Elaine Gardner Elaine Gardner AngelRN

First post: May 21, 2016 Latest post: Jun 20, 2016
On Wednesday, May 18th, 2016,  I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma "throat cancer".  No,  I have never been a smoker or even been exposed to second hand smoke.  It is from 30 years ago from the HP V virus. It all started with ear pain. I was treated for multiple ear infections from my family doctor. After more ear pain and more "ear infections" I was refereed to an Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor in Toledo, Dr. Coleman.  He scoped and found a " suspicious spot".  He wanted to  schedule a biopsy under general anesthesia,  but not until a month later.  Instead of waiting almost a month,  I decided to seek a second opinion at The University of Michigan,  where I work as a labor and delivery nurse.   Within a couple days,  I was seen by Dr. Matthew Spector,  ENT-Otolaryngologist  Amazing doctor and team! He did a biopsy right in his office with a local anesthetic and in 20 minutes it was determined that I have cancer, which my throat has never hurt, but my ear continues to hurt from referred pain. 
Cancer Sucks! Cancer has impacted my family for many years and it keeps attacking. My family is strong and supportive, but it is still hard to hear that you have cancer when all I have is an ear ache! 
Personal Story: My first encounter with cancer is when I was first diagnosed with Malignant  Melanoma 20 years ago in 1996. A mole was discovered by my sister, Doctors never noticed it and I could not see it,  due to it's location in the lower middle of my back.  I had it successfully removed with surgery (a nice big scar along my lower back) which can determine the weather better than most weather meteorologists.  I was fortunate and never had to have chemotherapy or radiation at that time.   In 2001, 2008, 2010 and possibly a few more times, I have had breast biopsies, which have all been non-malignant thank goodness, but having the biopsies and awaiting the results was trying at times especially since both my Grandmother and Aunt had Breast Cancer.   In 2008,  I was informed that  I should have a full hysterectomy due to" suspicious" uterine polyps with endometriosis and both my Mother and Aunt had uterine cancer.
The most heartbreaking cancer diagnosis was my perfectly healthy baby Brother who at the age of 41, had Lymphoma Brain Cancer and ultimately lost the fight in March of 2013 after being treated with radiation and chemotherapy.  Five months later on August 27, 2013, I lost my husband (result of old war injuries) on the exact same day that my Brother-in-Law (accident) had died 19 years before. My whole world was changed in less than 6 months with the loss of two of the most important men in my life, my brother and my husband!
So with the love, support, hugs, prayers and well wishes of all my family and friends,  I am formulating my battle plan and wish to share it with you on my survival journey to Victory over cancer. 

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