It’s been a while since our last post but for good reason. Despite going through a cross-country move from Florida to Utah earlier this year and going through a family name change, even though that takes an enormous amount of focus and energy that’s actually not the reason. Most of you may not know this yet but back in June I was diagnosed with stage 4 mouth cancer. While it was shocking news to discover we took this in stride and felt we were some of the most mentally prepared people to endure the journey ahead.
As we learned more about what this diagnosis meant and how the surgical procedure was going to go, we knew this wasn’t going to be easy. I began to get serious about the prep and going into this procedure with the strongest immune system my body had ever had was my top priority. I immediately started taking all the immune support supplements and vitamins our company offers which can be found through our skincare and supplement website and scroll towards the bottom of the home page for “My Cancer Fighting Immune Support Package.” I was able to rest assured knowing that I was giving my body the best chance to come out on top on the other side of what I was about to go through.
The surgery was over 9 hours with two surgeons and an entire medical team working simultaneously with the procedure ending late at night around 2am which must have been a nail-biting period of time for my wife and family as you can imagine. They surgically removed the entire front section of my jaw, replacing it with a bone graft they took from my left leg, skin and artery transplant from my left arm, and a metal plate to connect the left and right sides of my jaw back together. I woke up the next morning with a ventilator and all the IV tubes you can think of and had to force myself awake enough for them to pull the ventilator tube out so they could insert the nasal feeding tube. This was the start of the real battle. I had to learn how to communicate, learn how to walk, learn how to use the bathroom, so many basic things that I had always taken for granted. It was truly an eye-opening moment for me as it gave me newfound appreciation for everything that my body allowed me to do.
After a week in the ICU I was released to finish recovering at home which was huge. There is nothing like healing in the comfort of your own home! The weeks went on as I progressed through physical therapy and regained the majority of my mobility and function. Then I had to start chemotherapy and radiation by about week 5 after surgery. Fortunately my treatments only lasted 6 weeks and honestly did not affect me too badly. I attribute my relative “lack of negative side effects” to my acceptance of my condition and the recommended treatments, allowing my body to honor it then release it. It is my belief when we are stubborn that we tend to slow this process down which causes the symptoms to last longer and appear more intense. It is analogous to literally digging your heels in the dirt versus walking gently across the same path. When you dig your heels in you are getting more dirt stuck to the bottom of your feet and therefore causing the situation to be worse for you than it needs to be. By the end of my treatments I did have an extremely sore throat for about a week and loss most of my sense of taste. But the chemo wasn’t that terrible with the exception of feeling tired most of the time. But after a few weeks after treatments ended I was feeling relatively normal again.
At the time of this writing I am still going to outpatient physical therapy for mobility and strengthening but overall in pretty good condition. I was hiking mountains before my surgery and back at it again now. But it hasn’t been just a physical battle, but a mental, spiritual, and emotional battle as well. So many intricacies to something this life changing that words on a screen just can’t relay until you go through something like this yourself. It has been quite the experience and I hope that I can serve as an inspiration for others and possibly give someone else encouragement and strength to make it through their own battle. If you know someone that is going through a similar struggle in life or just needs to read this story please share. There is so much happening in the world right now and sometimes an uplifting story can turn someones day or even life around. I’m happy to connect with people and share more if there are any questions about this through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Take care and blessings to all!