Jul 14, 2009 - 2:09 am
I really need some feedback for some peace of mind.
I'm actually on here on behalf of my father because he barely knows how to speak English, let alone use a computer.
Fourteen years ago he had sinus cancer which they were able to remove with chemotherapy and radiation. Despite of how many times the doctors told him to quit smoking, my dad's stubborn mind didn't take this advice. He continued smoking and now got diagnosed with oral cancer. Seven months ago he was diagnosed with cancer at the base of his tongue.
I understand that the families of cancer patients suffer a lot of psychological trauma; however, mine is starting to get out of control due to the news we recently received. The doctors wanted to perform surgery a few months back and completely remove his tongue; however, they also gave him the option for chemotherapy and radiation. My dad didn't want his entire tongue removed so he went with the latter. Well, it's 7 months now and the chemo as well as radiation has not helped and he also has a PEG tube for feeding. Recently, the tumor started bleeding excessively into his stomach and he kept throwing up blood. He was in the hospital for a week now and they burned the wound on the tongue to temporarily stop the bleeding. Since they were worried that the blood spilling into his lungs, they performed tracheotomy on him. Now the doctors are working together claiming that the tongue, the larynx, and the vocal chords all need to come out (Claiming Stage IV). The surgeon who is known for doing this is even iffy about it and claims it's a very high risk surgery. She doesn't know if she's going to perform the surgery and says that if we don't do it, your father only has max 3-4 weeks to live. If we do the surgery and everything goes well, along with recovery, he has max 1-2 yrs to live. I guess these are numbers based on statistics she has seen being a Head/Neck surgeon at City of Hope for many years. She told us that she will need to consult a few other surgeons (Plastic, etc.) in order to see if they can perform this surgery or not.
I'm in fear for my dads life and I can tell he's stressing and depressed because he knows these numbers as well and wants to proceed with the surgery but now finding the right person to do it has become the delay; we're also afraid of the cancer spreading elsewhere while waiting for these consultation results to come back to us. I read stories all the time of people having oral cancer and getting their tongues removed completely with great survival rates thereafter; I'm not sure what's going to happen but I'm very nervous and just need some feedback in regards to information, stories, etc. you guys can provide to give me for some peace of mind; or not so great stories but the truth will work a lot better for me.
Thank you all very much and I apologize for the extremely long story but I tend to type on and on once I begin.