On May 13th, American Nicole Gibbs had announced on her Twitter account that she would have to step off the tour during the rest of the clay season due to the detection of cancer on the roof of her mouth. On May 30th, the World No.
115 informed her fans through the same platform, “Good news: Surgery successfully removed cancer! Margins were clear and I am currently cancer free!! Weird news: I’ve received a re-diagnosis. We now believe I had Sclerosing Microcystic Adenocarcinoma (not mucoepidermoid carcinoma as we thought).
Fortunately, the new terminology has little bearing on the outcome. We still expect that the cancer will be permanently eradicated after this surgery. And, if it were to recur, it would still likely only recur locally. Fun fact: there are only a handful of known cases of this cancer, and I’m the first documented case to occur in the roof of the mouth!
Bad news: I’ve had some post-surgery complications. Despite a 12-hour window where my feeding tube was removed and I was attempting to consume clear liquids, the tube is now back in for the foreseeable future. The hole where the tumor and margins were taken out was closed during surgery, but, unfortunately, has reopened.
This means that if I were to try to swallow water, some would leak out of my nose - gross, I know. Soooo, I’m definitely kicked off of my timeline and Wimbledon qualifying is looking out of the question. Sorry for the slow in updates - I’ve had some humbling moments in the past couple of weeks that have made me realize the futility of a “plan” when it comes to recovery like this.
I’ve felt at times like I’ve wanted to crawl into a hole and hide. But, in those moments, I still see and feel your support and appreciate it greatly. I feel very lucky to have an awesome family and team who is helping me find the very best tube-diet the world has to offer, in hopes that better nutrition will allow me to bounce back quicker. Back as soon as I can be”.