May 25, 2003 - 10:44 pm
I don't have cancer but I do have a very, very close friend who was recently diagnosed with SCC of the tonsil (primary) that has spread to the soft palate and lymph nodes on the right side of his neck. He has seen several doctors here in NM and also went to MD Anderson for a consult (report and treatment plan from them is pending). The NM doctors recommended chemo and radiation followed by surgery. They convinced him to begin treatments this past week because the tumor in his neck is growing very quickly. He had his first chemo last Monday and had radiation Tues. - Fri. He seemed to be feeling fine on Tuesday (slightly naseous) but took a turn for the worse on Wednesday and Thursday (violent gagging, vomitting, etc.). His doctors here gave him zofran and salogen (for dry mouth). He took both as prescribed but has really been having a hard time...until today...he stopped both of them and he feels much better. He is very frustrated because the literature says these are known side effects for these drugs yet his doctors did not tell him that nor did they call to check on him. He is now having second thoughts about the doctors and getting treatment in NM. He is reconsidering getting treatment in TX. Is this common...having second thoughts about doctors and treatments? Should we be concerned and looking or is this simply a reaction to the first week?
Also, does anyone have any suggestions to help with the dry mouth and sores? I read somewhere that a humidifier can help with the dryness. Any other tricks? Any recommended topicals for the sores?
For those of you with cancer, what has been the most helpful in terms of support that you have received from others? I feel very inept at times and never know if I am doing enough for him or doing enough of the right stuff to help him through this.
Thank you so much for your help. I hope I am not intruding...just didn't know where else to go to get help.