Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Word from the man!


I had an amazing Benefit Party in my honor on Saturday evening in Los Angeles, California. My old buddy Kevin O'Neal (BusBoys-Tracy Chapman-Otis Day and the Knights fame) was the MD of the Event. I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY by the evening's entertaining. Trio featuring Raymond Pounds (Long time Stevie Wonder Drummer), Deborah Holland (Animal Logic) joined the band for 5 tunes, followed 5 Gospel group, "The Radiant Voices" who turned the place on its collective head! I played a whole lot of percussion and then joined Tom Freund and friends (Ben Peeler, Freddy Koella & Stevie Blacke), behind the drums. Then Jackson Browne joined us behind the piano and Kevin O'Neal on bass for a long set including "Jamaica Say You Will", "Barricades of Heaven", "Doctor My Eyes", "The Weight" and a rousing sing-a-long dub version of "No Woman, No Cry"!!! I am getting my last chemo as we speak and the meds are kicking in so it's nap time > bye for now. thank you for all of the support & get-well wishes so far.

Wally





[MORE PICTURES FROM THE BENEFIT DINNER]




Greetings Friends!

I hope you all are happy and healthy and Rocking Hard! In case you have not already heard, I have been diagnosed with Squamous Cell Cancer in the Tonsil and Neck region. My prognosis is very good even with Stage 4A rating (Apparently Stage 4B wouldn't be so promising). So we are very fortunate to have caught it at this stage. I was not feeling rite after The Joshua Tree Festival (June) and thought It was my usual fun with allergy season or a sinus infection. It seemed like a lot of people were sick at that time so I figured that it was my turn as well. I felt some odd pain behind my right eye, in my right ear & sinuses. I'm thinkin' no big deal take some vitamins drink a lot of water and get some rest and I'll be ready to hit the road with The Animals for 7-8 weeks Euro-Tour. On my way into LA from the desert I noticed a swollen Lymph gland on the Rt side of my neck and kept an eye on it as began to increase in size over the coming weeks. We played in Canada and drove to Sugarloaf NY where Marianna (Eric Burdon's wife) took me to the local Emergency Room. After a couple hours of sitting around, paperwork etc..the Doc checked me out, prescribed some anti-biotics said to see an ENT Dr. in 3-4weeks and sent us on our way. Over the next few weeks the symptoms subsided except for the Lymph node(s) continuing to get bigger and bigger. Week 5 in Germany I was able to see an ENT Dr. which wasn't easy as Drs. were on strike all over the Country. The Dr. determined that there was no ear infection but something happening in the back of my throat and believed that the mass on my neck was neither Lymph or Thyroid but rather some sort of Cyst that should be surgically removed and even offered to do it if I would be in town for a few days. As it turned out attempting to remove the "mass" could have been lethal! (oops) Good thing we were just passin' through I guess. I got some more anti-biotics and was on my way (Poland, Italy, Spain,Switz,Sweden, Serbia etc..) When we returned to the States in late early September I began my search for a Dr(s) to figure once and for all what was really going on. i went from Dr. to Dr. each calling for more tests (Ultrasound, Blood, MRI, PET/CT Scan) and finally after a surgery to biopsy the tonsil making the determination of Squamous Cell Carcinoma originating in the Tonsil and spreading to the Neck... so there ya have it.

I began a 6 week Induction Chemotherapy treatment program at Cedars-Sinai in LA on Sept. 25. After 3 weeks the neck mass has responded incredibly well to the aggressive treatment, shrinking dramatically!!! I am experiencing some pretty Gnarly side-effects but this is fair trade to eradicate the beast! I will spare the gruesome details. After the 6 week deal I will undergo 7-8 weeks of Radiation/ Chemo combination treatments 5-days a week followed by a surgery to clean up any left-overs. We have an amazing team of Doctor's and we are getting cutting edge treatment protocol. Some of these chemo drugs are not even FDA approved as yet! All good so far and we are confident that everything is going to be just fine!

I can't say enough about the outpouring of love and support from friends, family and folks whom I've not even met(yet)! Laurie and I would like to sincerely thank you all for reaching out during this difficult time. Thank You So Much.

Love and Determination,

Wally, Laurie and Lydia

7 Comments:

Blogger taddihno said...

Wally, greetings from Tokyo!

I believe you will get well soon and come back to Japan in the near future.
Wish you the best.

Take really care,
Tadd

8:40 PM  
Blogger nick said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:32 PM  
Blogger nick said...

I'm pulling for you bud. I spent a week in those same beds there are Cedars in March to remove a 2 lb tumor in my back. Dr. Allen Silberman (who runs the Oncology Department at Cedars) was my doctor. If you see him, tell him I say thanks. Im sure you are receiving great care while there. Hang in there, and peace and light!
Nick Boeka

1:33 PM  
Blogger Tim Jensen said...

Wally (Gator),
Just a note from a childhood hometown friend. I sure hope everything goes well with your treatment and you beat this thing quickly. We will pray for you and your family and know that you have the strength and support to regain your full health.

Tim Jensen
Beloit, WI

7:13 AM  
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9:40 AM  
Blogger -cs said...

Dear Wally,

We haven't met but we have a few mutual friends and I was honored to join your extended family in SF last weekend. The smile on that little baby girl of yours brought tears to my eyes. I just learned that we are both from Beloit ... a small world indeed). I know you are going to beat this thing! We well.

Hope and Love,

Carl

2:12 PM  
Blogger -cs said...

Dear Wally,

We haven't met but we have a few mutual friends and I was honored to join your extended family in SF last weekend. The smile on that little baby girl of yours brought tears to my eyes. I just learned that we are both from Beloit ... a small world indeed. I know you are going to beat this thing! We well.

Hope and Love,

Carl

2:13 PM  

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