My Fight With Cancer
In May of 2007
I discovered a lump on my neck. In June of 2007, after an examination from an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist, I
was told it was likely I had Laryngeal Cancer (cancer of the larynx, or voice box). I underwent a CAT Scan to determine
if the lump was Cyst or a Tumor. The results came back - Tumor, not just in my neck, but also in my neck in the area
of my larynx.
To figure out if the tumors were cancerous or benign, I underwent surgical biopsy
of my neck, larynx, and other areas of my mouth. They all came back Negative! It seemed the lump was a benign
cyst, and the lump on my larynx was "redundant tissue", but not cancer. I scheduled surgery to have the neck
When this "benign" cyst was removed, my ENT sent it to Pathology, just in case.
When it came back, he was shocked. CANCER. Obviously, I was shocked too. I was sure I dodged a bullet, but
it was not to be. It seems the neck lump was a Secondary tumor, and the "redundant tissue" on my larynx was
the Primary site of the cancer. Cancer has "stages", with stage 1 being the earliest stage and stage 4 being
the last, and often fatal stage.
On September 14, 2007 I was officially diagnosed with Stage 4a
cancer of the Pyriform Sinus. The Pyriform Sinus is a recess that's part of the Hypopharanx, the bottom part of the
pharanx. It's like a cavity that sits between your two "pipes", your trachea (which you breathe through) and
your esophagus (which you eat and drink through). By the time I was diagnosed, it had spread quite far including the
right side of my larynx and my right vocal chord.
I've since had 4 more surgeries, including
a Partial Laryngectomy (where half of my larynx [voice box], including my right vocal chord and supporting tissue, was removed)
and a Neck Dissection (where all of the lymph nodes on the right side of my neck, from my right ear to the center of my chin,
were removed. I've also had 6 rounds of Chemo Therapy, and 30 treatments of Intensity Modulated Radio Therapy (IMRT
Radiation). After months of grueling and humbling treatment, I'm happy to report that I am cancer free. I'll continue
to get checked out for several years to look for recurrences, and after 5 years, I'll be considered "cured"!
I have every confidence I'll make that 5 year mark and then some.
On this web site, I kept everyone up to date on my diagnosis, surgical treatments, radiation treatments, and any
other relavent issues. I also be kept a Blog (the Journal tab above) where I posted period status messages.
As mentioned in my blog entry today, I just completed my FINAL visit with
Doctor Greg Weinstein. I'm CURED, and there's simply no reason to see him again. I'll be eternally grateful to
this great man, and Dr. Harry Quon, and their support staff, for saving my life. We won! #It'sAllOver.