Mar 26, 2012 - 10:12 pm
My father (70) was diagnosed with tongue cancer in July of 2010, under went a radiation (5 days per week for ~7 week)/chemotherapy type protocol with success, but the cancer returned again in January 2011 which required 2 surgeries to remove the cancer. He had a trach briefly and then require tube feeding almost solely for about 6-9 months. He was a rock start with his swallowing therapy and ate most of what he helped to cook this Thanksgiving. This Christmas, he began to experience extreme pain again behind his ear and cancer was found again. Local cancer doc then refered him to a colleague at a university based hospital about 3 hours away for possible options. The team felt hopeful and he underwent a partial glossectomy (~ a third of his tongue) and they rebuilt his tongue with donor tissue from his thigh. To date, nothing has reached any lymph nodes and the removal of the cancer was complete and had some what of a margin.
It has been a month and he just began his 2nd round of radition (2 times per day with 6 hrs of "rest" in between) and a dialy low dose of chemo. This will occur 5 days for the week, with a week of rest (returning home) for 4 treatment weeks.
My big question is that the SWELLING in his tongue is really not going down. He is getting very discouraged. Any stories of a VERY swollen tongue that did go down would be helpful at this point. He has had one other exploratory surgery in which teeth guards were put in place, but upon coughing (through the trach), they moved after a few days and were again, very very painful. Doctors are also unclear as to why swelling still remains so high.
He has been a trooper and I just want to find some answers or even an answer.
Thank you in advance to any encouraging words.