David Clemente Supporting David

First post: Mar 10, 2018 Latest post: Feb 15, 2023
On Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 David first learned he had throat cancer. He was experiencing a hoarse voice in the months leading up to this, so he went to see an ENT in Glenwood Springs, Colorado to find out what was happening. David was living in Aspen at the time, planning to spend the winter there after having arrived in Colorado from the east coast the first week of December. Since December 12th, he had felt very sick and was suffering from severe rheumatological-like symptoms throughout his whole body. (He later found out that this was a systemic problem as a result of the cancer wreaking havoc on his whole body.)

David's sister, Maribeth, lives in Telluride, Colorado, about a five-hour drive from Aspen, so when he learned he needed to have a biopsy, she drove up to help. They ended up spending the better part of the next four weeks crisscrossing the state to dial in his diagnosis and to line up the best treatment plan for him. It, of course, was the start of an immense emotional journey for all!

David's final diagnosis of Stage 4A laryngeal cancer has been frightening but through every bit of it, he has shown astounding courage and resilience. The tumor is both on his vocal chords and in his thyroid cartilage. 

Geri, David's wife, drove in from their house in Bolton Landing, New York, by early February. After David and Maribeth found a very hopeful treatment plan at the University of Colorado Health in Denver, Geri set up a wonderful healing space–a hard-to-find apartment in Denver–for them to live throughout the duration of his treatment.

Dave's treatment involves a seven-week combined radiation/chemotherapy/immunotherapy program. He has radiation every day, Monday-Friday, which lasts about twenty-minutes per session. His last radiation is scheduled for Monday, April 9th–woo-hoo! The bigger celebrations will come much later, however, because apparently the three weeks after the treatment ends are the worst. He has chemotherapy three times, every 21 days and immunotherapy every two weeks. (More on that at a later date. There's much to report there because Dave is actually a part of a study put on by Pfizer.)

We are asking for support and prayers as David and his caretakers navigate their way through this arduous journey. Apparently throat cancer treatment is one of the most grueling cancer treatments of all. Everything passes by the throat–air, water and food–so breathing, drinking and eating become extremely challenging. We ask that you visualize David healthy, whole and well and strong as a mighty lion to be able to endure these aggressive protocols. We ask that you visualize him cancer free. 

As of this writing (Saturday, March 10, 2018), David has just completed his third week of treatment. The good news is that his tumor is shrinking! The bad and much-expected news is that the side effects of the treatments are really beginning to set in. So it has become difficult for him to breathe and swallow. Still, he is being a trooper and we are all so proud of him. 

Thank you in advance for any love and support you can provide.