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4/9/2017 Latest post:
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. In January of this year 2017, Jimmy had a bad sore throat and wasn't feeling well. He went to a doctor and got treated, but it didn't go away after being on antibiotics for a month. He had a lump on the right side of his neck and went to see the doctor to get a c-t scan and needle biopsy on March 6th received a phone call from his doctor on March 8th stating that he had squamous cell carcinoma in his lymph node on the right side of his neck and thought it was in his right tonsil. He was schedule for surgery on March 10th to remove his tonsils. As many of you know when you hear the word "Cancer" or the "beast" as I like to call it. The world around you starts spinning and you can't believe what you are hearing. As the shock sets in you begin to make the phone calls to your love ones to inform them and try to figure out what is next. Jim made the phone call to me his sister Tauna (the nurse) who has been on the cancer train before and I began to go into my nurse mode. I made phone calls to doctors I work with, who made phone calls to doctors they work with in another state to find out how bad and what all of this means. After many calls I felt encouraged that this is a cancer that we can beat. And so now we have gone into defensive mode to as Jimmy says a "3 Punch Knockout to Kill Cancer". That's our moto and we are going to do it.
He had surgery at Jordan Valley Hospital on March 10th, where they took out both tonsils, the doctor said his cancer was in his right tonsil and lymph node on his right side of neck. The doctor stated that he got clear margins ( which means he cut away the tissue until there were no cancer cells left). He has been home recovering since then.
As many of you know Jim's other jobs or hobbies include announcing for Derby's, Lineman's Rodeo, weddings, parties and DJ's. He does such a great job and is loved by everyone and the local communities, when he does his announcing he gives it his all. So with that being said he has been very nervous about how this will effect his voice. Some say it will and others say it won't.
After my research on where and who to treat my brother, I talked him into going to Huntsman Cancer Center for treatment. On March 21 he had an appointment with a ENT Oncologist Dr. Hunt. We met with to discuss the plan of care. He stated that he would not have done the surgery first, by doing surgery first it changed the plan of care. We Can't go back we can only go forward!!! There were still cancer cells left in the area of the right tonsil, the doctor did not get clear margins!!!!! Because both tonsils were taken and there is still some of the cancer left he cannot go back in and get the rest of it, it would leave to big of a cavity in his throat and neck which would change his voice to very nasal sounding and a chance when he drank fluid it would come out of his nose. So at this point he will have to have both Chemo and Radiation instead of just radiation. Dr. Hunt was very informative and I was very impressed. We then met with nurse, speech and swallowing therapist, dietitian, social worker after 4.5 hours we were on our way home, a lot of information was given, but we now have a quarterback to help get the ball rolling in the direction to kill the "beast". Before we left, we had appointments to see the Radiologist Oncologist and the Medical Oncologist. We were told they would all be having a meeting on Friday the 24th of March to discuss Jim's care and come up with a plan. The all have stated that his prognosis is good and we are hanging on to those words very strong.
Today, March 27th, we met with the Radiologist Oncologist, Dr. Hitchcock, she and her team were great. She was very informative and caring. She stated that they all met last week and came up with a plan that he will receive 6 weeks of radiation and 6 treatments of Chemo therapy. She feels like she can be very precise with the radiation to just the right side of the neck area and that it shouldn't affect his voice and vocal cords. This is great news. He has many more tests before the treatments begin and the area from surgery still has to heal before we can get started.
Jims daughter has had Tshirts printed with Jims moto. Many people of asked about any type of donation to Jim which we are working on getting an account set up for that. At this time we ask for prayers and positive thoughts to get him and his family through this difficult time. Jim posted on Facebook page "To All My Family And Friends, I Just Wanted to Tell You I LOVE YOU. Because yesterday is gone, today is almost over and tomorrow isn't promised." Cancer is a rough road to be on and I know from first had what it is like to watch someone you love and care about go through it. It means so much to have so many people praying, sending encouragement words, love and just being and doing without being asked. People often asked me what can be done to help and it is hard to know because right now it's like your in the middle of the ocean swimming as hard as you can to keep your head up or hoping someone will throw you a life preserver. So I say just do, if not for Jimmy, then do for someone in need. Thanks for being there for him. Jim has always been there for so many and helped in so many ways it is now his turn to accept the help and love from others.