May 04, 2010 - 11:44 pm
Hi everyone and thank you for all of your help. I've been lurking here for about two months and the info. you all provide is so great. We've been going through this pretty much on our own and I'm at a loss at how to handle it all. Any advice would be so appreciated. My dad was diagosed in Oct. 2009 with squamous cell carcinoma of the maxillary sinus. In Dec. he had surgery to remove the tumor (7 cm) and lymph nodes were removed from his neck. They reconstructed his face- cheekbone and palate by doing a fibula free flap. The surgery took 15 hours. The margins were negative and the lymph nodes were cancer free. He was in the hospital(MUSC) 11 days. Origionally, he was supposed to have radiation for 6 weeks but due to several interuptions due to infection they added a few more treatments. My dad did really well throughout the radiation until the infection. He is the strong quiet type so it has always been difficult to know how he really feels. He finished radiation April 9th and has gone downhill since. He has a lot of pain in his head and he is most comfortable laying down. His ENT saw him 3 times last week. He put a tube in his ear to help with the fluid. He is on a round of antibiotics for yet another infection. We went back to MUSC yesterday and were told that the CT scan shows a growth the size of a grape. They said it is either and abscess or cancer. If it is an abscess it will swell up, burst and go away. If it is cancer, it won't go away. He said the pain is because of his parotid (saliva) gland. ( My dad has gone from 276 lbs. to 196 lbs.,he's 6 ft) The doctor said the infections normally cause it to die, they don't know why it hasn't. The ENT mentioned removing it but the Dr. yesterday said they hope they don't have to. He also implied that no one would want to mess with the "abscess". Really, we went for hope and left deflated. We've gone from one step forward and two back to what feels like back to the beginning. I'm so afraid, I don't know how much more he can stand. I apologize for the length of this post but thank you for your time and any encouragement and or knowledge you can share with me.