Don't Ignore the Warning Signs

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It was late October 2011 when Larry Engel started losing his voice. At first he didn’t think much of it – an early seasonal cold, perhaps. But soon the days stretched into weeks and the weeks into months.

“I kept putting it off,” says Larry. “Some days were good, some weren’t. I never had any other symptoms – sore throat or anything like that. Swallowing didn’t bother me, I could eat.”

Finally, the prodding of his family broke though. Larry relented and went to his doctor.

Upon examination, Larry’s doctor referred him to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist who subsequently performed a biopsy on a small growth on Larry’s vocal cord and lymph nodes. It was cancer.

From June 6, 2011 till July 26, 2011, the 66-year-old Milwaukee native underwent 34 radiation and six chemotherapy sessions. “Five days a week for radiation,” Larry says, “once a week for chemo.”

Larry and his wife, Maureen, are thankful for the compassionate and dedicated team of caregivers at the Columbia St. Mary’s Cancer Center, especially Dr. Ranveer Nand and Dr. Ranjini Gandhavadi, who helped guide them both through this arduous process.

“They were great. They all worked together as a team, treated me real well,” Larry says. “The doctors, nurses, therapists – the entire team – they are the best of the best.”

Maureen agrees, adding, “Columbia St. Mary’s is wonderful. Their kindness, their encouragement, we couldn’t have gotten through it if they weren’t the way they were.”

 

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