In January of 2018 I was forced to take a leave from work as I had developed a sore on my residual limb. While on leave, I asked my doctor to take a look at a growth on the side of my tongue. He said it looked like cancer but referred me to a specialist for further diagnosis. I had to wait a month for an appointment to see a specialist and another 2 weeks for biopsy results. The biopsy confirmed I had Stage IVa Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the tongue and I was referred to UCSF .
The original surgical prognosis was to remove approximately 20% of my tongue with a 60-70% five-year survival rate. I had surgery on April 2, 2018 and was hospitalized for nine days. My surgeon was forced to remove approximately 45% (left side) of my tongue along with thirteen lymph nodes, of which five were positive for cancer cells. They then rebuilt the tongue with tissue and a blood vessel from my right arm.
I faced two consecutive infections after discharge and was readmitted April 13-18, 2018, for an infection of my neckline incision and again June 15-18, for an infection of my donor site -- my right forearm. It is currently August 22, 2018 and I am almost finished with 32 radiation treatments and I face another 2-4 Immunotherapy infusions of Cetuximab.
Unfortunately, during this time being hospitalized and undergoing treatment, my family and I have been stretching funds and have fallen four months behind on rent. Thankfully, our landlord has not evicted us and has been more than patient. I am asking those who read my plight for assistance with collecting rent to come current and correct with our landlord.
Thank you for reading and I hope to add a positive update soon.
Respectfully and Sincerely,
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- Jennifer Hugunin
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