- Texas mother Tina Earls was diagnosed with stage two nasal cancer in May 2014
- She has revealed how she has remained confident after a total rhinectomy
A mother who lost her entire nose to cancer has revealed the trauma of her ordeal and how one every-day item is her ‘absolute nemesis’
Tina Earls was diagnosed with stage two nasal cancer in May 2014, and with possible radiotherapy threatening her sight, brain and mouth she opted to have an operation remove the nose entirely – a total rhinectomy.
Nasal cavity or sinus tumors are extremely rare – accounting for roughly a tenth of a per cent of U.S. cancer diagnoses annually.
‘I do put up a brave face and I do feel strong and I do feel brave,’ Tina told truly, ‘but I’ve had to fight for that.
‘People say ‘why are you so confident?’ Because I fought hard and I’m alive. Nothing’s more beautiful than alive.’
Tina Earls was diagnosed with stage two nasal cancer in May 2014 and opted to have an operation to remove the nose entirely – a total rhinectomy
Despite being given a prosthetic six months after her surgery, Tina opted to embrace her new face in pursuit of comfort over conformity
The extent of a rhinectomy varies depending on the extent of a tumor, but often those who have had such an operation get a prosthetic nose afterwards.
Tina waited six months for her face to heal fully before getting hers, but then decided it was not worth it.
She said: ‘I didn’t like the way it looked, I didn’t like the glue – it irritated my skin.
‘I wore it for about two years, I just don’t care for it.’
On her TikTok account she later revealed that so much of the bone surrounding her nose had been taken away that she was unable to have a magnetic prosthetic, as there was nowhere around the hole in her face to lodge magnets.
In sharing the story on social media, Tina has faced plenty of questions around how she gets by without her nose – choosing to wear a patch over the hole rather than the prosthetic.
She explained: ‘I can breath through the hole, I wear the patch to help warm and moisten my breath – it’s for comfort.
‘Yes, I’ve had to stick my finger in there a few times to clean it and yes it hurts.’
She also added that she can swim but without dipping her head underwater, and she can still smell and taste as normal.
However, there are understandably some limitations to the normality.
‘Pepper is my absolute nemesis,’ she said in a video.
‘I love cooking with it, love tasting it, but I have to be careful because yes it does get in my face hole.’
This post first appeared on Daily mail