[Dixielandjazz] Igor's Illness

Robert S. Ringwald ringwald@calweb.com
Wed, 18 Sep 2002 10:01:07 -0700 (PDT)

From: <IGORJAZZ@aol.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 9:12 PM
Subject: Igor's Illness
I am sending this e-mail to all who I know will be concerned.  
I'm sorry it's so impersonal, but I'm lazy and it's easier to 
type the story once, rather than tell it again and again.
Beginning in June, Igor had a lingering sore throat that resulted 
in 2 rounds of antibiotics, a visit to an ENT doctor, a series of 
MRI's, and now a diagnosis of Cancer.
He has Stage 2 Squamous Cell Carcinoma - a tumor in the left area 
of the back of the tongue.
We only met the surgeon on Friday, and he was able to do the 
biopsy (under anesthetic) this afternoon.  He called this 
evening, and we pretty much know where we're headed.  Igor will 
have surgery within the next 3 to 4 weeks-the doctor's office 
will call tomorrow to give him potential dates. The doctor also 
is arranging for him to meet with a Radiologist to know what will 
be involved if radiology is necessary.
Surgery will involve his surgeon (who is the top guy in his 
field, by the way) plus two plastic surgeons.  It will be an 8-9 
hour procedure.  He'll be hospitalized for 8 days, with 
moderately-full recovery anticipated in about a month.  (The 
plastic surgeons will take skin from the arm to reconstruct the 
parts of the tongue which have been removed.)
It appears that, at Stage 2, the cancer has not spread to his 
lymph nodes. Recovery should be 100%.  I should note that there 
are no reliable statistics for recovery if the lymph nodes are 
involved.  Studies indicate a 60-85% chance of full recovery + 5 
years for this group - BUT - the people in the study group all 
were smokers and/or drinkers.
In 97% of the cases, this type cancer is found in persons who 
have been heavy smokers and usually heavy drinkers as well.  As 
you know, Igor's never touched a cigarette and rarely takes a 
We're waiting to get the surgery date, and I'm planning to fly 
Johanna home. Why should Dan have only one bonafide social worker 
at his side, when he can have two?   :>)
Thus far his energy level, voice, etc. have been just fine.  He's 
still planning to do a festival later this month, but then may 
have to cancel everything until the first of the year.  We're 
just taking one day at at time.
We appreciate your thoughts and prayers.