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My mother has throat cancer.

Ashleylouu's picture
Ashleylouu
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2012

I'm not sure if this is where I should be putting this or what I should be doing. But I feel like I need to seek some kind of advice or whatever it is I'm looking for somewhere... so forgive me if this is the wrong forum or area.

My name is Ashley and I'm 22. My mother was diagnosed with throat cancer, not very long ago. It was so recent she hasn't even begun treatment. We don't even know very much at all, just that it's cancer and it's at least stage 3, possibly 4. We won't know much more until the 19th and the waiting is terrible... I don't know where to begin. I had been living in NJ for 3 years and my mom was in FL. Recently my fiancé and myself bought a house and moved to Florida to be near my mom, and a few weeks later she was diagnosed with cancer. Prior to this, she had been sick for awhile. Her voice was hoarse, she was losing weight... and her doctor did nothing. He said it was sinus', from smoking, allergies... everything under the sun. I had, had enough and found her another doctor. Before I did this, she has been alone. My father is not exactly around. He has been in jail because he has a drug addiction along with mental issues, and my siblings are not very 'loving or kind.' They barely speak to her and have gone years without talking to her. But me, my mom is my best friend. My go to person when something bad happens, I always told her the truth as a kid... we have an extremely close relationship. What this basically is meaning is, other than my fiancé, her care falls solely on me. I want to take care of her, I'm just so terrified. I feel angry, angry at my family for not being there. Angry at the doctor for not helping her. Angry at myself for not being here sooner. Angry at her for not getting a new doctor. I want to be, and mostly feel, very hopeful. I have heard amazing, touching stories, I have talked with her and she has extremely strong faith and believes God is with her and says she can feel him. But a part of me cannot feel the hope, and want so badly to believe there is something bigger and greater out there. I am so scared of being alone in this, and I'm so scared of losing my mom.

Today the doctor told us possible options, and that if it is in fact stage 4, she could only have 6 months to a year. I know there's never enough time, but I'm not ready to lose her. I know I never will be but right now I can't lose her. I feel selfish even saying that. I'm trying to hold onto hope to what the doctor said, about how they will know more soon, and how there are so many options. I want her there when I get married. I haven't even spent a Christmas or birthday with her in years. This was the first Thanksgiving in a long time... And the more I type, the more selfish I feel. But I'm so overwhelmed with fear of doing this alone, fear of not doing the things with her we had planned, fear of losing my mom. And anger, sadness, confusion, and a lot of 'why her?' It's not even why me, but why her? She's so wonderful, loving, giving.

I'm scared hearing statistics and time limits... They terrify me and I don't understand them. What do they mean? Does this mean I WILL lose my mom? And soon? Does this mean if she does die, will she be sick the last bit of her life? Do survival rates and time limits REALLY matter, even from a doctor?
How do I make her see that she isn't a burden, I love her and WANT to help. I want to take care of her. As hard as it has been and will get I would rather it be me to be with her then anyone else. I just don't understand... other than her voice, her weight and occasional fatigue she's so okay... I know she's not the healthiest, cancer aside. But she's still so like my mom, still so normal seeming. I'm so SO afraid to see her any other way.

I'm just lost, and could use some advice from someone who has been through this. I apologize if I'm rambling or sound childish.

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2803
Joined: May 2012

Ashleylouu,

Welcome to our site, you can find a lot of information here. To start I had stage IVa cancer on my lower tongue and (so far) I have been treated successfully to kill the cancer. You have to be careful about what you read about our type(s) of cancer the statistics will scary you to death. Most everyone is angry and afraid when they or a loved one finds out about cancer, so you are normal. At the top of our forum is a link called “superthread” inside that post you will find much information. Now, you can help your Mom and her doctors formulate a plan of attack once the cancer has been identified. Again, welcome here and remember this is not the end of the world, just a difficult step toward healing.

Best,

Matt

Ashleylouu's picture
Ashleylouu
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2012

I'm so happy to hear that you are doing well in your treatment. The first thing I was told was not to read things to go on the internet but of course, that was the first thing I did. I'm happy to say with complete honesty that I will NOT be doing that again, however I will check into the thread you mentioned. Thank you so much for your reply, Matt. I'm going to keep reminding myself of what you said... that this is just a step towards healing.

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3594
Joined: Mar 2012

but throat cancer (even Stage III or IV) is not a death sentence. I'm surprised the Dr. even said that. You said she hasn't started treatment yet, and that is not unusual...it took nearly 7 weeks from diagnosis to my first treatment. Is she going to a Cancer clinic? The Dr. will set her up with an Oncologist for chemo, and get her started on radiation...it just takes time to get that all lined up. Have they given her a PET scan...any scans?

You did good, finding this site with all the loving, kind, supportive...and smart people here. We will help you get thru this. I'm SO glad you are with your mom. She will need help getting thru treatment...as they told me when I came in here "it ain't easy, but it's doable". And they were right!! I finished treatment 28th of August...I'm now back to work, and except for being skinny...and a little tired...things are darn normal these days.

Keep coming back...this is a great place for information and help.

p

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

Sorry you had a need to come here but you are in the right place. So first off don't worry about the time it will take to get started, there are many steps to go thru before treatment can begin. There are possible biopsies, PET scans CT scans, consultations with oncologist and radiation oncologist and the making of the mask. So can I ask what has been done so far that the doctor was able to diagnose cancer? And what kind of dr has she been seeing?
Next I want to tell you that I too started out with a raspy voice. That is what finally made me go to the dr. At first I too was treated for acid reflux and then post nasal drip and then allergies by my regular dr. When nothing helped he sent me to an ENT and that dr told me that those were the proper things to try first because all of those things can cause hoarseness. Anyway, ENT scoped me and kinda said "hmmm" you know the kind that instantly makes you say "WHAT?" He told me that I needed a more powerful scope and sent me to USC to the head and neck unit. There they specialize in more difficult cases and cancer. So to make my long story short, I was diagnosed with vocal cord cancer....spumous cell carcinoma(SCC). At first we thought it was stageIII but the pet scan revealed that it was stageIV. After being scared to death and thinking this was surely a death sentence my oncologist, well all of my doctors actually, told me that stageIV in head and neck cancers (H&N) is not the same as stage IV as in other parts of the body. There are many many many success stories here, please don't think worst case scenario. I just finished treatment at the end of JUNE and in September my PET/CT scans show nice sign of cancer!! I'm not again hownyour moms doctor could tell her those odds yet.
One more thing, smoking may have caused your moms cancer ibut HPV is what causes most of our H&N cancers. Funny tho, mine was rare and was not caused from HPV but from second hand smoke! I've never smoked but I grew up around it....how's that for irony?!
Please don't think about the what ifs and worst case scenario because chances are you may find this very treatable.
I am very curious to hear back from you as to what your mom has had done to get her diagnosis and what kind of dr she saw. I also wonder if you know where in the throat her cancer is. The H&N is made up of many different parts. Mine like I said was laryngeal (vocal cords) but there is the tongue, palate, tonsils so just to name a few.
Ok stay with us and ask us any question you may have, no question is off limits with us. No question is silly or stupid so p,ease feel free to ask away.

You sound like a good daughter, your mom is a lucky lady!

Take care,
Billie

Ashleylouu's picture
Ashleylouu
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2012

Once I moved here and I found her a new doctor, he did lung x-rays (which only found she had chronic bronchitis and emphysema), he also did blood work and then sent her to an ENT doctor. That's who she's currently working with. He did a scope thing and took pictures of her throat and found the tumor which is located on her voice box, and there was a spot off to the side of it. He said that it was making it hard for her to breathe, and she could potentionally suffocate if it closes. That is when he also said 'cancer.' He also found polyps around the area she breathes and on her vocal chords, but I'm a little confused as to what they are... are they related to cancer? I know very little about them, though my brother had them on his lungs and they were easily removed. After that, we went back and he checked her vocal chords with some kind of light and mirror and said they were not moving/not moving properly. (That is something that is scaring me, because he said that is 'really bad'.) She then had a CT scan, but they haven't said much about that, though he felt around on her throat on the outside and said he couldn't feel anything, but the CT scan will tell us if it's in her lypmh nodes (he then again said how 'terrible' that would be, scary again). This Tuesday she is going to have the hole opened more so she can breathe better, and a biopsy.

It sounds like you had a very similar process that my mom did, with what your original doctor did and what happened after. Would you mind telling me how long you were having issues before you were diagnosed? The ENT doctor told us 'we caught it late' and 'had it been caught 8-9 months ago things would be different.' And I get that yes, obviously the earlier the better but the WAY he said it made it sound like 'Oh well, that's that. Caught too late.' Ifeel that he's a good doctor, but I feel like maybe a different one would be better...

I'm so happy for you that your treatment went well! And I very much appreciate you sharing your story with me, it was a source of comfort for my mom and I both. Thank you so much, Billie! And thank you, but I'm definitely the lucky one to have a mom like her!

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

I'm happy to hear back from you. Yes your mom sounds a lot like me as far as symptoms and area of cancer goes. I was raspy for about 6-8 months before I went to the dr. Then once I went to him and the ENT it was another year or so before they sent me to USC. I did not have polyps but many people do and I honestly don't think those are causing your mom problems right now. They are most likely there from her straining and misusing her voice to compensate for the raspy voice. My dr says in most cases that is what they are caused from and they are almost like a callous if you will. The vocal cords open and close when we talk. When one of them is damaged or paralyzed or swollen our voice is affected and it's a defense mechanism to strain to get our voice out. When we do that our cords slam together instead of opening and closing softly like normal and that causes the callouses or polyps.
The scope the ENT used is good but your mom really should have a videostroboscopy (video strobe for short) it is a much more powerful camera and it magnifies your cords large so things can be seen easier. Not all ENT offices have this machine but most teaching hospitals and major hospital specialty centers have them. You should request a doctor who has one. This test is done by going thru your mouth not your nose.
As far as one cord not moving, mine was partially paralyzed too but my ENT said that in itself is not dangerous. I honestly don't think you should give that part too much thought.
Now on to the lymph nodes....I also had some lymph node involvement. I may be wrong on this part but I don't think that showed up on CT. I believe it only showed up on the PET scan, your mom will need that too. It is standard procedure for staging the cancer. It's when it goes into the lymph nodes that it moves from stageIII to stageIV. Mine was stage IV and again, treatment was very successful for me. There are so many more successes now in H&N cancer now than ever.
I honestly think it would be wise to get another opinion. You should try and find an ENT who deals with many cancer cases. Many ENT's don't see a lot of these complex cases. Many of them see earaches, sore throats and nosebleeds on a regular basis. Not saying those are not good doctors, not at all. I'm just saying that some just handle more basic cases. Even my first ENT said I was way out of his league when he sent me to USC. He did my sons tonsillectomy and was fabulous but I needed bigger guns for my situation.
So on Tuesday when she has her biopsy and dilation who will be doing it? The biopsy by the way will only tell them what kind of cancer it is, not what stage it is. Most of us had squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) but there are different types too. You should request that the biopsy be tested for HPV and P16 too. As I mentioned before, so many of H&N cancers are caused by HPV.
Gosh I wish I could be there to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to send me a private message or you can look me up on FB if that is easier to send private messages back and forth. My name is Billie Miller Aldrich
Ok I think I touched on all of your questions, at least I hope I did.

I hope you and your mom can relax a little and find peace in the fact that so many, most of us have responded well to treatment.
Take care,
Billie

Ashleylouu's picture
Ashleylouu
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2012

Billie, thank you yet again for your reply. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. I will be contacting you via Facebook shortly in reply to your post because that would be much easier for me. My mother has asked me to tell you that she thanks you very much, and you've helped to give her more hope.

Ashleylouu's picture
Ashleylouu
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2012

I was surprised myself to hear that doctor say that, it seems too early, too soon for him to have said things like that. I thought that things were supposed to move quickly, so it's good to hear that it can take some time to start treatment. The doctor she is currently working with is still her ENT doctor. She is definitely wanting to get a second opinion from someone who might know a little more than maybe he does. I'm not sure what it's called, but he took pictures of the inside of her throat with one of those tools they put in your nose/throat, and she also had a CT scan.

I'm glad I found this site, in the very short time I've been reading things on here and getting replies from people I already feel 1000 times better, and I also had my mom read the replies and she feels better as well. I'm glad about your treatment being finished in August! And I'm so, so glad that things are getting back to normal for you. Thank you again.

ToBeGolden's picture
ToBeGolden
Posts: 697
Joined: Aug 2010

Eating and drinking (water) are most of the battle. The particular challenges your mother will face will depend upon exactly where the tumor is. My Cancer was originally confined to the vocal cords. My cancer journey started in 2010, and I'm still going strong. Try to find soft (or liquid) nutrition that your mother will eat. During my radiation treatment, I ate every 4 hours around the clock. Rick.

George_Baltimore's picture
George_Baltimore
Posts: 303
Joined: Jun 2009

Even if it's a stage four cancer, there are alot of us that were stage four and are still around. I'm working on nine years. It's not an automatic death warrant. I was a mortician for 26 years of my life. One evening a lady called me and said their doctor told her her husband could not possibly make it through the night. He ended up passing away a year and a half later. Doctors do not always know everything. Take care and try not to jump to any worse case scenarios.

Ashleylouu's picture
Ashleylouu
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2012

Thank you, this was all very comforting. I'm starting to see more and more that this doesn't mean she is going to die, and that there is so much that can be done. Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to me!

Ashleylouu's picture
Ashleylouu
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2012

Thank you a million times over for saying what you said here! I have been saying the same thing about food and water, and have gotten her those Boost drinks, Gatorade and am making her kinds of foods she can and will eat, and trying to get her to eat (or drink) SOMETHING a few times a day... she has just been slightly resistant. So I think it helps to her to hear someone who knows what they're talking about say it! I'm very concerned about her weight, she is about 100lb down from around 140 or so. She says she has no appetite, is there anything I can do to help with that? Her throat doesn't bother her too terribly much, there isn't much pain, but she's very congested and with the no appetite, it's hard to get her to eat. I don't want to be overbearing or pushy, but I know she needs it. What is the best way to help with this? Thank you for your reply, Rick!

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2194
Joined: Nov 2009

Sorry for the trials your family is going through. I think the feelings you're experiencing are perfectly normal.

I'm ANOTHER member here who had initially been diagnosed Stage Four throat cancer. For me, it was base of tongue cancer with two lymph nodes involved. Three years later, I work full time, speak clearly, and eat most things. I was declared NED a year and a half ago.

I feel that attitude, support, hydration and nutrition are HUGE weapons in the cancer-fighting arsenol. Oh - and MANY here were slow to get a diagnosis, or had a pretty big time gap between diagnosis and the start of treatment.

Hoping you all are already to be fighting this - please try to get your mom to realize that water and food (even if the "food" is a liquid supplement) are just like any prescription - she needs to take the "medicine", even when she doesn't feel like it. It's vital. Hope you do well - keep us updated.

Ashleylouu's picture
Ashleylouu
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2012

I'm very glad to hear that after all of that, you are able to work, speak and eat most things. It's wonderful to hear from someone who has been through something like this and is doing so well. It's also so comforting to hear that it seems to be fairly normal to get a belated diagnosis, that was a huge concern for me, along with a gap between diagnosis and treatment. She completely agrees with attitude and support being a HUGE part of everything, now if only I could convince her of the hydration and nutrition! I want badly to understand how she feels about eating and all of that, but I can't because I have never been through this. How could I help her see how vital it is, but still be understanding about her not being able or wanting to eat? Thank you so much!

Mikemetz's picture
Mikemetz
Posts: 331
Joined: Nov 2011

Everyone has given you some great advice already, so I won't repeat any of that. I would add that you should check out the SUPERTHREAD on this site. It has lots of good questions and answers that most people would not think to ask at your stage of this.

Come here often to keep us posted, ask questions, and get support. The best thing you can do your mother now is to stay healthy and strong yourself, so you can give her the support she is going to need for her battle with the beast.

Mike

luvofmylif
Posts: 344
Joined: Sep 2012

You are so young to have to deal with all of this , but I know you love your mother and of course will do anything to help her. I hope reading all the survivors posts will help you to be calmer and have hope.

It's normal to be angry about the cancer diagnosis and fearful. My husband was diagnosed stage IV Base of tongue cancer is August. It was a complete and utter shock that I am still coping with. But, through it all he is doing really well.

Try to reign in your emotions as best you can. Each day will make it easier to accept your mom's diagnosis and acceptance helps in fighting this disease.

Everyone on this site will help you and also keep you smiling along the way. They have been there and they know.

Joan

Ashleylouu's picture
Ashleylouu
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2012

Reading the posts has definitely helped me feel a sense of calm, and has made it much easier to feel that hope I've been needing.

I'm happy to hear your husband is doing well, can I ask you what you do to help you cope? So far, this forum alone is a huge help. I'm trying to work towards acceptance, and around my mom, I feel I do a pretty good job of genuinely feeling accepting and feeling hopeful and it almost feels like nothing is wrong, but it seems like when I go back to my house (even though it's only 5 minutes away) those positive feelings are harder to come by.

Thank you, Joan, I'm grateful for your reply, and I wish you and your husband the best.

Ashleylouu's picture
Ashleylouu
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2012

Checking out that thread is my very next step! Thank you for suggesting it! I think I need to remind myself of what you said, about keeping myself healthy as well. It seems almost too easy to forget that I need to do that, and I can't help but feel a sense of guilt when I think of myself. But I need to remember she doesn't want me to forget myself or get sick. Thank you for your reply, Mike! It's good to know there are people that are willing to give advice and support!

ToBeGolden's picture
ToBeGolden
Posts: 697
Joined: Aug 2010

Some Background: My vocal cords have been surgically removed. I have an intermediate ability to talk using esophageal speech (swallowing air and burping to speak). There are also the electro-larynx and the voice prosthesis (TEP) as ways to get speech again.

I also have a very restricted esophagus (food tube) due to the surgery. Because of this, I often use children's (liquid) medicines: benedryl and tylenol. The children's dose of benedryl is sufficient for me, and it helps fight congestion/mucous. When I can't take Alleve, I take children's tylenol. You have to calculate the dose appropriate for an adult (or ask a pharmacist).

Next time in a drug store (or drug section) take a good look at the children's (liquid) over the counter meds. Some of them may be easier for your mother to take. Rick.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1270
Joined: Aug 2010

is sometimes what this place is for.

I can understand all your feelings - fear, terror, anger - we've all been through those to one degree or another so we can empathize. The question "why her?" - many cancer patients end up looking around and saying "why NOT me?" Cancer doesn't pick you no matter how personal it gets, Ashley, no matter how much it feels that way so try to let go of that feeling. Getting it doesn't necessarily mean you did anything that led to it although the individual cancer patient may be able to point to things in their life that contributed. Maybe not. Maybe just genetics.

Just as others on this post have said, you don't have enough information yet, I'm a little confused and concerned this doctor would give a prognosis at this point - although you did say the doctor said "could" have only 6 months - shoot, I could have only 6 minutes and I don't even have cancer! My husband was diagnosed with early Stage IV hypopharyngeal cancer 2.5 years ago and likely had less than 3 months to live before they started treatment. Although we constantly watch for recurrence, today he and I will take our grandson to see "A Christmas Carol" and he will come home afterward to continue work in his woodshop on several more Christmas presents. Other than residual pain issues and the need for ongoing pain management from nerve damage, he is doing well. He is enjoying his life.

Let us know what you find out but try to remember that we all learn to make the most of each day and each minute - there are good ones and there are bad ones - when a loved one has a cancer diagnosis. I'm sorry you are where you are in dealing with cancer but I assure you there are some great people on this site who are here to help you.

Come back and let us hear from you, Ashley.

Ashleylouu's picture
Ashleylouu
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2012

What you're saying, about 'why not me?' is what my mom tried explaining to me, I guess that's just had for me to understand.

I'm actually happy to hear that you, along with others, are confused about the doctor giving any kind of information this early... I'm glad I'm not the only one so confused as to why he's saying these things, it just seems TOO early to me. That and he's an ENT doctor. That is true, about the possiblity of only having even a couple minutes to live, cancer or not. That's my current goal, to see it that way. I'm now learning that anyone can die at anytime whether they are sick or not, and that every moment is important and shouldn't be spent on 'what ifs.' It's just taking me a little time to fully get there.

I'm so happy for you and your husband to hear that he is enjoying his life! I feel a million times better hearing what you had to say, and I know it helps my mom, too. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8052
Joined: Sep 2009

First and foremost....

Take the statistics, percentages and comments concerning STGIV an only six months to live and through them out the window.

To say that she "could" only have six months to live..... Realisticially, nobody knows how long they have to live...

As for H&N cancer in general, survival rates are very good these days. There are many here that were Dx as STGIV, I myself was STGIII Tonsils. I went through treatment (here in Florida also), and have been clean and clear since...that's going on four years ago now.

Is your MD actually well verse and experienced with treating H&N cancer? Second opinions and facilities are always options....and in some cases not a bad idea.

Not sure where you are in Florida, but there are some very good facilities here... Moffit in Tampa, MD Anderson in Orlando. I myslef live in Lakeland and went to the Watson Center for Cancer Care and Research..., it too is affilliated with Moffit of Tampa.

Anyways...best advise short term, use the internet for research and support, but stay off of the statistics, survival rates and such... Most are old, and bottom line, we are all different and we all bring something to the table.

Most statistics are motivated by some underlying factor, and at best, very general in the sample.

There are tons of awesome people here to answer questions and give you their thoughts, opinions, and experiences...

Best,
John

Ashleylouu's picture
Ashleylouu
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2012

Today after reading everything on here, I'm definitely able to at least forget about those statistics and such, and comments on only having 6 months to live. I see now how that those don't seem to matter very much, and now I'm just wishing I never let them get to me to begin with!

The doctor she is seeing is an ENT and he somewhat seems to know what he's doing, and he's kind, but all these things he is saying seems too early to be said. We definitely plan on going for a second opinion, so thank you for a few facilities here in FL. I wasn't sure how to even begin with that. I'm located just outside of Gainesville, Tampa and Orlando are only about 2 hours away, so they are pretty close. I'm not too sure where Lakeland is, though.

I definitely won't be using the internet for anything other than support, no more statistics or anything like that. Thank you, John, for your kind and very informative reply!

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8052
Joined: Sep 2009

Lakeland is actually on I4 between Tampa and Orlando, a little close to Tampa, but nearly half way between.

Mofitt is probably more well known in the area, but MD Anderson, is MD Anderson...

I would think that Shands or some other facility in Gainesville would have some great history also.

I use to live in that area actually...

Lived and worked (and also college) in both Ocala and Gainesville... Actually my mother is living in Ocala.

I love the Gainesville area, a little cooler and some hills...

Best,
John

Pumakitty's picture
Pumakitty
Posts: 653
Joined: Mar 2010

I can understand about how you feel about your mom. I am the same about my mom. My dad was told he had tongue cancer stage 4 almost three years ago. The doctor told us it did not look good. Then he went to the oncologist that is wonderful and started treatment. He had radiation and chemo. It was hard and he did not have alot of the side effects many people have we were lucky. He has had one reoccurance and that was treated with chemo and he is still doing good. My dad is 73 years old.

My best advice is stay on this board, they have been here for me and my family for three years. They can give you the best advice and settle your fears and best of all we just listen.

Make sure you like and trust your doctor and can talk to them.

Also, know that your mom will know how much you love her and you will be able to take care of her and stop reading all the statics. It sounds like your mom is a strong person and will fight this. Please believe in her and stop being angry at yourself. I have been there and it did not help.

Please email me kposton@odu.edu if you every want to talk. When I read what you wrote it sounded such much like what I would say about my mom.

Kathy

Tonsil Dad's picture
Tonsil Dad
Posts: 488
Joined: Dec 2011

Welcome to our piece of the internet Ashley ( same name as my daughter )
sorry about your mother having " C " but you will be so glad you found this
place. It is filled with knowledgable, caring, supportive and generally darn
good people. Don't let doctors plant seeds in your heads about how long
or with statistics on how long your mother has got left they have no right,
only GOD can determin that. HAVE FAITH AND STAY POSITIVE. Im also in
Florida and as Skiffin said there are a lot of great facilities here. I was treated
at the University of Miami H&N Cancer Center in south Florida and as far
I know they did a pretty good job.
So once again Ashley welcome and keep us all updated and ASK questions.
Your Mother is lucky to have you by her.

God bless
Tonsil dd,

Dan.

Ashleylouu's picture
Ashleylouu
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2012

I'm happy to hear that you understand my relationship with my mom. I feel so lucky to share something like that with her, and I'm happy to hear you have something just like it! I'm also happy to hear that your father is doing well!

Thank you for your kind words about my mother, she is a fighter! She's been through so much in life, the both of us have, and together we have ALWAYS come out on top! I'm slowly trying to work through the anger I feel, but that seems to be the hardest to get over.

I will most definitely be sending you an email, Kathy, thank you SO much for your reply, I appreciate it so much.

blackswampboy's picture
blackswampboy
Posts: 341
Joined: Jul 2012

first, you have every right to be angry, and afraid. it is a waste of energy to attempt to suppress those normal emotions, or to feel guilty for having them.
but you also have pathways to work past those feelings, and turn them into positive results (wisdom and compassion). the darkness may still be there, but you can light a candle in the dark room.

my son was 20 when I was diagnosed with tonsil cancer, and he was my only family in this part of the world.
He was very cool and detached about it for weeks--he drove me back and forth to rads/chemo, but he didn't talk about it much. but of course he was going through a lot of the same things you are feeling. finally, we had a frank "discussion" about it, and he ended up putting his fist through a wall.
I'm not recommending violence against inanimate objects--but once he faced down those emotions, he turned it around pretty quickly. turns out, he found a whole lot of strength, kindness, and selflessness. he was there for me when I needed help. we got through all my treatments together--him and me--and we're closer than ever. I'm massively proud of him.

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3594
Joined: Mar 2012

my mom also was diagnosed with voice box cancer...this was back in 1999...she had gone for months with the raspy voice until we forced her into the Dr. They did take out her voice box, so she had to learn to talk with an implant (TEP)...but she learned and lived on for many more years.

Everybody who is talking to you, now...either has had cancer or is a caregiver to a loved one...you couldn't be in a better place.

I can only reinterate that food and water are super important...and quitting smoking, of course (hell of a time to have to do it, but it also is a time of great motivation)...getting some weight on at this time is important, as treatment makes it hard to eat. Nice to have some extra pounds.

You stay close to this board...we'll tuck you under our wings and walk you thru this experience. If your mom has questions...ask those, too. There isn't anything that hasn't been touched on here... :)

p

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 1816
Joined: Jun 2012

It's always good to have a second set of ears at the doctor appts. When you gave a timeline from the 1st doctor I couldn't help but wonder if that was his answer if there was no treatment. My surgeon told me my cancer (mandible) was treatable and curable but if I chose no tx I could wait and go to hospice. I had surgery, rads and chemo and have since had a CAT scan w/contrast and then a PET scan with no evidence of disease. I'm glad your Mother is going to have you by her side to make this journey.

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