Feb 04, 2013 - 11:32 am
Hi All - good news today, so wanted to share as I remember in my darker days seeing good news posts always cheered me up.
I was most active on here in April 2012, I had what was believed a cyst surgically removed, which despite lots of clear tests (including PET) came back from the labs as being MEC (salivary gland cancer). I had left sided neck dissection, BOT biopsy and left sided tonsilectomy - they sent all my junk off to the labs which came back completely clear, so I have been having 4 monthly scans of the head and neck and specifically parotid glands since.
I have had two clear MRI scans so far, so to mix it up a bit with the scan types I had ultrasound of the parotid and neck today which was done by a consultant who advised me on the spot that everything was completely clear. So fantastic news, my wife and I had a big hug straight after and we don't have to worry about cancer too much again until later in the summer. I think in the grand scheme of things low / intermediate grade MEC is one of the 'better' ones to have.
There is a little bit of uncertainty involved here about possible primary, but my doctors seem to think that the most likely outcome is that this was a bit of salivary tissue which happened to be in my neck, or perhaps my immune system saw off the primary but not before a few cells escaped. The other factor is if something is there, it is so small and slow growing that hopefully we should be able to deal with it through treatment if it does show itself at some point in the future.
Although getting cancer at 33 years old with two little ones (one and three at the time) and having to have a neck dissection wasn't exactly a dream, I feel extremely lucky to have got away with what I've gone through so far. I was fortunate enough also purely by chance of my geographical location in the NHS to have a professor of surgery do the work who is one of the best in the UK, and I was actually back playing soccer again for my team around 5 weeks after my 6 hour operation. Getting back to my sports and training was a real boost in getting back to health both physically and mentally, it feels like doing something to fight.
This site was so supportive of me - particularly people like Skiffin, Tommyodavey, Phrannie and Ditto during my darkest hours. Having not been through radio and chemotherapy I can't give any advice on that side. But I think the people on here are an absolute inspiration - its incredible some of the things I read about people going through on here and who don't give up fighting. I wish everyone on here who is going through so much all the strength and courage in the world, I admire you greatly.
Hopefully I won't ever have to go through radiotherapy or chemotherapy, but if I do I know that this will be a fantastic place for support. In the meantime I am definitely going to keep calling in and saying hello. I'm ready to fight with every last ounce of strength that I have if I have to, seeing my two little ones grow up and being able to provide for them as their Dad and be there when they need me is all the motivation I need, and all that really matters to me now.
If there's one thing this damned disease gives you - its perspective! Lots of love particularly to all my fellow bus riders who had to stay on the bus when I got to jump off early, and to everyone on here fighting the good fight with such incredible courage.
All the best