David Wayne Runestrand David Wayne

First post: Apr 22, 2019 Latest post: Dec 26, 2019
·        November 2018: David Wayne was goofing off which resulted in a rather severe bit tongue.

·        December 2018- January 2019: As his tongue refused to heal, doctors believed it to be an infection and put him through 2 rounds of antibiotics.

·        March 2019: As his tongue worsened, a biopsy revealed Squamous Cell Carcinoma - Oral Cancer of the Tongue. This is quite a surprise to all involved since he has NO risk factors for oral cancer. 

·        April 1st: David Wayne informed his family in Portland, Oregon of the diagnosis.

·        April 6th: David Wayne's father, David, flew down to Los Angeles, California to help him on the first steps of this journey

·        April 8th: David Wayne’s first Oncology consultation.  The tumor was measured at 4 cm x 2 cm (about 1.5 inches x .75 inches) on the right side of his tongue. 

·        April 10th: David Wayne and David packed up his apartment, drove 14 hours to Portland, Oregon where David Wayne will be living for treatment and recovery.

·        April 12th: David Wayne was seen by a local head/neck surgeon (4 days after his first oncology consultation in LA!) The prognosis is clinical stage 3  cancer - requiring a hemiglossectomy (partial removal of the tongue) followed by radiation treatment.  

·        April 16th: A routine PET scan revealed some concerns with the lymph nodes on the right side of his neck, however, chemo is not being discussed at this time.   

It has been a whirlwind of various other appointments and tests, but we are thankful for how quickly everything is moving.

He will have surgery on Thursday, April 25th. They will perform the hemiglossectomy, removing approximately half of his tongue. He will receive a radial forearm free flap  (transfer skin and artery from his left forearm) to repair his tongue. They will also remove the lymph nodes of concern from the right side of his neck as a precaution. The surgery will last about 10 hours and require him to be in the hospital for a week. He will need a tracheotomy to breathe for a few days while in the hospital and will require a feeding tube for several months. He will be unable to speak for the foreseeable future.

After some time for healing, he will need to have his wisdom teeth removed prior to beginning radiation. He will receive radiation 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week for 6 weeks. As healing progresses, he will also be receiving speech and occupational therapy to learn how to speak and eat again.

We, David Wayne's family, are very grateful that G-d heals and sustains through modern medicine; yet still works miracles. The greatest miracle being time. David Wayne is still covered by his father's (an employee of Kaiser Hospital) health insurance, and so his medical expenses are fully covered. We are grateful for David Wayne's decision to move home. This took tremendous courage and strength on his part as it has meant putting his dreams on pause. We know this will work out for David Wayne's good and G-d's glory. We know that David Wayne will appreciate your kind words of support and encouragement. We will post updates throughout his treatment and recovery - and encourage him to leave a few comments along the way.