Thursday, January 25, 2007

Health Update from Wally!

Hey Y'all

I am elated and a bit overwhelmed with the latest Drs. Exam. My Surgeon, Dr. Ryan Osborne, has been my wing man from day 1 when he told me straight up, "you've got cancer" until this week when he said "I don't see anything and I don't feel anything". I was floored with emotion and couldn't hold back the tears as I embraced him.

My sister in law Patty and Dr. Osborne's Intern were in the room as well and we were all grinning ear to ear! I have been very emotional ever since that moment. I only wish that Laurie and Lydia would have been there to share the feeling. I called Laurie after we left the office and with a quivering voice told her the good news, she was ecstatic! She has been my ROCK and I can't imagine what she has gone through completely in these last months. She has not once shown fear or made me feel that we were in trouble or that we would not successfully beat this thing down, but let me tell you I had a hard time looking at my self in the mirror and witnessing the horrible impact that the chemo and radiation was having on my head and neck areas. I'm talkin' Freddy Krueger meets Fire Marshal Bob Horror! Laurie never flinched in the face of such horror (literally), for this I will be eternally grateful to her. My Love for my wife runs deeper than the Grand Canyon and I thank her for her strength, compassion and incredible healing heart and hands. I love you Laurie!

My Oncologist, Dr. Edward Wolin is absolutely thrilled with the out come of the treatments and his comment was, "As far as I am concerned, you are in remission!" He also said, "This is big. You were stage 4A! And now you are cancer free! This is big!"

I look forward to seeing Dr. Michele Burnison, my Radiation Oncologist, to hear her take on things . The radiation was particularly brutal, burning up tissue in my mouth, throat and outer skin on my neck, cheeks and ears. It was like a super, super bad sunburn. My skin is healing up nicely now. I get hydration at the hospital for 4 hrs a day until I can take enough fluids in through my mouth. It's all about healing up and gaining strength back. No more torture and punishment for the Llama! Yeah!!!!!

I Thank all of my Docs and Nurses and Technicians at Cedars, you are incredible! I Thank all of my family. I Love you!

I also Thank all of my friends, the most amazing crew of folks to walk the Earth. Most of all My Lovely Wife Laurie and my darling daughter Lydia! I Love You!



Blogger hms said...

hey there llamaman. Glad to hear your whippin' this thing back from where it came from. My prayers continue for you and your entire family. anything you need, don't hesitate~ Heidi S.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Kosmo said...

I stumbled on your web sight by accident and was shocked to read about your battle with the big C.
I am also delighted to read that you are battling it back (I picture you with your sticks and that expression you get...then whacking it back) I am sure this has been a rough ride for your new family and hope they are fairing well through it all. Take care

10:52 PM  
Blogger Matthew Moon said...

It was a star-studded event, a benefit to help aid my friend Wally Ingram in his battle against Squamous Cell Carcinoma, a rare form of cancer. I first met Wally about five years ago while he was on tour with musical guru David Lindley. They were doing a three-night stint with Widespread Panic in Larkspur, Colorado, and happened to have a break in their schedule. My friend Matt Need brought Wally to my performance that night in Denver and he ended up sitting in on a version of the Neil Young classic, “Down By The River”. I never imagined that it would lead to an EP, a tour, and the culmination of which I am about to tell you about. I arrived at the Alex Theater in Glendale, California around 8pm. Jackson Browne had just taken the stage and was performing his song, “My Stunning Mystery Companion”, which he dedicated to his girlfriend of ten years and also to Laurie Ingram, Wally’s wife and biggest supporter through his ordeal. Shortly thereafter, Jackson invited old friend and cohort Bonnie Raitt up to sing along with blues aficionado extraordinaire, Keb’ Mo’. Not to loose sight, Wally was grooving right along with his djembe drum and brushes, and the occasional front desk dinger. Then it was Bonnie’s turn, and she played the nastiest slide dobro guitar to the arrangement of the Gary Nicholson song, “Shadow of a Doubt”. After the set break, I decided to try and sneak backstage. This is not something I would normally do, but I didn’t want to bother Wally for passes, and security was loose. Luckily, I began bumping into all kinds of friends and eventually found myself in a conversation with Victoria Williams and Eric McFadden, whom I toured with in 2005 during Wally and Eric’s release of the album, Alektrophobia (fear of chickens). I gradually made my way back upstairs to the side of the stage just as Neil Finn from Crowded House was discussing chord changes with a band mate in the wings. Always a gentleman, Wally introduced the two of us and then Crowded House took the stage to perform their classic 80’s hit, “Don’t Dream it’s Over.” After that, Eric McFadden ascended with his darkly profound flamenco style guitar, accompanied by underground punk pop sensation Paula O’Rourke (Tiny) on bass, and Wally on kit. After Eric’s burning set, I noticed a familiar face walking towards me mumbling something like, “That boy is amazing”. Low and behold, it was George Clinton from Parliament Funkadelic! As I stood there marveling, I looked to my right and noticed producer Butch Vig (Nirvana) waiting to go on stage with his band Garbage (I’m Only Happy When It Rains). Around 11:30pm, Sheryl Crow came out on stage to perform, “The First Cut Is The Deepest”, followed by, “If It Makes You Happy”, with Wally on drums, and Tad Wadhams on bass. For the final number, Sheryl and the band played, “Everyday Is A Winding Road.” Toward the end of the song, George Clinton crept out of the wings and led the enthusiastic 2000 strong crowd in a Crow/Clinton version of, “We Want The Funk”, at which point Paula O’Rourke grabbed my hand and pulled me out on stage. I was dancing like a maniac, singing with members of Parliament, when Bonnie Raitt walked out. For the last number, Jackson Browne led us all (at this point 60 people) in an amazing “live aid” style jam of the Bob Marley classic, “No Woman No Cry” that went on for more than 10 minutes. As Tom Freund and I shared a microphone, I looked back to notice Wally having the time of his life, surrounded by all his friends. The good news is the cancer is gone. The healing has begun, and I can’t think of a better occasion to have signaled a new beginning. Way to beat it Wally!

12:19 PM  
Blogger Philbillie said...

Hey there, Wally.
Just wanted to say hi again and let you know what a wonderful time it was at The Independant and I am real happy I could be there for you and lend a small hand. I posted a little story and some pix on my blog, as well at: if you want to have a gander.

All our love and best wishes to you and the girls from me and Jenny.


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3:04 PM  

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