Friday, November 13, 2009

"You have cancer"

Around mid-August I noiced that one of my lymph nodes had become slightly swollen. After a few weeks, when it obviously was not going to shrink on it's own, Deanna convinced me  that I should go to my GP, Dr. Robert Barron  and have him take a look at it.  He gave me a 10 day prescription for a strong antibiotic thinking that it could be a bacterial infection.  The lump didn't shrink, so he told me that I should see an ENT specialist at UCSD.

The ENT, Terence Davidson , took some biopsy samples from the swollen node then immediately sent them to the lab for analysis.  About 20 minutes later he  told me the results were in and that the node was cancerous and most likely started in my swollen right tonsil.  He told me that it appeared to be early, small, and  treatable.  I was then scheduled for a CT scan, and then surgery to remove my tonsils and and undergo a full laryngoscopy.

The tonsillechtomy and subsequent recovery has been about par for the course -  from what I've gleaned from the internet.  About 2 days of "wow, that wasn't so bad" to 5 days of "is it time to take my vicodin yet", then slow steady progress toward being able to swallow some solid food.

Following the surgery I was told that my right tonsil was the "primary" cancer site - where it started.  The swollen lymph node is also cancerous  and is described as the "secondary" site.  Dr. Davidson told me that he would recommend  radio and chemotherapy for the remaining cancer in my neck.  He referred my charts to the UCSD "tumor board"  for a treatment recommendation   A couple of days later the board reviewed my charts and confirmed Dr. Davidson's recommendation of radio/chemo.

I have an appointment with the UCSD oncologist, Dr. Loren Mell   Nov. 17th.  I'm hopefull that I will get some idea about what the next couple of months will be like.


  1. Dave, Everyone at Country Gospel asks for you and is praying for you. Good idea to create this blog; Thanks, I'll spread the word to those who are not exactly 'computer savvy' (read: most people in Country Gospel).


  2. Dave,
    Sean and I have you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. We will be thinking of you as you start the next process. Hang in there!
    Sean & Tonya

  3. Dave,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with during this unexpected part of life's journey. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for or with you.

  4. thanks for the update dave - - praying for you - - looking forward to having you back when you're all better!!

  5. Keep your smile Dave. Your family is here for you, but most of all...our Lord is.

  6. Dave: I appreciate the link and will keep watching for good news. Hope that you are comforted by all your support and prayers for you.
    Jim and Martha

  7. Dave, Thanks for the link and Ron and I will be checking here often so we will know how to pray specifically for you as you journey this path. God is watching over you. Cheryl

  8. You are in all of our thoughts and we pray for you often. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help. We are just around the corner if you need us.
    Heidi, Andy, and the clan