2018 New Staging for HPV-related Oropharyngeal Cancer - I am excited to share that as of January 2018 New Staging was released for those diagnosed with HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer. When I first learned about this new staging I was concerned that somehow my story would be less meaningful and important for those who heard it, and that it would have less of an impact in creating awareness and saving lives worldwide. I have since changed my mind, and am more enthusiastic than ever to share my story. I believe this new staging will give people hope and confidence to fight to survive.
This has been an awesome week for HPV awareness. I must thank Maggie Fox, Senior Writer for NBC News for contacting me on Monday evening interested in learning more about my stage IV HPV-related oral cancer story.
Dr. Henry Ho is my ENT & and as far as I'm concerned a Superhero. He diagnosed my cancer back in May 2014, did my surgery, and saved my life.
Happy Birthday to me - My office places sticky notes on my door to my office - Sharing what they love most about me - What a surprise!
What an awesome weekend. I flew to Dallas with my 16 year old son Ryan to meet Jay, a fellow cancer survivor with my same diagnosis, and Julie, his best friend of ten years.
My 16 year old daughter Lauren created the following last week in Language Arts - I am so touched and honored. It makes my heart smile and brought a tear to my eye.
August 11th is one of my favorite days of the year. Just three years ago on August 11, 2014 I rang the bell celebrating my last radiation & chemo treatment while battling stage IV HPV-related oral cancer.
Remind yourself daily what's important. I stress this as I was 44 years old when I got diagnosed with stage 4 HPV related tonsil cancer. My actual diagnosis was Squamous Cell Carcinoma of my left tonsil, as my cancer had spread from my tonsil to two lymph nodes in my neck.
I am extremely grateful that Dr. Ezra Cohen introduced me to Holly Boykin, the Executive Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance (HNCA). Dr. Ezra Cohen is an HNCA board member, as well as a board certified oncologist and an internationally renowned translational researcher.
Chemotherapy and radiation were certainly no fun, although they were critical for my survival. When I initially received my stage four diagnosis, I immediately asked my ENT, about surgery, chemo and radiation. He told me that with surgery and radiation alone, my chances for survival were approximately 85%.