In 2010, I was, I thought, a fit and passionately active guy, living in New York City, when, after a couple of misdiagnoses, discovered something on the base of my tongue that should not have been there.
Late 2010 post initial treatment in NYC on the Hudson
Oddly, at the same time the unwanted lump was finally biopsied, a well-known actor and one of my favorites, initials M.D., announced he was going through the same treatment, for the same thing, same area, same stage, at the same time. He was also misdiagnosed, which made our treatments more severe than they otherwise would have needed to be. Because I was particularly heat-sensitive, the seven weeks of radiation and chemo ended up making waste of my left mandible, requiring a 2nd remedy more harsh than the first.
Although my grandfather died from tongue cancer, perhaps leaving a predisposed gene in his legacy, (he chewed tobacco, I did not nor was I a smoker) I make no bones that the cancerous condition was brought on by my own lifestyle choices.
This blog started out as a method of communicating the treatment process, a kind of shared diary to family and friends, and has since evolved into homogenized, fibrous comments of whatever seems to choke me up at the moment.
Dec 2011 on the island of Mayorca post brachytherapy (radiated wires wrapped around my tongue for two days in solitary confinement.)
June 2011 at Chelsea Pier, NYC, contemplating the nasty effects of radiation to neck and mouth while trying to focus on the bright side.
July 2012, the Hudson on the way back from Bear Mountain to NYC before heading in for 10-hour surgery for what is called a “fibula flap,” which is essentially a bone/vein/artery transplant from leg to face.
Three weeks after having my left fibula replace my left mandible. Swelling took three months to dissipate.
November 2012, about 2.5 months later, the bulge, ever so slowly, taking its leave.
June 2013 Madison Sq Park with GV.
Dec 31, 2012, New Year’s Eve Midnight Run in Central Park with GV.
July 2013 on the back side of Bocarón, coming up from Santa Fe Antióquia on the way back to Medellin, Colombia. Dealing with the extremely stiff neck fibrosis from the operation the year prior.
February 2016 on the island of Koh Samui with nephew Sam.
Feb 2018 Queen Sirikit Park, Bangkok
On a greenway bike path, Bangkok 2018
Bali, after moving out of NYC in Feb 2019 and starting a new journey.
Coconut kefir and turmeric elixir at The Sanctuary, Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand during a detox program a paradise-like beach (only accessible by boat), April 2019.