Due to Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, I'd like to share some thoughts throughout September as I've already been doing, including our son's continued journey as a survivor and young adult.
I am/we are very thankful that the percentages of survivors and thrivers of a lot of childhood cancer diseases are on the rise, many of them hovering over 80%. That's the good news for many in the battle.
However, that great news of survivorship comes at a price of possibly developing Late Effects from all the treatment: chemotherapy, surgeries, radiation and bone marrow transplants. Some survivors are still heavily supported by medications and "ologists" (dermatologist, oncologist, hematologist, endocrinologist, nephrologist, opthamologist, oral and maxillofacial ologist, and many others).
So it's no surprise that our son Ryan continues to thrive, but knows he needs the support of said "ologists" to continue to be seen and stay healthy through these great years of young adulthood...and beyond. More gratefulness to the awesome doctors that have taken on his case, and other young adult survivors no matter their original diagnosis and disease. Secondary malignancies are common after a lot of chemo and radiation etc.
Today Ryan had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Robert Ord of the University of Maryland (oral and maxillofacial doc). It was a good visit, but I must admit, there's a wee bit of anxiety when Ryan's saddles into the chair to be examined. Dr. Ord mentioned that he's had over 5000 patients with mouth cancers, and Ryan is one of three (out of those 5000+ patients) that has had bilateral squamous cell carcinoma on his tongue. We couldn't be more appreciative and indebted to one of the best oral surgeons in the world in Dr. Ord performing those two surgeries (and one more to remove lymph nodes).
Interestingly, an Oral-Maxillofacial fellow first came into the exam room to "check" Ryan before Dr. Ord came in. His name was Paolo hailing from Italy. With a heavy Italian accent, he conveyed to us that he left Italy (with a wife and a five month old child still living there) to come to the United States to train under Dr. Ord for the next two years. I hope he learns the ropes from the best to give those good folks in Italy superb oral care in the years to come.
Photos of Ryan and his follow-up care with Dr. Ord
Welcome to my Blog of my daily gratitude and photo of the day!
Since January 1, 2012, my goal is to write a daily sentence or two (or paragraph or two) about gratitude of the day and to include one photo (at least) that I took that day (but will add others from time to time). It has definitely been a challenge most days throughout the past eight years, and welcomed the challenge again this year - 2020 - Covid and all. I hope you will continue the ride with me!