Fighting Tongue Cancer

My name is Chris Fuller and I’ve been through quite a it in my (almost) 49 years on this planet. In December of 2015 I suffered a BKA (below the knee amputation) of my left leg and fought a long battle against infection until I was able to be fitted with my first prosthesis on August 2, 2016. I had started a new job on February 28, 2016 and worked through my infection battle. Once I had my prosthesis, I regained my freedom from a wheelchair and dependence on others for assistance. I worked hard to get my strength and stamina back. 

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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Chris Fuller 
Petaluma, CA

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