Oct 10, 2020 Latest post:
Dec 25, 2020
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Dad was diagnosed with Throat Cancer in December of 2019. It was a complete shock as we had just returned from a family trip to Hawaii, where dad was riding in helicopters without doors and exploring the beautiful views and mountains. He went through 35 radiation treatments and 5 chemo treatments, all independently as he refused to let anyone help (so him). He kicked cancers A$$! He refused to stop his daily activities and kept moving, he is so strong. Things took a turn for the worse in August as his airways began closing off. He had an emergency tracheostomy and a feeding tube put in. He was in and out of hospitals for weeks, causing major confusion and memory loss. He is unable to be treated at transitional care units due to his needs at night for trach care and anxiety of what is going on. Mom stepped up to the plate and learned how to care for him with guidance from the nurses at the hospital. We want dad to be home, where he is comfortable and loved through this time. Therefore the whole fam bam has been working together- taking weeks at a time, overnight shifts, picking up meals, taking care of the house chores, the johnson family farm pets, learning how to be a nurse for him, learning how to work feeding tubes, the trach itself, etc. It has been a lot as he requires 24/7 hour care. He is unable to drink or eat as he cannot swallow to risk of choking or infection, etc. He is suffering right now, and it is so hard to watch him go through this, especially when the confusion sets in. But this all being said, we would do ANYTHING for our father. He is by far the best man we know and has devoted his life to being an incredible dad, loving husband, and a genuinely kind and loving human.
Right now, we need your thoughts and prayers.
On Monday October 12th, Dad will be having a laryngectomy, where his voice box will be removed. Due to the damage of the radiation, he will have a permanent trach put in. They will be using the skin from his arm to reconstruct his ENTIRE throat. The surgery will take all day, so please please please keep him in your thoughts this Monday. Dad will have the possibility of drinking fluids again if all goes well, unfortunately at the loss of his voice. We have plans for learning sign language together, possibly getting more technology, etc to keep conversation flowing and able for him once we get home and begin the recovery process. Until then, we will know much more about what our families future looks like, but as of now, we just want you to continue sending your love and prayers. You have all been so kind and generous through this time with messages, food, extra set of hands, and we cannot appreciate it enough. On this page we will be able to keep everyone updated, send pictures and messages, and just continue to stay united together as we pray and wish my dad, Tom Johnson, a speedy recovery as he is so loved.