian, had to go to Halifax to have surgery to help their mother-in-law, but they were forced to return home early because of a runny nose.
Trash recounted how his dog jumped up and hit his nose a few times, causing him excruciating pain that caused “my tears.”
That’s when Trash said she felt something on her nose and said she knew something was wrong.
She met with an ear, nose and throat specialist on January 2, 2019.
He was worried that his nostrils were completely closed and there was a bump inside.
The doctor thought it was a calcified cyst or blood clot and he told her he would book an appointment with a rhinectomy to remove it.
“They told me they had only one surgery date a month and I was in so much pain, I couldn’t wait,” Trash said.
“I called the reception 1,000 times and I managed to get the only cancellation in February.
What is a rhinectomy?
A rhinectomy will be given to people who have cancer of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses, resulting in a tumor.
This means removing the nose and you will have it to reduce the pain or reduce the symptoms or remove the tumor completely.
According to Canadian Cancer SocietyThe type of surgery you do depends on the size of the tumor, the location of the cancer and the stage of the cancer.
He explained: “Cancer surgery in the nasal cavity or paranasal sinuses is difficult.
“The goal of surgery is to remove the cancer while trying not to change how you look (your shape) or how well you can breathe, chew, swallow, smell. Yes, they can see and they can talk.
“If surgery affects these functions, a plan will be drawn up to enable you to have the best reconstruction possible.”
“We expected it to be a really simple procedure.
“At the time of the appointment, the doctor couldn’t freeze him and he did a biopsy. I remember him saying, ‘Wow, this is a tumor.’
Just ten days later, tests confirmed he had cancer.
Trash said she could only remember fragments from that time and doctors told her she would need to be transferred to another hospital for the best treatment possible.
He added: “We were about to start fertility treatment at the time and he was telling me that I needed to talk to him about it, that there might be chemo but radiation. And they may have to remove my nose.
I had radiation for six weeks and it was very aggressive. It was awesome but I got through it.
“I struggled to take it all.”
Within a month, Trash began radiation therapy to shrink the tumor.
He said: “I had radiation for six weeks and it was very aggressive. It was terrible but I went through it.
After the radiation ran out, he was told he would have to wait three months to see if it worked.
But just two weeks later, her nose began to ache again and Trash was called for another biopsy.
The radiation worked but the tumor was growing rapidly and medical experts said the only option left was to remove the nose.
‘Dizziness for a week’
“I just wanted it to go away. It was bad when I came in for surgery. The doctor saw it and said, ‘The tumor is angry.’
“I asked him if it was to remove my nose. Knowing the answer in advance, he said yes.
“I started to cry for maybe a solid 10 minutes and all the time it comforted me. Shortly after, the anxiety subsided and I started feeling nauseous and dizzy for a week.
Trash explained that the tumor had grown so large that surgeons had to remove a large portion of the right side of his nose.
‘I just cried’
He said: “I went to my meeting to make a mold on the wound site and then I went back a second time, and he cut it with wax and I applied it and just cried.
“The anaplastologist who made it was telling me it was premature and not yet. In his eyes, it was very rough but it meant a lot. I still get emotional about it.
“It simply came to our notice then.
“It’s not just about appearance, it means I can go out for a walk without staring or laughing, and being able to wear small things like my glasses again.”
‘I’ll be fine’
Since her surgery, she has been working with Trash About Fees, a Canadian charity that helps people with facial differences.
He said: “I was added to a feature on their website and with them a video campaign called Beyond My Face and it made me feel normal. It made me feel like I was fine. Will be
“It simply came to our notice then.
“They’re an amazing resource for a lot of people and I felt like I was crawling in the dark until I found them.”
She is currently having scans every six months and is closely monitoring for signs of recurrence, but she is performing well.
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