Sitting Here In Limbo

The title of this blog is the perfect description of what I am feeling right now.  I am sitting in between surgery and the start of my treatment.  I am nervous.  I just want to get started and start battling with this disease.  I sit here waiting not sure what is going on in my body.  Is it spreading?  What is it doing?  Should I be waiting like this?  It is scary when you have no idea what your body is doing.  Today, we met with a doctor in Boston and he gave us some good information.  First, this cancer is RARE!  I think he said 500 cases a year and he sees one a month.  My mom said, “Matt, you are definitely really special.”  I guess I am special.  The doctor talked to us about types of chemo and how long I will be taking it.

The official diagnosis is Parotid Ductal Carcinoma and the tumor was 3.5 cm.  So if anyone reading this knows anyone who has dealt with this type of cancer or something close to this cancer please have them email me or send me their email  My email is  I want to just tell some truth of the operation and what is going on in my body.  First, during the surgery the doctor also took out 26 of my lymph nodes on the right side of my neck.  Only 1 came back positive with this type of cancer.  In one of my prior blogs, I talked about a PET CT scan and how nothing showed up on the scan besides the thing in my face.  Well, I want to get the truth out on this.  A lung nodule showed up on the scan, but did not light up.  My doctor said that no way that this could be cancer.  The nodule was very small of 1.2 cm and the doc wanted to get a biopsy of it.  We got a biopsy of it and it did come back positive for the cancer.  I tell this to everyone because I want people to know and I usually forget about it.  It is so small that I do not really worry about it.  I know that once I am on the treatment that it will go away.  Also these things in my lungs are very small and will respond to the treatment, so please don’t worry but support.

On Tuesday, I go into the city to get a mask done for my face.  It is so that when I get radiation treatment that my face will be in the same position every time.  After that I will probably start treatment in 2 weeks.  I got for radiation for 7 weeks every day of the week and off on the weekends.  I know I will be starting chemo, but I am not sure when I will be receiving that treatment.


  1. Tara Dawson
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Sayles,
    Hi!!! It’s Tara. Haven’t talked to you in a while. Anyways, I hope you feel better and we all think about you all the time! You’re the best! You’re definitely the chillest teacher that has ever step foot into Midland Park High School. We are all still expecting to see you at graduation! You are in my prayers

  2. Heather Jones
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    We are thinking of you and hoping and praing for the speedy return of your health. It is important for you to stay stong and positive, we know you have the fortitude to do so. As well as an awesome lady to take care of you. Let us know if you need anything.
    Love Heather and Courtney

  3. Danielle
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Hey Matt – I can’t really say it better than Heath and Court did above but we are all here for you in whatever way you need us to be.

  4. gift
    Posted February 14, 2010 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt , I am Gift.Just wanna tell u Cheer up!! u are so brave in my opinion 😉 yesterday I went to Suphan to celebrate chinese new year with my family then my mum and I talked about u and Annie 🙂 we all miss u Matt 🙂

    my mum and my sis say hi to u and we all wish u r getting better and better soon!! Nothing is more important than ur mind …. so keep going and be strong!! Cheer up 🙂

  5. Dad
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Hey Matt,

    I had time to go through all your thoughts on the blog. You are doing great and I am so proud of you. I wish I could do more for you.

    Please keep up the writing and also talk to me if you feel the need. I am always avaialble to talk if you want.


  6. Dad
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Hello Matt,

    You have made it though the treatment and now you are again waiting in Limbo. YOu are doing great. Why not start with small steps. Go for walk, take a bike ride. Walk to the office and I will drive you home. You will recover quicker if you get out and do some things. May be you could tutor at Midland Park or Ridgewood, even if it was for free it would get you out and face to face again. Keep up the good work.

    The Old Man

  7. Tita Xana
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt,
    I just discovered your blog, from the website
    I also have a rare tumor of the salivary gland (the submaxillary), the name is mucoepidermoid carcinoma. I was 27 when I was diagnosed.
    The funny thing is I also went to Thailand a lot, to do field work for my thesis 🙂
    I guess we have some stuff in common 🙂
    Let’s keep in touch!

  8. P
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Rest in peace Mr. Sayles. You were the greatest. They just dedicated a bench to you in front of the school and it made me think. You were always so kind and i wish you could have taught me this year. I really wish you could have made it through cancer. I remember when I first met you four years ago and I really can’t believe you are gone.

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