Welcome to our Caring Bridge 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. I wanted to start this at the beginning but everything was pretty overwhelming so I started on May 8 and tried to fill in what has happened in the last several weeks. Hope it's not to much or confusing some dates have a couple days of journaling but I am using this for my personal journal also so we can look back at it and see how far we have come. I hope it helps you understand what has been going on with Weldon and his struggles, well I guess our struggles. I will try to write everyday. Thank you again for your prayers, love and support in every way ! Love ya'll Louise and Weldon
Here is Weldon's story.
In March, I went to the doctor thinking I had a bad sinus infection on the left side of my face. The ear, nose, and throat doctor quickly diagnosed that in fact it was Squamous Cell Carcinoma , Throat Cancer, at the base of the tongue.
Rather a shock, as I have never smoked, or had any of the other reasons to have this type of cancer.
The specialist doctor, followed up with a biopsy to confirm and then a PET scan to confirm the location. They told us, in the past, it would have been a stage 4 designation but with all the advances, over the years, they believe it to be stage 1 and very treatable.
The scheduled treatment for me, is 7 weeks of radiation, Monday through Friday, and Chemo once a week on one of the radiation days. Then probably, months of recovery. Due to the size of the cancer, I have an very difficult time swallowing, so the result has been a 25lbs weight loss. To help with this I had surgery to place a feeding tube in my stomach which required an overnight stay. The staff at Virginia Mason are amazing !
This is the third time I have had some major illness that was life threatening, The first was having triple bypass heart surgery. The second was surviving melanoma. Now the throat cancer.
At 74, with income cut backs, the Covid19 Virus issues - unfortunately there isn't a stream of income that can make up for the overrun costs of this illness. My age and the cancer, puts me in the most vulnerable category for catching the Covid19 Virus. That puts anybody outside the home very dangerous for my health and ability to survive this cancer. So no contact with any family, besides my wife, who is my care giver.
This illness was so devastating to her, along with worry over her 90 year old parents, loss of income to the family, our 21 year old daughter out of state in college, the additional cost of the Throat Cancer therapy, she had a scary incident of her own.
It seems there is a little known method of the mind and body shutting down when becomes too much. It is called Transient Global Amnesia. Bottom line is I came home to find her on the phone with a long time friend and the only part of the conversation I could hear was her repeatedly asking who she was talking to, my wife's brain just shut down with no memory of who she was talking to. The decision, after trying calm my wife down, was to call the medics, as the thoughts were a stroke or seizure . The medics came and checked all vitals that they could, asking questions that were easy to answer but she could not. She was transported to the emergency room at the closest hospital, where they admitted her, and did every test possible to determine the problem. The final outcome was a 24 hour amnesia. By the end of the next day, she was ok, but had no memory of the entire day before. Very scary day.
So you add the need to keep any stress possible off her and the family, as with the hard overrun costs of my treatment and keeping her healthy, brings us to my asking for financial help through the gofundme account that has been set up.
Any financial assistance you can offer would be appreciated. The sooner there is a financial cushion, to be able to count on, would relieve a lot of stress on both of us and the entire family. https://www.gofundme.com/f/helping-weldon