As you may know my mom has been diagnosed with cancer. She went from initial diagnosis to major surgery in a little over a week. The diagnosis revealed a tumor in her upper jaw at the base of her skull. A couple days after diagnosis we found it had spread to her lymph nodes. The maxillectomy surgery that followed removed the tumor along with the material around it, including teeth, part of her gums, lymph nodes, and her upper jaw. They removed her fibula from her leg, sculpted it, and put it in as a replacement jaw bone. The roof of her mouth was replaced with skin from her calf.
The 12 hour surgery went well. She handled the initial shock of the diagnosis, and the brunt of surgery, with courage and grace. If you know my mom, you're probably not surprised. She's a strong beautiful stubborn Italian woman that is determined to kick the crap out of this.
Since surgery she's moved from ICU, to nursing facility, and now in with me. Aside from the external scars and physical changes due to reconstructive surgery there are permanent internal issues that she'll deal with the rest of her life, but she continues to improve well with separate physical, occupational, and speech therapy sessions weekly. Currently, she can walk with a cane, is starting to be able to eat soft foods, and can speak well enough to yell at me.
Unfortunately, the surgery revealed that the tumor was more aggressive than initial scans had let on. Doctors have recommended radiation and chemotherapy treatments begin in the coming weeks to eliminate any remaining cells. Sue is ready to fight round two.
We've been touched by all of those that have reached out to her thus far. Beyond the mental trauma of a cancer diagnosis, surgery, and recovery, there is a financial burden that comes along with a flawed system that takes medicare only so far. I've started this campaign to help my mom, and our family, financially deal with the myriad of medical expenses and Sue's loss of income. If cancer has impacted you or someone you know and love, then you understand the devastating impact it can cause physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially.
As more procedures remain, we don't yet know the final costs, so I've set a preliminary goal in line with current estimates. If we collect more money than Sue needs we will donate the remainder to children's cancer research.
Thank you for listening, and thank you for your love.
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