Billie Attaway

First post: Jan 8, 2020 Latest post: Mar 12, 2020
I'm sure you remember that I had throat cancer back in 2005...well it's back, not a recurrence but a new tumor.  While the first was caused by HPV, this one is not.  It is probably from the radiation therapy that I had.  I never thought I would face this again.


The tumor is only a stage 2 about an inch in diameter and has appeared not to spread, but they will not know till they go in.  I cannot have radiation again, so I must have surgery.  On Jan. 7th they are going to remove part of my tongue (God willing a small part) and then rebuild it with tissue from my leg or arm. 


If it has spread to my jaw they will either shave the jaw or cut out part.  Worse case they have to remove my bottom left jaw.  To do this they will remove the fibula from one of my legs and the supporting arteries and veins.  They will use this to rebuild the jaw.  Best case the surgery is 6 hours, worse case 12-13 hours. Of course a feeding tube through my nose and a trache for me to breath for a period of time. 


I will be in intensive care for one to two days and then in the hospital for 7-10 days and then possibly onto a rehab hospital for a week or so.  Will have to relearn how to talk and swallow.


While this is definitely a kick in the stomach, it is not the end of the world, and I see sicker people every day and hear of people younger who pass away.


My spirits are good, my health is excellent and my attitude is great.  I have good friends here who will help me as much as they can.  My sister will be here for two 5 day stents and will be here on surgery day to help my friend Gene King who is my health care POA make any decisions that come up in the surgery. 


Shelby and I were somewhat estranged but she has come back around with me being sick and we see each other a couple of times a week.


So, while I have health insurance and will be out of pocket $3-$5k in deductibles/co-pays and out of could be much worse.  The lost income is the only hard part during the first quarter.  Some of my friends are pushing to start a account but my pride is getting in the way.


Prayers of healing, successful surgery and minimal surgery would be appreciated.


God bless and Merry Christmas,