February 6th we went to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor because Darryl had been having issues with his tonsils. The doctor found a mass on his throat behind his left tonsil. February 13th Darryl had surgery. They removed his tonsils and biopsied the mass. Darryl's recovery was very hard and painful. February 21st we were back at ENT doctor only to find out he had cancer.
March 6th Darryl had surgery again. They removed the tumor and surrounding tissue. They also performed a neck dissection and removed all of his lymph nodes on the left side of his neck. After surgery the doctor talked with me and told me they found more suspicious lymph nodes than first thought. They had to make a bigger incision and send more lymph nodes for biopsy. Darryl spent 2 nights in the hospital.
Today we went back to the doctors. Darryl had his 51 staples in his neck removed. We finally received good news today...his last biopsies showed NO spread of cancer. We are elated and so thankful!
Friday we go to meet Darryl's 2 new oncologists. As of right now he will have to do 6 to 7 weeks of radiation, M-F each week, hopefully no chemo. (We are hoping to keep chemo as a last resort in case cancer returns).
Darryl will also be starting physical therapy ASAP to help swallowing because radiation will mess up his throat and turn it to leather and we do not want a feeding tube put in. We also have to get Darryl to the dentist for any work that needs to be done before radiation.
Needless to say Darryl has been back to work only 2 and 1/2 days in the past 37 days. As of right now he is off work until April 2nd. He will probably start radiation mid April. We need him to heal from last surgery before he starts radiation. Darryl will be off work for 6 to 7 weeks for radiation treatments.
We do have short term disability through his work. It is a very reduced amount of pay and we also have to continue to pay health insurance out of pocket every two weeks or we will lose coverage. Between the specialist co-pays, medicine and medical bills starting to pour in we are going to need help.
As I was writing this I had to go in other room and ask Darryl if this timeline is correct. I just had a realization of what has happened in such a short time. I started laughing and crying. Most of you know I have MS. I am not sure how I am functioning. You do not know how strong you are until you have to be.
Both Darryl and I are fighters! We make a great team and will beat this together. All your thoughts and prayers will be greatly appreciated.
- Danita Luensman
- James Coppler
- Morgan Price
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