April 30, 2009


My boss has throat cancer on his vocal chord. It is mostly 90% curable, finding it when they did.

We heard the stats, understood the treatment, he was somewhat blah about it. "No big deal."

We sat around looking at each other, mumbling to each other when he wasn't around, "I think 6 weeks of radiation to the neck is a big deal. Eating has the potential to hurt like hell..."

But we left him alone about it. We figured he was coping and he was doing a far better job than most of us would be, considering this was his second time at the Cancer Dance, colon cancer just last year.

And then things just kind of went... wonky. And tests came back with a small spot here, and hot spot there, here a spot, there a spot...

And a biopsy was to be performed on one spot, but was stopped as the surgeon couldn't get passed a bleeding lesion.

That doesn't sound good.

And through all of it, with the little spots here and there, until the moment of the bleeding lesion, my boss has still been 'eh, it'll be fine.'

I decided that he can float down the river of Denial if he wants... or perhaps he really is that good at coping, but I'd be sick over it.

Sick with worry.

I spent the better part of last night's free time, trying to understand where he is in the big cancer scheme. What stage?

It's not easy with what is going on. I don't want to get too much into it, but it literally is like a little spot appears, they can remove it, then another appears, and they can remove it...

It's akin to playing Cancer Whack-a-Mole.

He's got time. With chemo and radiation, he has time.

But the bottom line is... some sort of trigger has been tripped. And this is now officially a dangerous game.

I just want to understand it.

Posted by Boudicca at April 30, 2009 06:37 AM

Whether your boss has acknowledged how close he is to crossing the River Styx or not, maybe he just isn't afraid of what's on the other shore.

Posted by: Bob at April 30, 2009 07:26 AM

I had a history teacher in high school that had throat cancer, pretty bad from what I heard.

He survived it and taught for many more decades before dying from cancer an old man.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at April 30, 2009 08:14 AM

Bob speaks wisdom. QW too.

Posted by: JihadGene at April 30, 2009 01:19 PM

I'm not sure of his thoughts. Perhaps he has other people in his life doing enough worrying for him? That would be a good bet.

It is in multiple parts of his actual body now... just not his throat. The throat stuff... we were just concerned about side effects of radiation. But it having... essentially... metastasized... different story. :(

Posted by: bou at April 30, 2009 03:13 PM

I have lost too many relatives, and a lot of patients from cancer...

and they all have one thing in common, putting on a brave face when they around those they care about.

I am sure this man, has had sleepless nights and has planned for the worst.....

I would not expect anyone to share that sort of private hell.

My Mother after being diagnosed with stage 3/4 colon cancer, told me once while we were up at 3am, that she was not ever once scared, she gave it to God...

Posted by: AWTM at April 30, 2009 09:43 PM

I f*cking hate cancer.

A coach at our school had throat cancer. A good portion of his throat is gone (combination of surgery for removal and the radiation).

He has to feed himself with a syringe into his stomach.

But he's at work, living life, giving the kids hell for not following directions.

Posted by: Mrs. Who at April 30, 2009 09:48 PM

I have a friend who had throat cancer. I think he's beaten it, but now he has to talk with a tracheotomy. Amazingly, this is a guy who always has a smile on his face. He is so upbeat, it is unbelievable. And he is now back at his job as a mover...spending all day packing and moving extremely heavy furniture and the like.

I don't know what keeps him going like that. If it were me, I'd probably want to just stay in bed feeling sorry for myself. But some people do have an amazing ability to cope with the worst. I look to these people for inspiration.

I'll say a prayer for your boss and send all good thoughts, vibes, and juju his way...and to you also.

Posted by: DogsDontPurr at May 1, 2009 05:06 PM

Sending lots of healing energy to your boss Bou.

Cancer ... sucks.

Posted by: Kris, in New England at May 1, 2009 05:08 PM