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We might be going here again

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2010

My mother was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer behind the tongue in July 2010. After finally getting her some medical coverage they were able to start treatment. They tried a combo of erbitux and radiation but due to complications with the erbitux and other chemos she was only able to complete the radiation. After all the radiation we were told the cancer was gone but now she has 2 spots in her throat, the ear aches are back and the swallowing gets harder every day. She no longer has medical coverage until her 62nd birthday in January. I also believe she doesn't want to get a confirmation from a doctor that this monster is back. They told her that if it did come back she would not be able to have radiation again. So she feels it is pointless for her to try anything else. Does anyone have any suggestions about what we can do?

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4091
Joined: Mar 2012

so I'd insist she get in and get checked out. If the cancer is in a different spot (even marginally different) radiation might still be an option. There are other chemo's too, that might open up more options. It's not pointless until a professional says it is...this isn't a time for self diagnosis.


Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2193
Joined: Nov 2009

I would surely see another doc/group. Wishing you well.

Posts: 586
Joined: Apr 2012

We were told also that my husband couldn't have more radiation, but guess what, he did undergo a second round of radiation less than 2 years after the first round and it was basically in the same spot. We were also told that side effects could, could being the operative word, be worse, but they weren't. His first cancer was laryngeal, radiation, chemo and then surgery. Second cancer was at the cervical of the esophagus. Only radiation and chemo and so far he's clear.

Get a second opinion from those that specialize in this type of cancer. Also check with the cancer organizations for help and even the hospitals. There is help out there just have to look for it.

Posts: 1399
Joined: Aug 2010

If this is not a new cancer her previous insurance carrier might be required to cover it. I would check into that.

Also, remember it takes a while to get treatment started and with the holidays it might be January, anyway, no matter what they find, before they get started on treatment.

Definitely hope she gets it checked out - I agree, even it is only a slightly diffeernt spot radiation might be possible but certainly some kind of chemo for palliative effects if nothing else.

I'm sorry y'all are going through this again.

Posts: 1503
Joined: Nov 2011

Well here's my 2 cents.

1. Get with a comprehensive care clinci. If you live in a major area, try that first. These places have "boards" or "teams" that look after you and they review your charts (if you will) together and pull their heads together ...much better than just an ENT or an ONCO looking at your stuff :) (my opinion)

2. Robotic surgery. If the cancer is small and localized (If it even is cancer) always better to find out NOW than LATER ...ignoring it does not make it go away.

3. Cancer knows no holiday and a good doctor or team of docs do not either (but I understand what you are saying).

4. PCIP Check out PCIP.gov ...Prexisting Insurance. It's a good plan and is available if you have no other insurance or can't get insurance....go to the site and look around and if you feel lost...call the toll free number on the site. Your hospital or care center will also know what PCIP is and be able to help you with it.

Whispered a prayer it's not cancer and that all goes well ..... :)



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