Marietta’s Story

Site created on March 11, 2018

Welcome to my CaringBridge website. I am  using it to keep family and friends updated about my base of the tongue cancer journey in one place.  On February 23rd, I went to the ER in Panama City Beach because I had a lymph gland that had ballooned up and I was having pain when I swallowed.  Until the gland blew up, I thought I was just dealing with sinusitus triggered by a cold in October and my seasonal allergies.  Thank God for Dr. Rivella and the staff at Bay Medical Beach  ER.  They decided to do a CT scan and the cancer was visible on it. On a Friday night, they chose not to drop that bomb, but they strongly encouraged me to see an ENT sooner than my April return to Wisconsin.  They sent me home with Dr. Beggs’s name and phone number.  He saw me on February 28th, laid the facts out to TJ and me, showed us the CT scan and explained it.  He recommended that I go home to Wisconsin ASAP, get the biopsy done and get into treatment.  His parting words were that a second opinion on treatment was not needed as it was standard and it would be rough, but I would get through it.  I picked up a CD of my CT scan and all relevant reports at Bay Medical, headed home and made an appointment back in Manitowoc with Dr. Smith, ENT.  My “Florida family” helped us get through those first few days and they are the major reason that I am doing this blog.  There are too many friends to keep in contact with each of them separately!  Once at home, my immediate, extended, and church families have continued to be there for TJ and me. I appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement.  I truly feel uplifted from all the prayers and cards that I have received.  They are making me  both humble and strong.  Thank you for visiting.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Marietta Johnson

I haven’t posted at all through the winter or spring. I realized that not all of you know how I am doing after finishing treatment over a year ago! Wow, 14 months ago in two weeks. I saw my ENT in April and the radiation oncologist in May. All is good! They say that I am cured. I will still see the ENT 4 times a year and the oncologist twice a year for the next year.  The ENT may back it off to 3 times a year after the first of the year.

I feel great. Chemo/radiation brain is finally going away. I eat well and have regained most of my weight. That is an ongoing battle. I am trying to stay above 140 lbs, but it doesn’t take but a day or two of a few less calories to drop back to 139. I don’t think I will ever see my happy number of 149 again. But 142 is good...much better than last June’s 128!

I posted a photo of TJ and me out to eat on our anniversary. I think that I look healthy again.

I do have dry mouth but I have figured out ways to handle it. Some of my taste buds are not yet back to normal...or they are a new normal. Plus, I have trouble with dry foods like chips, crackers cheese, and red wine. But these are minor trade-offs to have fought cancer and to have won the battle!

Happy Independence Day to you all!🇺🇸🇺🇸
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