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Delegate Lacey Putney is on track to a complete recovery after a series of radiation treatments for cancerous cells on his vocal chords.
Del. Putney appeared well during an interview in his home last week and the only visible sign that anything had been wrong is that his voice was barely above a whisper and he had what looked like a bad sunburn on his throat. His wife did a great deal of the talking for him.
“Lacey’s had a raspy voice for eight years or so,” said Carmela Putney, his wife, explaining how the cancer was discovered.
Del. Putney had been given the name of a doctor who could help the problem with his voice. He was scheduled for surgery on June 19. He went into surgery, but after 20 minutes the surgeon came out and showed Carmela a photo.
“I think these are cancerous cells,” the doctor told her.
The doctor’s suspicion was confirmed a week later and Del. Putney was told that they had caught it early and it was 95 percent to 100 percent curable. He was scheduled for radiation treatments and got five treatments every week. The treatments were set up late in the afternoon and the couple would go to dinner afterward.
“He did beautifully,” Carmela said.
Del. Putney is a big tennis fan and they were scheduled to take a train to New York for the U. S. Open. They ended up canceling that trip however. After his last treatment, the cumulative impact set in. His throat looked like it had been burned and he couldn’t swallow, not even water. He ended up getting IVs because he was getting dehydrated.
The Putneys were worried as they hadn’t expected this as they had not been told how the radiation would impact him. Then, they were told that it would take him a month to feel well. Del. Putney also consulted his local doctor who confirmed that he just had to be patient.
Even before the full impact of the radiation had hit, Del. Putney was not supposed to talk, but he had been invited to the Virginia State Police Association picnic in July. The Association had made him an honorary member which, according to Del. Putney, is its highest honor.
Del. Putney wrote out his thank-you speech and had his wife read it.
“I told the people I’m not political,” Carmela said. “He isn’t supposed to talk, but that’s like telling a dog not to bark.”
Thursday, Del. Putney said that he planned to go to Richmond, Monday, for a meeting of Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) a General Assembly watchdog that keeps tabs on state agencies and programs. Del. Putney is a member. His wife was planning to accompany him to make sure he didn’t talk too much.
He’s scheduled to have a post radiation check-up on Oct. 3.
“We just ask for prayers,” said Carmela.
Del. Putney, who serves as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, is ready for the next General Assembly Session.
“In a couple of weeks he will be back to his old self,” Carmela said.