Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Here’s my dads story..
This winter Jeff found a lump on the side of his neck. He went to the doctor, they prescribed antibiotics and a referral to see an ENT (ear, nose & throat dr.)
Some background info: He has battled with severe COPD for the past few years and also has some heart issues. He has been on oxygen for a couple years. He’s been using it more often to complete daily tasks, like showering or just being able to run simple errands. He got a portable oxygen canister which is super helpful for trips to the store or Dr. Visits.
In January of this year, he went to see the ENT and they took a peek and informed him they thought it was throat cancer. They referred him to an ENT specialist surgeon that has much experience in removing these tumors.
I decided to drive to MN from KS 2 days after learning of the cancer suspicion. I wanted to be there for his appointments and to help in anyway I can. We went to the ENT surgeon and he told us his thoughts and gave us a list of appointments to be scheduled and completed. Then he wanted us back in to go over the findings and if he would be cleared for surgery of this kind.
He suspected it was squamous cell carcinoma of the throat. It would require removal of his voicebox, a tissue graft to patch his throat, post surgery. A stoma opening and then radiation and chemo if he was physically able to tolerate it. So, I spent 10 days with him in MN.
I cut his long hair off to make it easier and quicker to shower. The humidity of the shower compromises his breathing, so he takes his oxygen with him. I cleaned up a bit, played with Bandit, his adorable puppy! Picked up groceries, mail, shoveled, took out the trash. Just basic everyday errands we all take for granted while healthy.
He had a CT scan of his head and neck. This showed that the cancer has metastasized to his nearby lymph nodes in his neck. We went to his biopsy and he was a rockstar for not being put to sleep! He loved his team of doctors and was raving about how comforting they were.
I left the day after his biopsy and his brother Kent flew in from Alaska to help for 10 days also. They have met with the oncologist, social workers to discuss ongoing care services he may qualify for. Taken care of the living will and power of attorney paperwork. We just want to get his legal issues taken care of now so we can concentrate on what’s most important... spending time and being able to focus on supporting him in any capacity needed and able.
This week he has some big appointments coming up that seem daunting to him. Pet scan is Tuesday and then Wednesday is his appointment with the oncologist and surgeon to discuss all the findings and see what the prognosis and game plan are. His brother, Kent will be there for that and then he flies home on Thursday morning.
My sons bday is this Sunday so, I hope to return in a week from today to do what I can to comfort and support him. Please send all your prayers and positive vibes his way! He needs to feel supported and loved through this scary process! I think that’s all for now! I’ll update on his appointments this week as they happen. ❤️