Thursday, May 19, 2011

Heavy Hearted

I learned of some very sad news yesterday when I received an email from S. C will need chemotherapy and radiation. He will begin that regimen in about four weeks.

Today, my heart feels even heavier than yesterday. A fellow soldier lost his fight to cancer. I am so confused. Last I heard his most recent CT scan was clear and life was looking up for him. He was putting the finishing touches on a new business and was preparing to launch it.

Scott was kind and reached out to us when we first started our journey. He and I wrote back and forth many times during the weeks before Patrick's surgery and then continued to do so as Patrick recovered. He always sent messages that were positive and uplifting and he tried to find the good and humor in the bad. Scott fought the good fight. His telling website gives a face to the horrific disease.

I'm so taken aback. Cancer, you suck!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

An update on C....

I spoke with S, C's wife last night. C is doing well. His surgery went fine. As it turns out, they removed a tumor that was 4 cm by 2 cm, approximately the size of a walnut. C noticed a lesion when Patrick did back in November. A biopsy was done at a local hospital, and the results came back negative for cancer. A second biopsy by Dr. D. a month later revealed that it was in fact cancer. Nearly another month until surgery could be scheduled left ample time for the lesion to grow. In the end C switched doctors last minute, so their surgery was not done locally and ended up being very different from the surgery Patrick underwent. The good news is that they are done with that portion of their journey and can now focus on the recovery section of their journey. We're hoping to visit with them when they return home later this week. When I spoke with S, C was starting a clear liquid diet and seemed to be doing well. Many thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pray with me....

Just over a week ago Patrick and I met with a couple at a local Starbucks for coffee. Our goal was to shed some light about the journey they are on. You see, C was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the tongue and was planing on going for surgery soon. C and S (his wife), had a lot of questions, rightly so, and Patrick and I did our best to answer them. Their journey is not about me, but I'll tell you that I was a bit sad. I was sad to know, all too well, what they are about to endure.

Due to a change in schedule, C is having his surgery this afternoon rather than on Monday as was originally planned. If you are of the praying type, please pray for this positive, warm-hearted couple. Pray that C's surgery goes smoothly. Pray for a speedy recovery. Pray that S has the strength and stamina to be a nurse for C. Pray that biopsy results reveal no need for further treatment. If you are not the praying type, positive thoughts, love, and vibes are all welcome.

Thank you, dear readers. I'll keep you posted on C's journey.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Scan Results and an Oddity

Patrick saw Dr. D. last week. It was a short and sweet visit. There wasn't much to report after that visit other than every thing is going well and Patrick would need to have another CT scan.

Today, Patrick had another CT scan and got a phone call while at work from the radiologist a few hours later. He was told he had one node on the right hand side that was marginally inflamed but that everything looked good and there was no change from his last scan. Patrick called to share the good news. While we were not surprised by the results, it's reassuring to hear. In a few months Patrick will have his first PET scan.

Things are going pretty good for patrick. He is still sailing along through recovery. Some of the nerves have reconnected, but he still has a large amount of numbness in his neck and arm along the donor site. While this is expected, he is diligent about rubbing it in hopes of getting some more sensation back. His lip control has gotten significantly better, but he has no clue when there's food on left side of his face. In fear of chewing on the reconstructed side of his tongue he always only chews on the right, which has caused some popping of his jaw bone to occur while eating. Overall, eating really isn't very fun for him.

Aside from numbness his second largest complaint is the hair on his tongue. I cringe when I think about it. He says he chews on it while eating. I'm sure you've had a hair find its way into your mouth at some point, but can you imagine having that feeling every time you eat? I can't! Another soldier mentioned he's plucked them out. We might opt for electrolysis or laser removal. Fear not, he won't feel it.