Alec is being treated for cancer in his nose, and the way it was diagnosed is interesting. If you already know this part, you can skip the rest of this paragraph. He has been having nosebleeds for months. Not every day, but often. Usually small ones but sometimes it has taken longer to stop them. He mentioned this to our primary doctor, and she sent him to an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) who examined him and told him that if the bleeding continued he could cauterize to stop the bleed. A while after that, during an unrelated eye exam, the eye doctor told him he has a blind spot on his left eye and asked Alec when he had the stroke because that is commonly what can cause this. Alec told him as far as he knew he never had a stroke. Alec then mentioned this to his primary doctor and she ordered an MRI. The results of that test were that there was no stroke, just a naturally aging brain (yay!) but it did show a mass in his nose’s septum and nasal bone. So, Alec saw another ENT doctor who did a biopsy which came back malignant. Then he was referred to an ENT surgeon in Seattle.
So, Alec had fairly major surgery in Seattle on Tuesday (January 24, 2023). It was a bigger surgery to get all the cancer than the doctor and we expected going into it — with the cancer not only in his septum and some bone but also in his sinuses. So instead of six hours outpatient, it took somewhat longer, and they kept him overnight for observation. I spent the night at our son Noel’s house.
We got home yesterday afternoon, and he is on bed rest or couch rest today. He’s on pain medications and antibiotics, and not in any pain other than some not-awful headaches.
Tomorrow we go back to see the surgeon for the post-op exam, and then in a week or two Alec will start working with a plastic surgeon in Bellevue with whom we spoke last night. He will be doing the reconstructive surgeries. First a bigger surgery which might mean another overnight stay, then what sounds like more than one smaller surgery after that, and possibly some radiation treatment — which should be able to be done locally instead of traveling more than an hour to Bellevue.
So, this isn’t going to be a short process, and we don’t know exactly what that means yet, but the plastic surgeon said it could a couple of months but also may be six to nine months before this process is complete.
Considering all this Alec is doing okay, and I am too.
So many friends and relatives have been amazing with love and support and asked what they can do to help us. So, in addition to what we might email or post on Facebook, we have set up an account on CaringBridge where we will post updates and also ways to help us if you can. That is here: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/alecclayton
UPDATE @ 5:55 PM still on Thursday, January 26: Well, things are moving fast. Now Alec has the first reconstructive plastic surgery tomorrow morning in Issaquah. It will be outpatient, and our housemate Maddie is driving us — thank you! So we will post updates when we have them.