Tonsil Boy

Hi Everyone, So many people, so many things happening in mine and my family's lives. This is to help keep everyone updated on my journey through tonsil cancer. Please excuse poor grammer and spelling. (Weasle has already corrected my grammer twice).Please pass along this site to our friends. Click on "COMMENTS" to read them or to leave a comment.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Had my Esophagus stretched

I just got back from my surgery and am feeling pretty good. That is what a couple of percocets can do. Even with the pain pills my throat is very sore. They had me swallowing apple juice after I woke up and I could take larger sips with less effort. Last week I finished a full beer!! It took 3 hours. My goal is less than 2 hours and should be easily accomplished now with the new procedure.

The procedure went as follows:
The Doctor sprayed a numbing agent in my mouth and throat and then I was placed under general anesthesia. Various diameter rubber hoses were then placed (shoved) down my esophagus. Starting with a small diameter (less than 1/8 inch) and working their way up to a large diameter (somewhere around 7/8 inch). When I walked into the operating room, I saw on the table about 2 dozen of these rubber tubes. At the end of this torture, an incision was made over the old one to remove the port-a-cath in my shoulder. After removing the port-a-cath and stitching me up, I was awakened and placed in recovery. Both procedures took a total of an hour. I arrived at the hospital at 10 AM and was home by 3 PM.

Thank you all for your support, comments and prayers

Randy the Cancer Free man

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Swallowing Update

I went to have a barium swallow test yesterday, Wednesday. The doctors wanted to see why I could only swallow liquids and choked on small solids. The barium swallow test shows as an x-ray how my swallowing muscles work. They can watch the barium flow from my mouth to the stomach. The test showed that my esophagus is constricted in one spot. This was caused by the radiation treatments. I am scheduled for surgery to repair this on April 21 in the morning. At the same time, they will be removing the port-a-cath that was placed under the skin for the chemo. To repair the esophagus, they place a tube down my throat and expand it to stretch the esophagus. This is good to know that I soon will be swallowing normal again!!

I am now able to swallow teaspoon size yogurt shakes known as “Danimals”. I am able to finish one 3 ounce bottle at each meal. My feeding tube is still where I get all my nourishment except for these Danimals. I have tasted lots of different foods lately: olive, brownie, tuna, pickle, potato salad, cracker and cereals. Little bits are taken and rinsed down with water. Some went down, some didn’t. But after the 21st, I should be doing much better.

I reached a milestone on Saturday. I opened my first beer since last October at Andy and Lisa’s wedding. I was able to drink half of the bottle. This took me 2 hours though, but it’s a start. My goal is being able to finish a whole one. It was a Coors lite.

My daughter, Ellen, wrote me a wonderful poem for my birthday. I placed it as the post below this one for your reading pleasure.

Thank you all for your prayers and support!


Ellen's Poem

The results came back and were nothing but bad,
The news was echoed to loved ones who were nothing but sad.

Mom made phone calls to everyone she knew,
She wanted only what was best for you.

You decided on a doctor with a crazy protocol,
He promised the best and not one flaw.

When the treatment began it seemed like a living hell,
But that was only a fabrication for which we all fell.

Sure you lost strength and couldn’t eat,
Ensure became an addiction and you missed cheese and meat.

You most definitely felt down in the pit,
All you could do was puke and spit.

Nothing seemed to be going your way,
Mr. Smith only became a man we despised more each day.

But as I look back on it all,
I realize you kept up and didn’t let yourself fall.

You became a hero to me in so many ways,
I think about you and your strength on so many days.

This poem cannot do justice for how much of an impact you made on me,
You’re a source of inspiration I want everyone to see.

You kept your eye on the end and held your head high,
You kept up your good spirits and I barely ever heard you sigh.

You never gave up or wanted to settle for less,
That is why you’re my hero and story of success.

You made a blog to keep in contact and share your story,
Everyone loved hearing about your tiny steps towards glory.

Your friends arose and proved to be better than ever,
They’d never let you down…nope NEVER.

Our family relationship grew as a whole,
All to your expense and toll.

You were the talk of the people and big man in town,
How quickly your story spread around.

You lost a ton of weight and look sexier than before,
It’s all the reason for people to love you more.

Thank god you kicked the Atkins diet,
Boy that was nothing but a riot.

Before we knew it you scheduled the final PET scan,
A couple days later you were a cancer free man.

Danimal spoons will soon be a thing of the past,
One more sip will be your last.

The name tonsil boy will never fit you,
You’re now the man who never lets himself get blue.

I mean it when I call you a hero and “weener”,
Without cancer you are definitely cleaner.

Daddy you mean so much to me,
You are a real trooper that I want everyone to see.

Way to go dad,
You demolished the cancer and I’m so glad.

Keep your head up and persevere,
I promise it’ll only get better from here.

Congratulations superstar,
You’ve made it so far.

Happy birthday cancer-free boy,
I hope your day is filled with happiness and joy!

From here I wish you well,
Love always, your daughter, El.