Mark Shermer Mark's Walk

First post: Dec 29, 2017 Latest post: Jun 24, 2018

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Here's how we got here. . . 

Back in April 2017, Mark noticed a lump on the side of his neck.   The doctors immediately did a scan and needle biopsy.   The results were negative which surprised the doctor so he performed a second needle biopsy.   The labs again were negative.   The doctor could not understand how the lab work could be negative so he decided to do a surgical biopsy of the area which resulted in the removal of some lymph nodes.   At the time of surgery, we were told everything looks good – we don’t see anything to be concerned about but will wait for lab results.   Once again, we had negative results – so we were told to wait and see if anything changes.  

In October 2017, I returned for a follow up appointment.   He could still feel a raised place in his neck.  Another scan was performed and the decision to go back to surgery was made.   On November 1st, a cyst was removed and sent to the lab.   This time the results were positive for cancer – specifically Squamous Cell Carcinoma.  

This was difficult to hear but raised more questions.   Cancers of the head and neck evidently tend to start in the tonsil or base of the tongue.   They were looking for a primary source that produced the cyst.   Our doctor said that he felt we should immediately remove the tonsil on the affected side so on November 15th we went back to surgery.  Mark began the painful recovery process and we waited for the latest lab results.   Regardless of the result, we were being told that the area needed to be treated with Radiation to eliminate any possible cells remaining.   When we got the call that the tonsil had tested negative, we were in total disbelief.   Now the big question – where is the source?   What do we do now? 

We were referred to the Derrick Davis Cancer Center at Forsyth Hospital.   For the month of December, we have met with oncology nurses, doctors, dieticians, dentist, etc. as we prepare for the start of 6 weeks of radiation and chemo treatments to start by New Year’s.  

“Take one day at a time. Today, after all, is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.”– Billy Graham

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