Welcome to my CaringBridge website. I am using it to keep family and friends updated about my base of the tongue cancer journey in one place. On February 23rd, I went to the ER in Panama City Beach because I had a lymph gland that had ballooned up and I was having pain when I swallowed. Until the gland blew up, I thought I was just dealing with sinusitus triggered by a cold in October and my seasonal allergies. Thank God for Dr. Rivella and the staff at Bay Medical Beach ER. They decided to do a CT scan and the cancer was visible on it. On a Friday night, they chose not to drop that bomb, but they strongly encouraged me to see an ENT sooner than my April return to Wisconsin. They sent me home with Dr. Beggs’s name and phone number. He saw me on February 28th, laid the facts out to TJ and me, showed us the CT scan and explained it. He recommended that I go home to Wisconsin ASAP, get the biopsy done and get into treatment. His parting words were that a second opinion on treatment was not needed as it was standard and it would be rough, but I would get through it. I picked up a CD of my CT scan and all relevant reports at Bay Medical, headed home and made an appointment back in Manitowoc with Dr. Smith, ENT. My “Florida family” helped us get through those first few days and they are the major reason that I am doing this blog. There are too many friends to keep in contact with each of them separately! Once at home, my immediate, extended, and church families have continued to be there for TJ and me. I appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. I truly feel uplifted from all the prayers and cards that I have received. They are making me both humble and strong. Thank you for visiting.