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Overcoming the impact of recurring head and neck cancer

Organized by: jim murphy

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THE STORY:

In 2010 at the conclusion of an annual physical my internist asked me "...anything else?" ando I mentioned an irritating small bump under my chin about the size of a pimple. That was in July. In December I had a 6-hour surgery to remove a baseball-sized tumor from the right side of my head and neck. This was followed with radiation therapy and chemotherapy throughout the first half of 2011. We handled the bills and other living expenses and survived for about six months until at age 68 I was able to secure a job as a driving instructor which along with social security provided enough cash flow for my household. Then in May of this year (after being a cancer survivor) I developed a bleeding bump just below my left ear and was told it was again head and neck cancer. While the first episode was a solid mass, this new cancer while the same cell type involved the entire lymph system. The surgery this time took 12-hours, much of which involved attempting to retain some function in the main facial nerve. That was June 30 and two weeks ago I had recovered enough to begin a daily radiation therapy regimen. With the costs so far and looking ahead with a questionable return to work at age 73 I'm looking at a financial abyss. I've always been able to work and provide for my family and pray that I will be again. It just looks like I need a bridge from here to there. Thank you.

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jim murphy

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