Cal Ryan-Mosley

First post: Aug 22, 2022 Latest post: Jan 9, 2024
Welcome to our CaringBridge website, of which Cal said, "I don't care to be on this bridge." We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place.

Beginning in February 2021, Cal began to have a persistent toothache and sore throat. He ended up getting an infected and impacted tooth removed in May 2021 after some dental visits, but the sore throat continued. After some more doctor visits, he went in for a CT scan on Friday, July 16. That night, we found out that the scan had identified a suspicious mass at the base of his right tongue and an inflamed right lymph node.

He was diagnosed with stage III throat cancer (in medical-speak: squamous cell carcinoma). The tumor was about the size of the golf ball and under the surface of his tongue in the back of the throat. Last fall, he began treatment. He braved 33 days of radiation and 7 rounds of chemo.

Fast-forward through a tough fall/winter of treatment and recovery, we received a second clear PET scan in April 2022. However, Cal continued to have pain in the back of his throat. After more doctor’s visits, we found out that Cal's cancer has come back, and we are gearing up for treatment again. It is a different prognosis this time around, and our path will be more challenging than last time.

Cal's current tumor is in the same exact place as his first tumor and is contained to that specific area at the base of his tongue. We know that the current tumor should have been eradicated with previous radiation given the dosage and area of treatment. There was only about  a 2-10% chance of recurrence. As such, there is something abnormal about Cal's cancer that leaves us with fewer treatment options this time around. The intensity of his first treatment also narrows his options, but he is very healthy (and athletic, he'd want you to know). So far, it appears to be slow growing.

After consultations at the U of M and Mayo Clinic, we have decided to do surgery, as it is the only curative option that we have. We have a 40%-50% chance that surgery will eradicate the cancer. It will require about a weeklong hospital stay and has some risks of feeding tube dependency after surgery. The good news is that his tumor looks well defined, isolated and operable, which gives us hope that surgery will work.

Cal has inspired us with his determination to fight and tackle the cancer head on, and the R-Ms are a tough and tight crew. I know Cal appreciates hearing from you through this site, or via text, email or a letter (talking is a bit difficult). Your support and outreach keeps him–and all of us–going. 

We plan to keep you all updated on his surgery, recovery and spirit on here. We need luck, thoughts and prayers, and feel eternally grateful to have all of you sending that our way. The "planner" page has a reoccurring meal sign up for Tuesdays in September and October. 

Love to all,

The Ryan-Mosleys 

PS: While we appreciate all the support, the "tribute section" on CaringBridge goes to the CaringBridge foundation and it is not something we set up. Your friendship is all we ask for. Please save your money (or try to save Higher Ed :)).