Aug 28, 2012 - 11:06 am
Even though I'm not reading posts daily, I think of you guys every single day, really.
After finishing treatment I fell in a beautiful oblivion. I've been following up regularly with my docs and exploring my mouth and neck once a week to make sure that everything is alright, but apart from that I'm living as if cancer never happened. And I do have that luxury, since most of the side effects from surgery and radiation are gone.
Positive messages from people who were done with treatment have always been very encouraging to me, so these are my 2 cents for the newbies.
I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue (stage I) in February 2012, age 30. I had surgery to remove the tumor and a partial neck dissection. The pathologist found some perineural invasion and I proceeded with 5 weeks of IMRT, a 10-day break and then 5 sessions of brachytherapy. End of treatment in June 2012. At the end of brachytherapy I couldn't taste sweet for 2 or 3 weeks. Taste is now back to normal. I never lost my saliva, even though I noticed some decrease in salivation which still persists (especially when I have to talk for a long time.. sip sip). During treatment I focused on eating as much as I could and I gained 10+ lbs which I'm now slowly loosing as I'm getting more and more physically active. Speechwise I'm doing really well; people can't really tell that anything happened to my tongue, apparently I'm the only one who can hear the difference. I've been back to work full-time for almost two months now: I work in a lab doing research which might be vaguely related to cancer. Even this small connection is a source of great joy. I'll have my first scan in a couple of months and hopefully NED will befriend me.