“Light years ahead” are the words ringing in my ears. That is what Dr. Monroe said today regarding Tony’s progress. Dr. Monroe couldn’t hide how pleased he is. It takes years for most glossectomy patients to achieve the level of ability and articulation that Tony has already reached only one-month post-surgery. This is a testimony of the power of your prayers on Tony’s behalf.

Dr. Monroe is always careful to set “realistic expectations.” I’m glad that Tony is more interested in what is possible instead of what is typical.

Dr. Lloyd noticed a spot of concern on the tip of Tony’s tongue flap yesterday, so we brought it to Dr. Monroe’s attention. It was a small pocket of infection along the suture line, so Dr. Monroe cleaned it out and dabbed a little liquid nitrogen on it. Tony couldn’t feel a thing.

Suture Line on Tony’s Thigh

After looking at Tony’s leg and hearing our description of the difficulties he has had with redness, swelling and a little seeping along the incision, Dr. Monroe concluded that Tony has a sensitivity to the suture material they used, called Vicryl. The sutures are nearly dissolved and it looks like Tony’s immunity is strong enough that his body is taking care of it and antibiotics won’t be necessary. If Tony ever has surgery again, we will need to remember this sensitivity so that another material can be used.

The speech therapist at the Huntsman guided Tony through some exercises to keep his neck and swallowing muscles strong during radiation. He will begin these exercises right away so that he has good strength before radiation begins.

The nutritionist recommended continuing 8 cans of formula per day and watching Tony’s weight to make sure he is gaining again and not continuing to lose. Sometimes Tony has tried to double up and she explained that taking more than two cans at a time can make it difficult for the body to process the needed protein.

Tony’s speech therapist at the VA went to the mat before his surgery to get $160 in funding for an app for his Android smartphone. He will be able to use this sophisticated app when others are having a hard time understanding what he is trying to say. It will be especially useful during radiation when speaking becomes difficult and painful.

Tony was teasing me today and I told him to be careful if he wants me by his side. He chuckled and said, “You’re not going anywhere. You’ve invested too much in me already.” Ha ha… it’s true. Marriage is an investment. One that pays eternal dividends.