Aug 26, 2012 - 12:01 am
Hi, my brother in law was just diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma, stage 4. He is 52 and mentally disabled---it is hard because he is highly functioning so often we aren't quite sure how much he is actually grasping. At times he seems totally in tune with us, but then he will say something like "I gargled with salt water this morning and was able to spit up some stuff and i think I am getting better."
He has a large mass in his neck and it is in his surround lymps down to around his collar bone. His breathing had become severely labored and he could hardly talk or swallow over the last week while we were waiting for him to get surgery, which was yesterday for a trech, feeding tube, and chemo port. He begins radiation September 5 and we are waiting on the chemo treatment schedule.
He has been a heavy smoker and alcoholic most of his life. He didn't come to live with us until their mom became ill a couple years ago. We have gotten controll of his drinking. He is 5'10 and only ways 140 going into this treatment. When the doctor was talking about long term outcomes, I was more concerned with short term and whether his body could handle the chemo and radiation.
I've been trying to figure out how to explain to him what he will be going through, how it is going to be rough, but when he beats this, will be much better. I liked the 'sunburn' description, but he is african american, I am white - so to me, I know all too well how a sunburn feels, but my husband says they haven't experienced sunburn.
Here are questions I have come up with:
1) What to expect throughout the treatment process.
Sorry for the long post.