Craig's Tongue Cancer

"Life is a Daring, Bold adventure, or it is nothing at all!" Helen Keller

This quote has been with me for the last month.  My life is not changing, it has already changed.  I now have to embrace this change.  The fact is I have cancer of the tongue and surrounding lymph nodes (squamish).  This an adventure I would not have chosen, but it is mine and I own it and the adventure is going to be bold!!!

In the fall of 2014 I started having earaches on the left side, the pain has consistently gotten worse over the last 3 years.  First evaluations sugggested TMJ,  then a diagnosis of Trigeminal Neuralgia, (large nerve that wraps around our ears both sides) I still think I have this due to the intensity of the pain.  Beginning in march 2017  the lymph nodes on the left side of my face and neck began to swell up. Started with antibiotics and steroids, twice over a month time and an appointment with an Neuralogist. Beginning in early may an MRI, ct scan, pet scan and 3 biopsis.  On june 7th a wednesday I had my first appointment at MUSC in Charleston with 6 doctors. That is when I found out my life HAD changed.

The cancer tumor is on the back of the Tongue right above the vocal cords and on the left side of my tongue on the bottom side, affected also are lymph nodes under the left jaw and under the left clavicle bone.
The treatment that is being pursued is radiation and chemo together for 7 weeks 5 days a week at MUSC.  The treatment will probably begin the 3rd week of july.  I had a tooth pulled on friday 23rd of june, radiation will adversely affect my teeth. They  can start 3 weeks after the 23rd of june.
I will spend 7 weeks in Charleston plus some extra recovery time. Then the status of the cancer will be taken to see if any or all of the tongue has to be removed.
Recovery of radiation chemo in that area affect the jaw bone, muscles, salavery glands,  I will be in speech therapy, learning how to swallow, plus just regaining strength. Depending on severity the time frame is minimum of 6 months up to one year.  Rehab is the ??? mark.

I started my locksmith business in 1984, and it has been very good. I have enjoyed the  nature of the work and providing a service to the public. In 1992 my step father of 30 years passed away. My mother 73 at the time lived until september 2014 dying right after her 95 birthday.  Her health was never good, and as time moved on I became her care taker, with last 10 years being pretty much full time.  The locksmith business was good for this I could adjust my schedule to meet hers.  Unfortunately my mother outlived her money and my money!!

My working career for now is on hold all energy and efforts are in to recovery.  I am reducing my life to bare essentials and when my lease runs out oct. 31, 2017 I am looking to rent a bedroom to finish recovery.  Right now the money will be used to pay rent and other essential bills  to get on the other side of this.  The need is now.  I will keep everyone informed as I learn and live thru this adventure.

In 1991 I started returning to the faith of my childhood. That journey has brought me   to a deeper understanding of the Jewishness of Moshiach,blessed be His name and the G-D of Israel. Over this 26 year period of time G-D has been preparing me. Today tuesday 6/27/17 I met with the chemo and radiation doctors.  Everything was fine until the fitting of the radiation mask to my face which is very form fitting. I lost it claustophobia over came me. I am going back monday to finish the fitting  and will have to wear it during radiation treatments so they can pinpoint the areas. Quite truthfully I am terrified. I ask for prayers to let go of the fear and let Adonai peace that passes all understanding to flow into me. I ask for a humbleness to trust and to continue to have an attitude of Gratitude. Thankyou for your time in reading this, in scripture the widows mite is powerful,please keep me in your prayers and with whatever you can give.

                              THANK YOU

May YHVH bless thee, and keep thee:
YHVH make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
YHVH lift up His countenance upon  thee, and give thee
peace "Shalom"

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Craig Denstad 
Hilton Head Island, SC