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Voiceless, Hungry, and Determined at Sixteen

2014-08-19 15.31.31[Editor’s note. This Patient Story is the first of a two part series written by a member of the NFOSD team from a written interview with patient Angelica Hunsucker. All content stems directly from responses to documented interview questions and has been approved in written form by Angelica.]

An Introduction

Imagine having a delicious family meal with laughter, conversation between bites, and clinking utensils transform into sustenance in the form of liquid vitamins and nutrients poured into your stomach through a tube. This liquid diet has replaced my memories of favorite foods and social meals for the past ten years. My name is Angelica Hunsucker. I’m a twenty-six-year-old disabled mother of two beautiful little girls. This is the story of how my whole world was turned upside down at age sixteen.

 

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THE DREADED “YOUR NEW NORM” (PART 1)

SCAN0223[Editors note: THE DREADED “YOUR NEW NORM” is a two-part series written by Jim Rose. This is the first part of the series.]

My name is Jim Rose and in 2009, eight months after retiring from a 47 year career in the auto industry, I was diagnosed with stage IV oropharyngeal and pharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.  Within 3.5 weeks I was biopsied, scoped and put through 10 hours of radical surgery.

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The Real Life by Carolyn Anderson

On December 4, 2009, my entire life changed forever in a way that I never dreamed. I was a school teacher for 32 years, having retired in June of 2009.  I looked forward to retirement and all that went with it.  Instead, my oncologist at Vanderbilt Hospital diagnosed me with Adenocarcinoma and Squamous-cell carcinoma of the salivary gland. In the removal of the salivary gland, I would lose half of my tongue, my salivary gland, and a lymph node; the result of which would be my inability to eat or drink because I was unable to swallow. Numbed by this massive prognosis, my major thought was, “Would I be able to live through it.”

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Looking Down the Barrel of a Feeding Tube

Barbara

Byline: Barbara Blades

January 2005

The last time I can remember eating normally was January 2005. My birthday is on January 5th and I had already planned on eating someplace special. On January 4th I had a biopsy, and following my birthday on the 7th I learned I had stage 3 squamous cell carcinoma.   It was in the lymph nodes of my neck and in the base of my tongue.

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Couldn’t Believe It

Byline: Gloria Hevener

[Editor’s note: The NFOSD would like to thank Gloria for sharing her story. We have posted a few questions for our readers to consider at the bottom this article. We welcome your thoughtful comments and reserve the right to moderate them as needed.]

My name is Gloria Hevener.  I am 76 years old with two daughters, a son, four grandchildren and one great grandchild.  My last job was a Program Manager in Network Operations at Sprint.  I loved my work and luckily, as a result of my job at Sprint, I am very technology savvy and can use my computer and iPad to my advantage.  My husband and I did lots of traveling during our first years of retirement – nearly around the world.

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