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Roger's Cancer Surgery And Recovery

$8,670 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 92 people in 7 months
Sometime in June of this year I noticed a little tingling on my tongue, where I thought I may have bitten the side of my tongue, or I had eaten a sharp chip or something;  It mainly hurt when I ate spicy things, or things that are super sour. During the month of July I started noticing that the sore had turned into a little indentation with a painful center.  So, then I started researching mouth sores and found lots of resources on this subject. I basically diagnosed myself with what I thought was a bad canker sore (and I started to treat it like a canker sore). I have now become a canker sore expert.  I can identify, and have most likely used, every over the counter medicine and even a few home remedies for canker sores. Let me be very clear - do not under any circumstances put Alum on an open mouth sore! Black-out-style pain people! Don't do it! During this time I was trying to sign up for health insurance because I had a change in my household income (divorce was finalized).  Meanwhile, the sore was getting worse and became a hole in my tongue.  I finally went to see my primary care doctor and he suggested it might be a pressure ulcer, and referred me to an Ear Nose and Throat Doctor for a second opinion.  By this time I'm taking the maximum daily amount of Tylenol and ibuprofen, and when I call the ENT they are months out. Months!  So, I go see my dentist and he thinks I should probably get a biopsy done, and refers me to see an Oral Maxillofacial Doctor (also a month out). I started calling all over the PNW to find an open office to visit. I finally found someone to see me, but they wanted to put me under to preform the biopsy, which would be $1,000 (remember, no insurance, and payment is due the day of the procedure). I have already spent hundreds of dollars in office visits, and still haven't gotten the biopsy or pain meds,  am barely eating because of the pain, talking is a real chore,  and I only sleep on and off between pain cycles. By now it's been two months and I've gone back to my PCD, have asked for something to help with the pain, and asked if he could help me find an ENT doctor that can see me as soon as possible - not in a month. Fortunately he was able to find someone and they did the biopsy and a few other tests (at a much reduced cost because they did not put me under anesthesia).  The biopsy came back positive for Invasive Squamous Cell Carcinoma. I was referred to U.W. Medical Center, and have a plan for surgery and recovery. The surgery consists of cutting open my tongue and removing the cancer, as well as opening up my neck to remove twenty lymph nodes that may be infected. In addition, my surgeon will perform two grafts;  One consists of removing tissue, a vein and an artery from the area right above my left wrist,  and grafting in onto my tongue, and the other will be taking skin from one of my thighs to put on my arm.  I will be in ICU for a day or two and then moved to a regular room for at least a week.  I will be on feeding tubes for a few weeks, unable to swallow, and then will start radiation treatments.  I am asking for help to cover my monthly living expenses while I recover. My surgeon said I will be off work for three months.  He also told us that it is rare for non-smokers to get oral cancer..."unlucky," he put it...but is hopeful to getting me back to speaking and swallowing close to 100%.  I have been asked by a few of my coworkers to set this Go Fund Me site up, and while I see the need, it's just really hard to put one's pride aside and ask for help.  Yet, here I am.  At some point in the future, I would love to repay my debt to you if at all possible - so if you have some projects coming up down the road, I would love to be included in them. Thank you in advance for your support! Sincerely, Your friend, Roger
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All finished with radiation with one little added bonus. With two radiation days left on the calendar they decided to offer me a third dose of chemotherapy, with a little hesitation I took it. I mean why not right? Do whatever it takes. I am just now feeling better from
that last dose. Now it's time to rebuild my body. If anyone has some weights I can borrow for a few months I would really appreciate the loan.
Also my go fund me is still up and running if anyone can help a guy out. Looks like I'm out till at least February
when I will be fitted with a new smile. I hope this message finds you all well.
Merry Christmas Ya'll
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Hey everyone, 2nd infusion of Chemo is done and I'm halfway through Radiation. I have some minor propecia going on where the Radiation field is, other than that so for so good. I have officially ironed all my work clothes. Out of boredom or I'm really excited to get back to work, so damn broke, more like it. I really do miss the comrades at work too. I'm hoping to be back to work around Christmas. hope all of you are Healthy and Happy.
I want to thank everyone again for all the support and for those that want to pitch in again it would be greatly appreciated. love to all. Rog
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Hello Everybody, hope you and your Families are happy and healthy as we move into Fall. I want to thank all of you again for your support and want to keep you up to date on things with me.
So, surgery was on the 4th of Sept., and then next day I was rushed back into surgery because it looked like there was a kink in the vein of the flap that they grafted from my leg. After THAT surgery didn’t seem to solve the issue my tongue was having, they made a creative, critical decision…
Earliest memories coming around after surgery? Cold leeches, ya'll! IN MY MOUTH! Yup, I had to have “leech therapy” for seventy-two hours.
Medicinal leeches are STILL being used today – and literally saved my tongue, which had been swelling too much.
Finally, I break out of the hospital to recover at home and soon enough found myself going BACK because of a mild fever. Apparently, there was a significant build-up of fluid and infection. I went to the ER on a Sunday where they did a procedure, then put me on I.V. antibiotics. I was kept until that Thursday. Let me tell you how much I love hospitals…(ha!) Besides, I have had the best at-home, live-in nurse EVER! My Girlfriend Deb who I can’t thank enough, has seen plenty to make a beautiful woman run for the hills - and this woman is still the most encouraging, and wanting to help, as I’ve ever seen. I hope you all have a Deb. Love you Babe!
Next on the calendar is (so far) five more visits with a specialty dentist. Let’s just say they extracted more than I care to share (they had to remove any infected or problematic teeth). Healthy ones Too.
While recovering from dental surgery I've made a mold that I will wear during radiation as well as a mask that I will wear - all this gear is so that I’ll be in the same position every time I get the radiation treatments. These will be every day, Monday through Friday, and off on major holidays. I will have two doses of chemo. The first on day 1, and the next dose half way through. This all starts on the 22nd and lasts until Dec. 5th…It’d be awesome to be back to work for Christmas!
Lord Willing.
Anyways, I hope that when you read this, you’ll know that I truly am, and will be forever, inspired by your help and generosity. Cheers Roger
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Hello team Roger,
I got out of the hospital on Friday and we hauled ass home. full of hospital supplies, the food that I will need to eat and all of the tools needed to feed me are then showing up as well. excited to see some more soft collars for my trach. I set forth to clean mine. All of a sudden I lean forward to grab something and that sucker pops out. Damn! ummm, Deb I need some help... after 20 minutes, of calmed panic, we ended up going down the hill to MFD and ask if they can pop it back in for me. And they Did. rookie mistake on my part.
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Raised by 92 people in 7 months
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