Tag Archives: surgery

For Those Who Wonder Where I Have Been

As most of you know in late October I was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Pharyngeal Cancer.

Due to the advance stage conventional chemotherapy and radiation were off the table.

My only options being surgery to completely remove my tongue, larynx and most everything else within my neck or radical radiation treatments twice a day for 20 days and see what the result would be.

I, of course, opted for the radiation. I began treatment in early December.

I had to have a gastric feeding tube implanted as I would definitely need it as treatment progressed.

I was doing well until early January when I developed a very large abscess in my lower abdominal cavity between my stomach and muscles.

Mind you, this abscess had nothing whatsoever to do with the cancers or the feeding tube. It just decided to appear and grow and grow.

The fine surgeons here at Princess Margaret Cancer Hospital immediately dealt with the demon infection. Part of the process involved inserting a necessary draining tube.

If it were not for bad luck I would have no luck at all.

Hence, I had many complications from the drainage tube requiring me to spend most of January in the hospital.

Fortunately, I was still receiving my radiation therapy as per scheduled.

The infection took a fair amount of time to get cleared up and by the end of January 2019 I was declared infection free and discharged to home.

I would resume my radiation therapy as an outpatient as per the original plan of care. I was so happy to finally get to go home after almost a whole month of hospitalization.

I arrived home February first. Very sore, but happy.

I slept well the first night. The second night I had a slight pain in my back but I put that off as getting used to sleeping on my own bed instead of the hospital bunk.

I am not sure what time I woke up that morning.

What I am sure of is that I woke to the most excruciating pain you could possibly imagine.

The pain was so intense I could not even scream for help. I literally had to call to the next room to wake my good friend who was watching over me.

I honestly thought I was going to die.

Immediately she called 911 and within minutes I was in an ambulance with a police escort rushing me to the nearest hospital at full speed.

All I remember about the ambulance ride was the EMS man telling the driver they had mere minutes to get me to surgery. My blood pressure was 49 over 43.

I passed out.

Next memory was surreal – I was in an elevator, someone was cutting my shirt off and I heard the surgeon say,

I have to open him right now.”

I felt the scalpel cutting through my abdomen and I saw my blood covering everyone in the elevator.

I passed out.

I awoke many hours later in ICU.

Surrounded by my family and dearest loved ones. I was not sure if I was alive or dead. But, when I blinked my eyes, everyone single one of them cried and I knew I had survived something very serious.

My spleen had literally exploded. Like a small nuclear bomb.

Apparently I had lost almost all my blood – if not for my living so close to a hospital I definitely would not be here to author this blog.

I spent one week in the Michael Garron Hospital in East York, Toronto. Bless the surgeons there for saving my life.

I was then discharged from there do I could go into Toronto General Hospital as an in-patient and then transferred across the street to Princess Margaret Cancer Hospital where I am now.

It sounds complicated but Toronto General, Princess Margaret, Mount Sinai and a few other medical facilities are all side by side and part of the same University Health Network and also connected to The University Toronto.

I am in one of the highest rated cancer hospitals in the world and I am forever thankful that the Creators have given me yet another chance to live.

My road to recovery is going to be a long difficult journey. The spleen is an important organ. Yes, you can live without it, but I need many vaccinations and for the rest of my days I will have to be very vigilant not to get infections and such.

My radiation therapy is back on track and I finish my first series of treatments on March the first. Which is also my oldest son’s birthday – so I take that as an omen of good fortune.

I will write more at some point down the road. I just wanted my followers to know why they haven’t heard from me in a while.

People, look around at your family and friends and let them know how precious they are to you. Life can change in the blink of an eye. Or the pop of a spleen. Never be afraid to tell them you love them.

I am a tough old dude with very tough masculine friends and I have no qualms hugging them, kissing them and saying, “I love you Brother. “

The greatest gift I received from this disaster was seeing my dearest and most close friend standing there with love and joy in his eyes when I blinked that first blink. To see my sons faces fill with relief when I spoke.

Life is a precious gift and to have life and love together cannot be matched by any other thing.

Namaste’

Advertisements

Diagnosis: Cancer In The Neck And Head

So,since June, 2018 my throat increasingly grew more irritated and sore to the point I could no longer stand it.

On October 22, 2018 I saw an ENT specialist.

Diagnosis: cancer in my neck and head.

I fought the Big C demon twice before in my life.

1999 till 2002 I battled liver cancer. I was scared.

I just had my neck re-built. A result of thirty years of demolition, building and a very rough lifestyle. Followed by many motorcycle accidents and an industrial accident.

They did a complete dissection of my C2, C3, C5 & C6 vertebrae. Replacing them with bone donated from my right hip and Semple plates, screws, nuts & bolts.

And then the Creators slapped me with liver cancer.

Yet, I beat that Beast.

In 2005, the Beast demanded a re-match. This time it was gnawing on my bones.

Chewing up the hip I had donated bone from for the previous neck surgery.

Then attacking my few remaining teeth. Leaving me with six remaining.

As if not enough, it then chewed up my right foot resulting in it, too, needing to be completely re-built.

So, I beat that damn Beast again.

Now fast forward to present day…..

What I had hoped was merely a “sore” throat has turned out to be a collection of cancerous tumors on my tonsils, adenoids, lymph nodes and migrating towards my brain.

As I write this I am awaiting a CT scan and a following surgery. It shall hopefully be within the next two weeks.

They will be removing the afore mentioned parts and perhaps more – including my thyroid.

This does not trouble me. That would be the migration of tumors working their way towards my brain.

I like my brain. It’s iconic and extremely unique. Plus, we are very attached. Been together since my birth.

I only weight one hundred pounds with my clothes on. I jokingly say that my body is built like a rock band, “Nine Inch Nails” – for that is the size of my biceps.

It took 61 years to break this body.

You could go to the gym everyday and never be built like me.

I can barely eat. My esophagus is being pinched closed by the swelling organs and tumors within my throat.

My head aches beyond the pain of a severe migraine. I shed tears and find myself whimpering when I have solitary solitude. My nights are long.

I refused chemotherapy and radiation. It would definitely kill me if I were to attempt it

So, I will beat this damn Beast one more time.

I have to. My sons need me, I need them.

Mi fuego de mi Alma, mi Reina de mi Corazon would be broken hearted if the Beast should win.

I love her beyond love. I cannot allow her to suffer a broken heart. What type of person would break their closest love’s heart?

You can feel our love emanating from us in this picture.

I CANNOT LET MY BODY SUCCUMB TO THE RAVAGES OF CANCER!

HOW COULD I BREAK MY FAMILY AND LOVED ONE’S HEARTS?

And also, my other dearest loves. My constant companions, Princess Pringle and her sister, Princess Ruffles. They would surely fall I’ll in sorrow.

Sooooooo, I have a battle ahead of me. I am ready.

I have love from so many people – my kids, my ex-wife, my soulmate Maria, my very close nephews and true friends

I will beat this Demon.

It is just going to hurt.

Lol

But, she will be by my side. And I will receive healing from her love.

I am afraid, but I am also brave.

TO RESET OR NOT TO RESET – MY HEART ONLY KNOWS

Well six hours till they reset my heart and they CANNOT sedate me. Fun WOW!!!!!
They are trying to prevent me from progressing from Stage C to Stage D – there is no way to go back to Stage B. They did the defibrillator last month awake and it damn well hurts and is scary.

Here’s some info …… scary situation no matter what

Stage C

Patients with Stage C heart failure have been diagnosed with heart failure and have (currently) or had (previously) signs and symptoms of the condition.

There are many possible symptoms of heart failure. The most common are:

Shortness of breath
Feeling tired (fatigue)
Less able to exercise
Weak legs
Waking up to urinate
Swollen feet, ankles, lower legs and abdomen (edema)

Stage C treatment

The usual treatment plan for patients with Stage C HF-rEF includes:

Treatments listed in Stages A and B
Beta-blocker (if you aren’t taking one) to help your heart muscle pump stronger
Aldosterone antagonist (if you aren’t taking one) if a vasodilator medicine (ACE-I, ARB or angiotensin receptor/neprilysin inhibitor combination) and beta-blocker don’t relieve your symptoms
Hydralazine/nitrate combination if other treatments don’t stop your symptoms. Patients who are African-American should take this medication (even if they are taking other vasodilator medications) if they have moderate­ to-severe symptoms.
Medications that slow the heart rate if your heart rate is faster than 70 beats per minute and you still have symptoms
Diuretic (“water pill”) may be prescribed if symptoms continue
Restrict sodium (salt) in your diet. Ask your doctor or nurse what your daily limit is.
Keep track of your weight every day. Tell your healthcare provider if you gain or lose more than 4 pounds from your “dry” weight.
Possible fluid restriction. Ask your doctor or nurse what your daily fluid limit is.
Possible cardiac resynchronization therapy (biventricular pacemaker)
Possible implantable cardiac defibrillator (lCD) therapy
If treatment causes your symptoms to get better or stop, you still need to continue treatment to slow the progression to Stage D.

Stage D and reduced E

Patients with Stage D HF-rEF have advanced symptoms that do not get better with treatment. This is the final stage of heart failure.

Stage D treatment

The usual treatment plan for patients with Stage D heart failure includes:

Treatments listed in Stages A, B and C
Evaluation for more advanced treatment options, including:
Heart transplant
Ventricular assist devices
Heart surgery
Continuous infusion of intravenous inotropic drugs
Palliative or hospice care
Research therapies
Stages C and D with preserved EF

Treatment for patients with Stage C and Stage D heart failure and reserved EF (HF-pEF) includes:

Treatments listed in Stages A and B
Medications for treatment of medical conditions that can cause heart failure or make the condition worse, such as atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, coronary artery disease, chronic lung disease, high cholesterol and kidney disease
Diuretic (“water pill”) to reduce or relieve symptoms

AND “YES” I AM SCARED – BUT I HAVE THE LOVE AND PRAYERS OF MY TWO QUEENS, TERRY & MARIA, WHICH GIVE ME HOPE AND MY IRISH GUARDIAN ANGEL IN HEAVEN “SHEENA EVE”.

HOPEFULLY I WILL BE ABLE TO POST THIS TIME TOMORROW – IF NOT I WILL SEE YOU ALL ON THE DARKSIDE.

TILL THEN, I REMAIN – DANN – JUST AS I AM

WATCH OVER ME AND GUIDE ME SHEENA EVE ……

Surgery Number Two Completed

​They took my gall bladder and a big chunk of my liver. 

Biopsied the lumps on my good kidney. 

 January 30th they will remove my bad kidney and fix everything else. 

As agreed,


 I signed myself out of the hospital as soon as I woke up. Against all the doctors orders. I always do. 

I will heal faster at home. 

It’s a LightHouse thing

But, dang y’all don’t know I got major pain on the go

LIFE, LOVE & PAIN

So, the dreaded journey begins…..

Today is my first of three pre-ops.

I am at the North York General Hospital for the preparation for my gall bladder removal. 

Usually this is a day surgery performed via laparoscopy. But, I have never been Blessed with good luck. I have to be sliced open due to a large amount of scar tissue within. 

This coming Friday I go to yet another hospital,  Scarborough General,  for a barrage of tests and pre-op for the removal of my kidney.  

These tests include the insertion of a camera up my urinary tract.  I have been having nightmares about this one test. As I am sure anyone would.

The kidney surgery comes with a mere thirty percent chance of surviving.  

I will also find out on Friday what they intend to do about the three quarter inch blockage in my liver. Having gone through a battle with liver cancer thirteen years ago,  I have my concerns about this. 

I am still waiting to hear the game plan for my  detached ab muscle.  As far as I know this will be re- attached upon completion of the kidney removal or after they repair my liver.

It is all in the hands of the Creator’s. 

I am but a pawn in their game of thrones.

What scares me to no end is I shall be homeless when I am discharged from the hospital.  

Cut up like a Christmas goose, my fantastic son, the angry budgie and my two beautiful pups living no where’s just before Christmas.  

This is why I have lost faith in your gods. I am doomed to a life of shame and embarrassment. 

If I  survive – which my gut and five doctors feel I shall not.

I have been documented dead seven times before – I know from those experiences that there is no eighth return.

The surgeries scare me,  but homelessness will be the straw that breaks my back. 

And so I shed these tears of shame. 

I Shall Not Die Again 

Half the problem with fearing death is that we forget the other half is fearing LIFE. 

Have no fears – be a beacon of Light to show others there is always another side of things.

I have been legally dead seven times and on my 8th life now. 

I’m no pussy by far, so I pray the Hairy Thunderer, Cosmic Muffin or whoever you believe your Creator’s to be will allow me to have 9 lives.

Until then I remain,  Dann – just as I am 


So sayeth The LightHouse