Sammy, What Have You Done To Yourself?


Well here it is Sunday May 23rd and I am sitting in my hotel room trying to keep myself calm. Drinking decaf coffee and planning my diet for today not to include ANY salt and if you know me at all you are aware that I hate decaf and love salt. I only brought enough blood pressure for 5 days and today is the 6th day. That said, I will try to fill you in on what Sam has been through these last few days of May.

We arrived at Mayo last Sunday night, prepared for the colonoscopy that was ordered for Monday. We thought the results would come fairly quickly but they did not. Ultimately (I think it was Thursday) the results came back and there was no cancer. BUT there was displactia which means irritated cells that could cause cancer if not watched. So guess who’s having another test in 3 months and it’s not me.

He went down early Tuesday morning for the procedure (5:45). Procedure is not the right word, major surgery is the correct one. He was in surgery over 6 hours. They removed his tongue tumor which was the size of a baseball, his lymph node tumor which was by then 8.5 cm, and his thyroid gland which was also cancerous. Along with all that they took out his jugular vein on his right side, a neck cord that I can’t remember the name of right now and some other nerve in his neck which he will need physical therapy on so his shoulder won’t droop. When he got to his room at around 7:00 p.m. I was waiting for him and he was a mess, what with the feeding tube in his nose, 2 neck drain tubes on the right side, and a trach tube. I almost fainted he was so swollen.

I get up every morning to be in his room by 6:00 a.m.. That’s when all the doctors start to roll in and I can talk with them. He is getting better every day. We have learned how to feed him through the feeding tube and how to clean out his trach. I am thankful that this is all only temporary.

Well yesterday morning he got the “Have you thought about, when all this is done, what you are going to do to live a healthier life style” talk from Doctor (the big cheese) Moore. Perhaps it was an unfair question for a man who at that point could not talk, but it was a fair question, in that it has to be done. I mentioned to the docs that there was indeed a new sheriff in town and if it did not happen, I would be resigning.

Over the last 10 years I have been trying to get him to lose weight. He has succeeded but then gained it back and then some. Being overweight contributes to cancer. He has a lot of other risk factors, but he loves sweets, and sugar FEEDS cancer.

When I met Sam (at the “Y” I might add) he was 220lbs. and 6’3″. He was a former football player and lifted weights on a daily basis. His arms were was big as my thighs and he had a great looking waist. Suffice it to say he was in great shape and I figured he would continue to care about his health. The man I married is in there somewhere.

If we can take anything from this, it is to care for the body that God gave you. Don’t rely on pills and the medical community to fix you. Do it not only for yourself, but also the people that love and care for you.

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