CSN Login
Members Online: 2

Surviving and living a healthy life despite limitations

jteeter45's picture

In 1993 I was diagnosed with throat cancer - nope I never used any tobacco products. Surgery procedure: pulled all teeth; took out cancer on tonsil, tongue and back of nasal passage; rebuilt tongue and mouth using leg muscle; extensive radiation; no chemo.
Excellent surgeons and radiation therapists plus upbeat attitude = able to go back to work, resumed jogging, sang in choir, enjoyed family life. Same old me, except my neck was a bit caved in on one side.
Ten years later. Radiation caught up with me; developed devastating neuropathy in right side of face, neck and shoulder. After two-year struggle was able to manage thanks again to skilled doctors: Neurostimulator implant and Lyrica (very trying time experimenting with multitude of Neurontin-type drugs). Slowed me down some this time; no more singing, walk rather than running, lots of rest, sudden outbursts versus stress... But it’s all good. I did some fiction writing and songwriting as personal therapy – some of it was pretty good!
Lately. Radiation caught up with me again; lost all feeling in my throat. I can do the mechanics of swallowing but there’s no feeling so everything – solid or liquid – everything! – causes me to aspirate. No food or drink by mouth, nothing! No worries: PEG tube – look it up, it’s a great device. But Lord, I miss food and drink. It’s surprising how much of American society is built around food and drink: holidays, social events, family events, commercials…
So, I wrote another book: “It’s Me Again, Lord.” (web site: http://jackteeter.weebly.com) It’s not a pity party, it has a plot and is both funny and poignant but it IS about life as it exists for cancer survivors with limitations.
Every day I wake up and decide whether it’s worth the struggle of keepin’ on keepin’ on. This morning I decided it was.

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network