[Dixielandjazz] Igor's Illness
Robert S. Ringwald
Wed, 18 Sep 2002 10:01:07 -0700 (PDT)
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.