It all started with a sore throat. In April of 2015, Larry Scott thought he just had tonsillitis. But when the antibiotics prescribed by his doctor didn’t make him feel any better, he went to a specialist for more tests.
“It turns out I had cancer in my tonsils and it had spread to one of the lymph nodes in my neck,” Larry says.
Over the next six months, Larry underwent several rounds of radiation and chemotherapy; he also had a tonsillectomy and a discectomy. The discectomy left him with 300 stitches in his neck. He was able to get most of his treatment near his home at Aurora Memorial Hospital of Burlington, but had to travel to Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee for the radiation.
Larry says the most difficult part of treatment was the chemotherapy, “It took about four to five hours to put all the stuff in me at a time. The first time I was terrified because you look around and see other people who look pretty sick. But the staff explained everything really well. They took a lot of the fear away.”
Larry was unable to eat any food for about two months. Although he’s now eating regular food, he can’t really taste it.
“It affects your taste buds, and I have no saliva in my mouth. I have to drink water when I eat. It will probably never come back 100% but that’s okay. I’m alive,” he shares.
In 2015, Aurora Health Care Foundation launched the Partners in Cancer Care campaign which aims to give people like Larry new hope. It’s a $2.2 million fundraising effort to build a new cancer center, centrally located in western Racine and Walworth Counties. The center will feature 25 medical oncology infusion bays, 10 exam rooms and one outpatient procedure room, as well as space for complementary support services like integrative medicine therapies that focus on wellness and healing.
Patients receiving chemotherapy at the new center will have views of the natural wetlands located on the site. Larry says a view of nature would have helped lift his spirits, “The staff in Burlington is a bunch of superstars, and they helped keep me busy. But I would have liked to see something other than four walls. A nice view of nature would have taken off some of the anxiety.”
The upcoming Crystal Ball event on Saturday, February 6 will support the Partners in Cancer Care campaign. It’s truly a community fundraising effort that will help support so many of your family, friends and neighbors who are battling cancer in your community. People just like Larry.
“It’s so nice to get world-class care right where you live. This really is worth every nickel,” he says.