Grandpa & Maeve

Randy Grussing

First post: Mar 7, 2020 Latest post: Jun 25, 2021
It all started with a sore throat.  Randy mentioned he had a sore throat and decided to look into his mouth.   He asked me to look at it.  What I saw was a large area on the roof of his mouth that was swollen.  I wasn't sure if he should go see a doctor or dentist about it.  He decided to see his dentist and got in right away on 02/11/20.  They took a look at it, did an x-ray and told him he needed to go see a doctor that very day for a CT scan.  He couldn't get into his regular doctor so had to go to Urgent Care in Willmar.  They dropped the bomb after the CT scan and told him they thought it was cancer and would need a MRI.  The next day he had a MRI, that came back with a possible cancer type.  He was referred to an ENT for a biopsy on 02/14/20.  Just by looking at the mass the ENT wanted to refer him to the U.  From the beginning Randy had said he wanted to go to Mayo in Rochester.   To our surprise Mayo took the referral and got appointments set up right away.  After consultations and full body PET scan, we were relieved to know the cancer was ONLY in that one area.  Surgery and reconstruction was set for 03/05/20.   He had more consultations and CT scans to prepare for his surgery.  The team of doctors, surgeons and nurses are amazing here.   We were told the surgery would be 6 to 8 hours long.  One doctor was to remove the mass, teeth and surrounding areas, another doctor would take a piece of his fibula with blood vessels and skin attached and reconstruct the roof of his mouth and cheek bones.  The were right, we arrived at the hospital by 5:45 AM, surgery got delayed for some reason so the procedures didn't start until 9:00 AM.  Our kids were here to wait it out with me.  That sure made the day tolerable.  We got updates as the day went on.  We were told all of his vital signs held up well the whole time and once surgery was done he would need to be in recovery for about 1.5 to 2 hours to get the pain under control.  He didn't get up to his room until around 9:00 PM.  With this surgery and reconstruction there are multiple wound areas and drain tubes, beside the area where the tumor was.  The best news was when the tumor was out and the surgeon said there was clean margins - meaning the cancer was out of his body!  The plan is a 5 to 7 day hospital stay, then going home with a feeding tube and boot on his left leg with limited weight bearing for awhile.   There will be additional oral surgeries in the future.

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