December 2, 2015 Update:
I thank all who have contributed to my throat fund since fall 2014. On Tuesay Dec 8 I will have a revision of the esophageal reconstruction. Scar tissue has formed at the join of the transplanted arm tissue and my native esophagus which has caused an obstuction. My surgeon will open up the flap he used to replace the damaged portion of the esophagus and will put a tissue patch into it, using tissue transplanted from my other arm. My hospital stay and NYC stay will be the same as last year, so in essence it's a re-do of last year's surgery.
I was told recovery will be similar to last year's. The longest part of recovery was recovering use and strength in my left arm, where the harvested tissue came from. And no my right arm will be harvested and will need to go through the same healing and recovery period.
I appreciate all help. Please look at the perks for contributions. I am happy to thank all who help me get my new throat!
Bless you for caring!
Next update after surgery.
7 years after the completion of effective Stage 4 tonsil cancer eradication treatment the cumulative effects of radiation, and subsequent attempts to correct the effects, have significantly deteriorated my throat beyond repair by surgeons here in Nashville. The deterioration has resulted in my throat to no longer be able to let me swallow food and liquids safely or successfully. This has impacted my overall health, because of recurrent bouts of aspiration pneumonia and has created difficulty achieving adequate nutrition. I was examined by a microvascular surgeon, Dr. Mark Urken, in New York City, who has advised I have a total laryngectomy, removal of my voice box, to protect my airway and a reconstruction of my esophagus with arm muscle to ease getting adequate nutrition. I will be traveling to NYC October 6 to have the recommended reconstructive surgery on October 7. I will spend a week in the hospital and then two weeks as an outpatient before continuing my rehab, to learn to use my new prosthetic voice and reconstructed esophagus, in Nashville. 80% of the hospital costs will be covered by Medicare. The rest of the costs must be covered in other ways. Faces of HNC is gaining traction and I need to be strong and healthy to continue the good work we've begun. Please, if you can, contribute as generously as you can. Please share with others who understand the impact head and neck cancer treatment has on long term quality of life. Thank you so much for your care and support.
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