Nov 15, 2017 Latest post:
May 12, 2018
2017 has been a crazy, busy year for the Collins family. Last spring, Gabrielle had spinal fusion surgery to correct her scoliosis. She has made a complete, amazing recovery. Maddy-- incredibly-- started her senior year. Where does the time go?
About the time school began, I started not feeling well. I couldn't put my finger on it at first, but eventually noticed that my throat hurt and there was a sore on tongue. I have had many sores on my tongue over the years, and I have gone to see specialists in Iowa City every 6 months for years. In fact, I had just been there to see my otolaryngologist on August 3rd. I went to an urgent care clinic the second week of school, and they put me on some antibiotics and sent me on my way. They did say that if I didn't feel better that I should go see my primary physician. On the 13th of September, before heading to Iowa City for Gabrielle's full release, I went to see my family doctor. He looked and said that I should head back to my specialist in Iowa City. So, on the 28th, I saw Dr. Chang, again. I was pretty sure before I saw her, but I wanted to be wrong. It was different than any other sore. I was in a lot of pain. It was cancer this time. She immediately set me up for surgery-- even before the biopsy was back.
On Thursday, October 5th, Dr. Chang removed the tumor from my tongue and 38 lymph nodes from my neck. It all happened so quickly, that I really didn't have time to process much. It took just over a week to get my pathology report back, and I was pretty anxious while waiting. Thankfully, my lymph nodes were all clean from the cancer. However, Dr. Chang recommended that I have radiation-- due to the aggression of the tumor and the recurrence chances. I healed at home for a few weeks, then I returned to work for a few weeks. Yesterday was my last day at work for a while; I headed to Iowa City this morning to start round two of this journey. I will be having thirty doses of radiation over the next several weeks. Iowa City will be home during the week, and I will head home to spend the weekends with my family. It will be a difficult time, but I am extremely optimistic. I have much confidence in my team of doctors, and I am blessed with incredible family and friends. I am sad about being away from my family, and missing my work, but I am amazingly at peace. This sense of peace is an absolute gift from God. I thank Him everyday, and appreciate all the prayers and acts of kindness that have been sent my way. Please keep the prayers coming!