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Meet Jack - WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1113
Joined: Jan 2013

I asked my surgeon to take photos so I could see what I was fighting against. He sent them this morning. I thought you might find it interesting to see what many of you have gone through and what it looks like. 

Surgery started with TORS with the DaVinci Robot to excise the back of my tongue for biopsies and remove the lingual tonsils.

 

The first two images are looking into my mouth with the DaVinci Robot doing the work. Notice the rather odd creepy face like image on the right side. 

Robot 1

 

Robot 2

 

 

This is 1 of two samples they took from the back of my tongue. You can see how large it is and the dye they used to identify certain areas to examine. It's no wonder I was hurting as much as I was after surgery! 

Biopsy1

 

Here is the second sample. Again, dye markers are clearly visible. 

Biopsy 2

 

After the TORS, a selective neck dissection was performed. You can clearly see the blood vessels and nerves in my neck. 

Neck

 

This last image are the two biopsy samples and the really large long things are Jack along with the additional lymph nodes. That's one heck of a large tumor!! Glad to have Jack out of me. Now, it's rads and chemo to make sure we eradicate any minions he might have left behind.

Jack

"T"

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

Your surgeon took some amazing pictures! I love blood and guts type stuff so this was so interesting and cool to me. Thank you so much for sharing these pics with us.
I am so happy this part is behind you now and you can get on with the next phases and on the road to being healthy.
Billie

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2903
Joined: May 2012

T,

 

I was getting ready to eat dinner, now I am not so hungry.

 

First your mask picture, then the cancer close-ups.  What is next on your magical mystery tour?

 

Peace bro,

 

Matt

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1113
Joined: Jan 2013

Sorry to spoil your appetite Matt ~lol~ Don't look at the one I just posted! ;)~

I had someone tell me the pictures of "Jack" reminded them of meatballs and they had a sudden craving for spaghetti ~lol~

"T"

Eddie J
Posts: 23
Joined: Sep 2012

Did you have the surgery in Washinbton Dc VA Center a thats where i had the same surgery exactly the same as yours on Oct 14 2012

had pet scan in Jan and some residual or recurrring in left  neck . tried to forgo rads and Chemo but now have to decide whether its worth the side effects.

Good luck with it  My Doctors are trying to tellme they can cure this . We shall see.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8062
Joined: Sep 2009

Welcome Eddie...

For me the chemo and rads were totally worth it.. I was STGIII SCC HPV+ Tonsils and a lymphnode. Total of sixteen weeks, four types of chemo and the 35 daily rads, after the tonsils came out.

That was January - June 2009, all scans have been clean and clear since... I had it easier than most, tougher than a few. But it all has been totally worth it to me.

The PET you had in January, do they know if it's residual (scarring and damage non-cancer) or cancer... With only having surgery initially (unless you had a clean scan since), I'd presume if it was cancer, it's still the original that they didn't get with surgery, not necessarily a recurrence.

Either way, if in doubt, me personally, I'd go with the additional treatment, and I believe it is curable... There's a lot of people on here that have been around for 15+ years or more post treatment.

Best ~ John

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1113
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Eddie,

Welcome to the boards. I had my surgery at Johns Hopkins. I was Dx'd Tx, N2b, MO Stage IV. They never did find the primary. Docs wanted to take the cancerous tumors/lymph nodes out and as you can see from the pics, they were rather large. They feel they got it but I'm going through with the treatments to eradicate any stray cells the surgery missed. The Team is very confident they will cure this. Of course, I'll have to deal with side effects and those remain to be seen as each person reacts differently. 

I've had a tough go at it thus far with 3 surgeries since December. Palatine tonsils removed, biopsies and laryngoscopy in Dec. Tumors removed, lingual tonsils removed and more biopsies Feb 7th and then emergency surgery to stop a bleeding tonsil bed Feb 18th. I'm just starting to turn the corner and I start treatments next week. 

I'm ready though...been standing on the sidelines way too long. I want to get in the fight on the front lines ;)

Let us know what you end up deciding. There are many folks here that have beat the odds. You can too! 

"T"

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1113
Joined: Jan 2013

Happy trigger finger.... :)

"T"

fisrpotpe's picture
fisrpotpe
Posts: 1330
Joined: Aug 2010

sadly i enjoy looking at images like these. thanks for sharing

prayers for fast healing and less pain daily. 

bye bye jack

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3669
Joined: Mar 2012

except I'm at work, and haven't thought about eating yet....sure not hungry now tho.  I like how you saved worst for the last two....oh man, my butt cheeks were clinching and my toes were curling....OWIE!!

p

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1113
Joined: Jan 2013

P,

Ha! Yeah well... what can I say? I've seen worse having had a triple bypass ;) I watched a video of coronary bypass surgery after my surgery and it was surrealistic. I had one of those "You gotta be kidding me" moments when I saw that. To think that they cracked my chest open, stopped my heart, hooked me up to a machine that kept my blood flowing while they lifted my heart up from my chest and replaced three arteries can definitely give you the heebie jeebies. Ohhh that's right, this stuff gets to you a little bit. Sorry, you can unclench now ~lol~

So what are you having for dinner? ;)~

"T" 

NJShore's picture
NJShore
Posts: 411
Joined: Nov 2012

T,

Thanks for posting the posting the pictures... Dan and I both ogled them.. very interesting to see, next week Dan is receiving a video of his robotic surgery, can't wait to see it now!

Kari

Grandmax4's picture
Grandmax4
Posts: 583
Joined: Dec 2011

and very vivid, now I know what my neck looked like when the de vinci was at work on me....I know a video was made of my surgery, going to ask about a copy now that you've got me curious...

technology is amazing

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8062
Joined: Sep 2009

LOL, certainly puts a different spin on the after the catch fish dinner photos I post...

Although I was kind of curious of what the point of having sutures in somethng that had been removed.

Thanks for sharing T...

Oh...., are you sure that was just Jack, I'm pretty sure that I saw one photo that was screaming...Hereeeee's Johnny...

JG

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1113
Joined: Jan 2013

John,

Yeah, I'd say there's a little difference between fish pics, fish fry pics and gorgeous images on the NW as opposed to gory dissected body parts ~lol~

Seriously though... the first pic is kinda creepy. I don't know if it's a wisp of smoke from the laser or a lens flare but that bluish green image on the right side looks like someone screaming... perhaps it's Jack protesting his eradication...

"T"

alligatorpointer's picture
alligatorpointer
Posts: 131
Joined: Jul 2012

The thought that it is 'Jack' screaming during eradication ... AWESOME!   I wonder if just the bluish green image could be lifted and photoshopped to make a poster.  You could use it for 'target practice'.

katenorwood
Posts: 1818
Joined: May 2012

T,

Simply put....you are amazing !  You came on board here strong and full of hope and inspiration.  And with each new posting you keep giving of yourself.  Thank you !  I'm not one for reality pictures but....you know I am profoundly changed.  We can say the words, but with the pictures no words are needed.  Jack is out, and there's no hope for those leftovers.  Katie

osmotar's picture
osmotar
Posts: 953
Joined: Jul 2011

MAZING!!! Thank you for sharing .  Best wishes for a speedy recovery from the surgery...on to kick butt during upcoming treatment.

linda

JJ10's picture
JJ10
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2012

THANK YOU FOR SHARING THAT LITTLE TIDBIT - BEST WISHES!!!

 

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

I guess I am a little out there! You have to remember I worked in the dental field as an RDA assisting in surgery cases everyday and then at night I was an EMT, I love it!

Billie

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1113
Joined: Jan 2013

I asked one of the graphic designers at work to isolate and enhance the face-like image in the first photo. It really is creepy! Could it be the face of "Jack"? ;)~

"T"

 

Face

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8062
Joined: Sep 2009

What color were the scrubs the medical persons were wearing..

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1113
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi John,

I was out of it by the time I hit the OR. I remember seeing the DaVinci Robot off to the side but that's about it. Compare the first pic and the enhanced pic. What are you thinking? A reflection of some sort? Regardless... it's a pretty cool image ;)~

"T"

 

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8062
Joined: Sep 2009

It does look the color of some scrubs...

But I'm kind of leaning toward the masks in Scary Movie

alligatorpointer's picture
alligatorpointer
Posts: 131
Joined: Jul 2012

That ^^^ right there ^^^ is what I was hoping you could get made into a poster for target practice!  Your graphic designer friend did an excellent job!  I am certain that you can beat "Jack" now that you have driven him out of hiding and can see his face.  Punch and pummel him with all ya got ... throw darts at him ... hang him up to whack at like a pinata ... toss him on a bonfire.  Lots of symbolic ways to use that image. 

AJW1966
Posts: 69
Joined: Nov 2012

I haven't been on the site for a while, still struggling with a lot of the effects post treatment. This was the first message i opened when i came back on and i'm impressed.

The photo of the neck dissection is cool. Now i know what mine might have looked like. Just wish i could have seen the tumor. Dr says it was size of an oblong tennis ball.

Dr's told me they don't typically photograph the surgery so i was bummed.

Thanks for sharing!

 

Alan

rachel12yrsuv's picture
rachel12yrsuv
Posts: 432
Joined: Feb 2013

T,

WOW! What can u say after seeing something like this, WOW! I didn't have base of tongue cancer and never wanted to look into scope to see tumor, my Mom did, but I couldn't. I did have neck dissection so to see what it look like before the staples and scar is amazing.

Your strentgh inspires me to everyday bury my fears away, you must be one of the bravest people I have never met,lol.
You fight, jacks out, not get the treatments to make sure that B---- never returns!

In my prayers, just like everyone one this site!

Rachel

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1113
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Rachel,

Thank you for your kind words. When I came out of retirement from performing publicly in 2009, I found that performing had taken on a whole new dimension. I was doing it because I enjoyed doing it. It wasn't "work" anymore like it was when I relied on music as my vocation. I could pick and choose the venues to play and focused in places that were "listening" rooms. No more noisy bars where everyone is drunk and no one pays attention. Been there done that!  It's been in those listening venues where I perform that I've had people come up to me afterwards and tell me how inspiring it was to see me play and sing. What a blessing it is to know a piece of music you wrote can bring a person to tears. I never thought that my words posted on a board would be inspirational but it's wonderful to know that to some they are.

It's everyone here that post their experiences, their positive words of encouragement and prayer that inspire and encourage me! I feel as if I've been part of a nurturing Head & Neck cancer boot camp with all I've learned. I've learned there are many paths to take through the storm and how to navigate them. As I approach "T" day, I find I also have a greater sense of purpose. When I read of someone finishing their treatment, getting an NED report, celebrating a , 3, 4 or more year anniversary, it has inspired me to fight that much harder. It's made me  realize that I'm not only doing this for myself and my partner, I'm also doing it for everyone else that is facing or has faced this beast. As a "warrior", beating "Jack" is not only a victory for me, it's a victory for all who face him. 

As far as brave?.... you ought to see me when a bee or wasp comes buzzing around me! ~lol~ 

Positive vibes and prayers to all!

"T"

 

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