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throat cancer

Nina1943
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2010

My wife has just been diagnosed with a tumor, and we are just before doing the biopsy stuff. Have no idea what to expect next. Has anyone here gone through this experience and if so, can you relate to me what is going to happen next. This waiting is the worst part. Oh, it is in the lyrnex sp?

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5635
Joined: Apr 2009

Sorry to hear about the cancer but you will find a lot of people here going through the same thing. I am NPC so I can’t help but glad to have you here with us.

PS: welcome here to CSN

delnative's picture
delnative
Posts: 452
Joined: Aug 2009

My cancer was in the tonsil and metastasized to a lymph node, but I can tell you that for me the most difficult part -- emotionally, anyway -- was the point where you are now. The doc who reviewed my CT scan told me it most likely was cancer, and I was pretty sure that it was, but I had to wait two weeks for the biopsy results.
During those two weeks there was a whirlwind of emotions: shock, anger, sorrow, resignation and then determination to beat this beast.
I know it must have been equally difficult for my wife and my loved ones during that period, too. It was like being in limbo.
Hang in there, and before you know it you'll have an answer, and you can chart your course from there.

--Jim in Delaware

Nina1943
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2010

Everyone, thanks for the warm welcome. And Jim in Delaware, where are you now in your fight? How has it gone for you? I hope it goes well.

Nina

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Nina,

Sorry to hear you are entering this world but just know, you can get through this. Without knowing much of your wife's condition, you will get results from the Biopsy where they will determine the nature of the cells and if it is cancer or not. They then normally do a PET CT Scan to see where the cancer is and if it has metastasized (Spread to other areas -usually through the lymphatic system). Once they determine the extent of any occurrence, you usually have a choice of some or all of: Surgery, Radiation and Chemo, not necessarily in that order.

Your doctors will generally help through this decision making process. You may wish to seek a second opinion depending on your circumstances.

Let us know how things go and the good people here can help guide you through the process.

i am 8 months out of treatment for Cancer (SCC = Squamous Cell Carcinoma) of the Tonsil. I am doing fine now and pretty much back to normal. I have focused a lot on diet and nutrition as my way through this, and believe this has contributed to my recovery. Remember, the treatment is the thing that will knock you around as most cancer is caught before it starts to cause serious debilitation or pain. The treatment is what most of us are battling to recover from. it's rough, but doable.

Keep in touch.

Regds
Scambsuter

delnative's picture
delnative
Posts: 452
Joined: Aug 2009

Sorry for the delayed response. This is the absolute busiest time of year for me.
A week ago Wednesday my lead doc once again gave me a clean bill of health and told me to come back to see him in four months.
I've put on about half of the 40 pounds I'd lost during treatment, I can eat anything I want -- including my nuclear-strength home-grown habanero peppers -- and I have almost all of my saliva back.
Aside from a lopsided grin from my neck dissection and a divot out of my neck, life is back to normal -- but it's not. Cancer sure puts you through some changes ... and me, I came out for the better.

--Jim in Delaware

tonyanddenise's picture
tonyanddenise
Posts: 70
Joined: Jun 2010

I am concerned about the lopsided grin. Just received mine this week. I have been poking around to try and understand what to expect. I must admit its all a bit frightening and overwhelming. we have the results just need some answers that I can understand from the docs.
My story?.. 3 weeks ago removal of 2 lymph nodes as opposed to biopsy, along with the tonsillectomy. 1-2cm source located in tonsil. this past Wed. my neck dissection. muscle, nerve and vein removed. 26 more nodes 9 of which were metastasized. ENT says stage 3. rad oncologist had not seen pathology when he said most likely IVA? rad. and Chemo? I'm a bit medicated at present but looking for answers. my wife and I are clueless. thanks for understanding.

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Tony, I suggest you start a new Post/thread as this one is buried inside and existing one and may not get the attention.

It sounds like they will advise you to get Chemo of some sort and Radiation. It usually runs for 7 weeks and can be rough or really rough, but we got through it and so can you. You can post any questions at all and the gang will give you lots of hard earned feed back.

Regds
Scam

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2259
Joined: Jan 2010

Jim, that is awesome news!! Again, prayers answered.
God Bless,
debbie

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8057
Joined: Sep 2009

Welcome aboard Nina1943,

My diagnosis, process, and treatment were very much like Delnative also....tonsil cancer, and a tumor (primary and secondary), STG III SCC HPV+.

The initial diagnosis and reality of it all is quite devastating and especially the waiting period that you are going through right now. I was diagnosed on a Friday (2 Jan 2009) and had the tonsils out that falling Monday (confirmed at that time it was indeed SCC and STG III), HPV+ confirmation a few weeks later.

It was definitely a slug in the gut when I heard those words that he was 90% sure I had cancer on that Friday. Especially since I have never been a smoker or tobacco user.

Once the diagnosis comes back they will advise you of what obtions are next....at this point I presume that you don't know for sure if indeed it's cancer.

For me I had nine weeks of chemo (cisplaten, taxotere, and 5fu (pumped), then seven weeks of chemo (carboplaten once/week x7)/daily radiation (35 days)). I finished up last year almost this same time.

Tumor dissolved during the second - third round of heavy chemo. All scans and check-ups have been clean to date....

Scam above offers some very good insite to the process as well....

Good Luck, God Bless,
John

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

I'm sorry that your wife is going through all of this but please be assured that there is hope. I was diagnosed with NSCLC in my left lung and then 2 weeks later I was also diagnosed with SCC supraglottic carcinoma of the larynx, staged at T3 NO MO.

Like many others have said - this is the hardest part - waiting. Once your wife has the biopsy she will have to wait for the results, if it is cancer you will then wait for more testing - probably a CT scan with contrasts and a PET scan. Then when all the results are in you wait some more while your doctors decide what the best treatment plan will be. You will be in such a fog during all of this that you will have a hard time remembering what any of the doctors tell you. The best advice I can give you is to get a notebook and write everything down. You may also want to spend this time helping your wife to gain weight as most of us have lost weight during treatment. I don't want to scare you or your wife, I just want to let you know that we were all where you and your wife are right now and everything you are feeling is normal.

I had chemo (cisplatin) and 7 weeks of radiation for the larynx, then I had Stereotactic Radiosurgery (a more targeted type of radiation) for my lung. I'm not going to sugar coat anything, the treatment is rough but it is very DOABLE. I was one of the lucky ones, I had some of the side effects but most of them were pretty mild compared to what others have had. I never even lost my hair ;-) You will meet others here who had surgery, this was never an option for me with either of my cancers as both of mine were inoperable. I am very happy to say that I am now 8 months post treatment and I'm doing great, I have had 2 CT scans and both show that the tumors have shrunk and I am in remission.

May I ask how they discovered the tumor? Was your wife displaying any symptoms? I had lost most of my voice but didn't go to the doctors because I had just been laid off and was in the process of looking for another job so that I would have health insurance. I was finally forced to go to the doctors when I started coughing up blood.

I don't want to go into too much detail about the treatment and side effects yet as there is still a chance that this is not cancer - stay hopeful and try to relax until you get the biopsy results. I know - this is much easier to say than it is to do. If it is cancer I will gladly help you and your wife through all of this. There are many great people on this site who will also give you advice and encouragement and answer any questions you may have.

Stay strong and keep in touch to let us know how you both are doing - Glenna

Nina1943
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Glenna. I was feeling poorly for a while, and then my tonsil on the right side seemed to be infected. I suffer from a lot of other problems and am on drugs for entractable pain as well. I saw my primary doctor and he put me on antibiotics, which seemed to help a little, but eventually it came back. This went on for more than a month, and eventually he gave me some steriods and antibiotics, but no response. I then went to a specialist and he looked down my throat and found what he felt was a tumor. Tomorrow I go back to see him and get the scan results. It is getting worse daily, or it seems so, as I am losing my voice now. He will likely send me for biopsies next. The waiting is frightning and it feels as if I need to be doing something about it. It feels as if I am wasting time here. I lost my mother to cancer, and my brother recently had cancer. He is doing well now, but he had a rough time of it. He is also a doctor. Please forgive me, as I am just now learning how to work this thing. I depend on my husband to help me with it. I will know more tomorrow, but am not real optimistic about it. I find myself going and doing things I was never interested in before. I think it is my way of running away from it. I hope I have good news for you all tomorrow, but either way I will be back. Thank you all again.
Nina

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

I know what you mean about the waiting and feeling helpless because you want to be doing something to fight this. Unfortunately the waiting is necessary as your doctors need all of the test results before they can plan the treatment. Try to keep yourself busy as it will help keep your mind off your worries.

I know it's not much comfort now but please remember that it isn't cancer until they get the biopsy results. There is still a chance that it isn't cancer so don't give up hope yet. I know of 2 others on this forum who were told it looked like cancer but the doctors were wrong. I am praying that your doctors are wrong also.

Please post again and let us know what the scan results were and how you are doing. We are all here for you if you need us.

Take care and stay strong,
Glenna

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2259
Joined: Jan 2010

nina, I have the same cancer. I had 35 radiation trmnts and nothing more. The hard part of the trmnt was my neck being burned sooooo bad. Aquaphor helped with that. The recovery after all trmnts is the hardest part for sure. I had a feeding tube and got it out in April. The tube is needed b/c the radiation makes your throat sweel and food is too big to be swollowed. I also took my medicines thru the tube. My docs gave me prescription for liquid form of my meds. Your tastebuds will be off (when you can eat) and foods that you used to love won't taste good any more. I am 7.5 months past last trment and I still have trouble swollowing. Food still gets stuck in my thorat when I swollow it. I also lost a lot of hair. My onco doc said it isn't due to rad trmnts but it wasn't falling out before them, so...... I still cant eat some of the foods I used to, like peanut butter, it tastes really bad. And coffee, I used to drink coffee all day long but the tast of it now is gross.
I hope this helps. I'm sure others will reply who may be albe to give you more info. I will keep you and your wife in my prayers. Come here often as this is an excellent source for 1st hand info.
God Bless,
debbie

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