Can you support CaringBridge during our March campaign? Generous donors like you ensure that CaringBridge remains ad-free, private and protected.
Support the Ehlers
Dec 19, 2017 Latest post:
Mar 5, 2018
In 2009, Pat was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (a degenerative eye disease). Since then he has been slowly losing his vision. Along with his eyes, he also struggles with hearing loss issues and severe tinitus. He visits Lighthouse for the Blind on an annual basis to monitor and map out his vision loss. Recently, the ringing associated with his tinitus became so severe, he started seeing an ENT. On November 21, 2017, while there for his severe tinitus, Pat asked the doctor about a mass in the neck below his left ear. The doctor was immediately concerned and began the process of diagnosing the mass. On December 12, Pat was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma (an oral skin cancer). On Friday Dec 15, he had a CT scan of his neck and a PET scan of his body to look for any hot spots to see if the cancer had spread. On Mon Dec 18, we got the results from the scans. We were thankful to learn that the cancer is localized in the tongue and one lymph node on left side of neck. Cancer is Stage 3 with 70-75% survival rate with treatment. He will undergo a very aggressive plan of radiation and chemo treatments. On December 21, Pat will have an exploratory scope to see if the cancer has spread down the esophagus. He will also have surgery to remove the tonsils and to take a larger biopsy from the mass on the back of the tongue. We are praying that this tricky procedure is done accurately as there is a risk of a nerve being damaged which will result in the loss of taste.