Jul 25, 2012 - 5:24 pm
My husband is 30 years old. He has always been the "picture of health" as an avid athlete and health conscious young man. In March of 2011 he was diagnosed with stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma of the paranasal sinuses with an unknown primary. The tumor spread along the nerves through to the sphenoid and cavernous sinuses encasing his internal carotid artery. The cancer had also spread into his left orbit, but there was no lymph node involvement. Since the cancer involved so many vital structures, the universtiy at which he was treating advised that we should first do chemotherapy and radiation to try to shrink the tumor before operating.
He first underwent 3 weeks of induction chemotherapy with no response. He then endured 7 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation (70gy). Follow-up MRIs still showed no response. He felt pretty good and recovered from the treatments, but by December/January he was beginining to experience tumor related symptoms again. So, he decided to continue fighting this awful disease as aggressively as possible and he opted for radical surgery. In February he had a craniotmy with carotid sacrifice and left orbit removal. He also had a portion of his palate removed endoscopically. We returned home to recover, but he developed a CSF leak and meningitis. We returned to the hospital and he underwent another long surgery to repair the CSF leak. His life changed dramatically during that surgery as he suffered a middle cerebral artery stroke as a complication of the surgery. After months of intense rehab, he is holding his own and working ever so hard to recover from the awful stroke that affected his right side mobility as well as his ability to speak.
After all that he has endured...he is still fighting. The surgeons were able to remove all bulk tumor during the operations, however, about half of the specimens sent for pathology showed positive margins for remaining cancer cells. His doctors offered palliative chemotherapy, but since he had no response to the initial rounds of chemo he has opted not to try that. His quality of life has already been altered so greatly, and he is not up to feeling sick again from chemo. They told us there is no research or evidence to suggest that it would benefit him at this point. As it stands we are just monitoring the cancer with MRIs.
So...I am writing here to ask anyone, anywhere if they have any information to help us. It seems that we have now exhausted the conventional treatments options of surgery, chemo, and radiation. We are willing to do anything that could help him. Alternative treatments, remedies, anything!