Run 4 Larry

Charity Ride for Head and Neck Cancer

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Why are we doing this?

Posted by [email protected] on March 6, 2016 at 10:25 AM

Lately there have been questions as to why Bryan and I feel this is important.

Anyone who knows us knows we are philanthropic.  Along with philanthropy comes a deep  concern and love for others.  Since Bryan has gone through this whole situation we decided others should not have to  go  through it if there is any way to avoid the trials and tribulations we experienced.

So here is a description (it was WAY worse than it sounds too!) of what it is like and the events surrounding our decision to find a way to end the horror associated.


Bryan, a smoker for over 40 years, started having trouble speaking and swallowing in August 2010.  Doctors repeatedly told him it was just a throat infection.

After returning from losing her brother to Bladder Cancer in October 2010 Helen told Bryan to see a different doctor.  He did just that.

Bryan had a tracheotomy on December 21, 2010.  He was diagnosed with Stage 4 Laryngeal Cancer Christmas Day 2010.  (Merry Christmas! what a present that was).

Bryan had a total radical resection in January 2011.  After 13 hours of surgery Bryan emerged with a new esophagus created from his arm and his arm reconstructed from his leg.

Helen threatened “If you die on me I will kick you so hard you will come back in that body just to make me stop.” and "If you die on me I will tie a rope around your ankle and drag you around with me until you stink so bad people will tell you 'Man Bryan you REALLY! stink.' just to make you miserable."

The life changes effected by this cancer are incomprehensible.  Never would Bryan and Helen have imagined how different their life would be.  The saving grace is in 2016 Bryan is ALIVE!!!!  Without the London Health Sciences Center Head and Neck team and their heroic efforts Bryan would not be here today.

People need to be educated and learn how drastic this diagnosis is and the changes which must be endured because of this cancerous tumor on life!  Bryan not only lost his sense of smell, taste, voice, (ask Helen about this), snoring (this was a blessing for Helen), ability to swallow, etc.; but now he must clean his stoma several times a day and travel to London, Ont. approximately every six weeks to get his prosthetic implant replaced.  Then there are the noisy pieces of equipment which must be dragged around in case they are needed when on vacation.  The suction machine, the humidification, CPAP, etc.

Bryan and Helen’s twin grandsons born in 2011 accept the hole in Bryan’s neck as they have never known anything different, however they are now asking questions about it as their friends and other people seem appalled and unable to look at Bryan or else they stare at the hole in his neck.

More research is needed to find ways to enhance the quality of life for the survivors of this horrendous diagnosis.  Perhaps someday Bryan and others like him will someday be able to breathe, speak, and eat like those who have not had to undergo such extensive lifesaving surgery.  Until then education and research are needed to get there.

Categories: Reasons and Logic, LISTEN for us, Moving Forward

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