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need help

cbecker
Posts: 89
Joined: Sep 2002

My husband had squamous cell cancer on the right side of his neck the tumor was about the size of a golf ball or bigger. It was right behind his vocal chords and in front of the opening of his esphagus ( mispelled). We went to an ENT doctor, he wanted to do surgery then follow up with radiation. We went for a second opinion at MD Anderson Cancer Center in HOuston. There he was evaluated with a surgeon, Chemo doctor and radiation onog. They all decided to do just radiation. After 40 treatments of radiation the tumor is gone. Thank God. He has a feed tube and has had several ups and downs with thrush, dry mouth, thick mucus, dehydration and now fighting over hydration. He is taking PRozac for depresstion. The last treatment was July 10th and his throat is still very swallowen. He is on 7 cans of Ultracal thru the tub. We have been trying soft diet. Ensure, pudding, shakes, eggs, etc. The ENT doctor here in our town of Topeka, Kansas says the throat is still very swallowen. When he trys to eat he chokes. We have worked with a speech therapists in MD Anderson and Topeka. Does the throat get better? HOw long does it take for the swelling to go down? Does life get back to normal? Are life was eating out and traveling? Does the depression and being tired go away and if so how long? I've tried everything to help but he has to get tough again. He went thru hell with radiation. I just wish he would get extra tough again and fight this healing. Please help????? any suggestion and replies to my questions would be most helpful J&C

tworivers
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2002

J&C. My husband also had a tumor on the right side of his neck removed plus his tonsil. He has gone through 39 radiation treatments, two chemo and will have his last two chemo treatments this month. He had his surgery the 1st of June and he is just now starting to heal.He has a feeding tube and we get about 4 to 5 cans down a day but he has no appetite. He has just the last week been able to swallow his two pills a day and drinks a protein drink but other than that not much goes in his mouth. It seems like when he started to heal we could see an improvement each day and his muscle tone and energy are finally coming, it is just a slow process. One gentleman said we have to remember that each cell has to heal and some heal slower than others but it will happen one day.We also have battled thrush We finally got Diflucan to clear it up. He takes Paxil for depression and after about a month it is finally starting to kick in so again a rather slow process. Don't get discouraged you will make it through it and I just know that we all will have a normal life again, if we really know what normal is.I do alot of puzzles and word search. Just to keep my mind occupied. Judy

cbecker
Posts: 89
Joined: Sep 2002
cbecker
Posts: 89
Joined: Sep 2002

Judy, thank you for the help. When was your husbands last radiation treatment. My husband did not have surgery just radiation. But as you now that is harder than heck to go thru also. The Prozac is finally kicking in also. IT has been a month since he is on it. Does your husband still get very tired? I'm waiting and praying hard for the healing of the cells to start happen. We go back to MD Anderson On Oct. 27th for check up, and I hope we find out some more info on the swelling? I will keep your husband in my prayers also. Thanks, J&C

rrman
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2002

Dear J&C. I've experienced the exact same situation as your husband. Please feel free to call me. I can answer all you questions. Sincerely, Peter 954-724-0515 East Coast

davecr's picture
davecr
Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2002

J&C,

I'm a 51-year old male and I had SCC, too. The primary tumor was in my left tonsil but we didn't notice it until it got to the lymph nodes. I had the whole gamut of treatment - chemo, radiation and surgery all ending in July of 2001. My throat was pretty swollen after the surgery also. I was on a liquid diet (no feeding tube) and sometimes when I tried to swallow the liquid would come out my nose.

I found that going to a support group and talking & crying with other cancer patients and survivors really helped my depression. It helped me understand what had happened to me and gain the ability to talk about it. My wife and I made real efforts to go out. We wouldn't go far. I would get soup and take a can or two of Ensure while she got a regular dinner. Getting out and seeing other people helped add a sense of getting back to "normal" to our lives. It was probably 3 or 4 months before I had what you might call a real meal. Even now, a year later, eating is a little difficult but I've adapted. You will too.

jerrikehoe
Posts: 27
Joined: Apr 2002

Give him time dear, the diagnosis is tiring in itself and the treatments can be devastating but with time and the grace of God things will start to improve soon. God Bless

_xia_
Posts: 16
Joined: May 2002

Dear Mrs Becker,

I am thankful of your reply to my message of Lymphostasis. I have written something back =o}

I have had several side effects from Radiation to my neck and Nasopharynx.

I would be happy to talk to you about my experience.

Please feel free to write: yksi@hotmail.com

I also could speak to you via the telephone.

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