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DM1's picture
DM1
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2014

 

I am new to this and have read a lot of positive information. I have just been diagnosed with left tonsil and left lymph node stage III cancer. C.T. scan done and 2 biopsies of the tonsil . My EN&T DR. does not want to do surgery due to to much reconstruction. I have my PET scan this Friday 01-31-2014. After this it's a 2 week wait to see the oncologist, the waiting seems like forever. Can anyone shed any info for me . My name is Mike. 

Ladylacy
Posts: 517
Joined: Apr 2012

While my husband's cancer started as laryngeal cancer diagnosed by our local ENT.  When it was discovered after radiation and chemo that the tumor was still there, our ENT (for which we are very grateful) referred us to a head and neck specialist.  Our ENT said that this type of specialist was better equipped to do the surgery needed and that included any reconstruction that was needed.  Thankfully he referred us because the radiation completedly closed off the back of his throat and it had to be reconstructed.

Yes we had confidence in our local ENT but he said flat out that he didn't do that surgery anymore and that a head and neck specialist was who we needed to see.  We were very lucky because the one we were referred to is great and has years of experience.  Another thing get a second or even third opinion.

Actually I don't understand about the reconstruction surgery.  There are many on here that have had the surgery for your type of cancer and hopefully they will respond shortly.

Sharon

Grandmax4's picture
Grandmax4
Posts: 597
Joined: Dec 2011

My first question is, are you at a large cancer center? The surgery techniques have improved vastly in the last couple years. I had a full radical dissection, done by my surgeon, using the de vinci robot. My surgery was removal of a cancerous mass and my epiglottis, plus nodes. I was blessed that the nodes had not been invaded and did not have to have chemo or radiation.

For your peace of mind, I would get a second opinion~~ you did not say where you are located, but many states have large,modern hospitals 

cid817's picture
cid817
Posts: 46
Joined: Oct 2013

Can I ask where you are located?  My hubby was diagnosed with tumor on the epiglottis with 2 nodes affected.  ENT told him they may do surgery, depending what the PET scan shows.  He's about 9 weeks out of treatment, PET is scheduled for Feb 17.

Thanks

DM1's picture
DM1
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2014

I live in Weare, New Hampshire. Had my PET scan today with disc in hand and ready for Thursday and Friday . My girl friend and I meet with the oncologist and the cancer center at the Elliot Hospital in Manchester. I hope thongs go well for your husband.

cid817's picture
cid817
Posts: 46
Joined: Oct 2013

Good luck and positive thoughts on the results of your PET!!

Thanks!

 

wmc's picture
wmc
Posts: 620
Joined: Jan 2014

Sorry you have to be here because of what you have. But I will agree with everyone and get a second oppion. Also go to the beat place you can. Boston Mass is rated as one of the best in the nation. depending on insurance go to a cancer center that has a tumor board to get the best corse of treatment you can. Do research,and try to stay strong. 

Bill

Grandmax4's picture
Grandmax4
Posts: 597
Joined: Dec 2011

I am located in Ohio, about 45 miles north of Columbus, our capitol. My surgery was done at the Ohio State University Waxner Center, The James Cancer Clinic. You state your husband is about 9 weeks out of treatment, I assuming he had chemo and/or radiation.

I was given the choice of surgery, with the possible need for chemo/radiation, but the surgery took care of the cancerous tumor and the lymphnodes came back benign so I did not have to have either. My surgery was done using the di vinci robot, My surgeon is/was Dr Richardo Carrau..he is an amazing, educated man..I love him and my team.

At the time, I was told I had this cancer, I didn't even know what an epiglottis was/is. Believe me, I've learned.

The recovery from the surgery was rather quick and painless or very miminal..the side effects and relearning taken for granted body functions took longer. I had a feeding tube down my nose for about 4 months and throughout this time was seeing a speech therepist weekly. Without an epiglottis, swallowing has to be relearned..my vocal cords were also bowed, so I trained and exercise to regain my voice.This took about a year to happen

Today, 2years and 3 months out, I can speak loudly and clearly, and I eat everything ..I've never had problem of dry mouth, but the mucus has lingered, but not near what it was and I deal with it.

I pray your husbands cancer was removed with treatment and the PET is clear...if not, surgery tho not an easy road, is doeable ..just do everything your team tells you to, I was a real brat at times to my therepist and I've apologized to her many times.

Best of good wishes to you both

 

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 3093
Joined: May 2012

Mike,

Welcome to the H&N forum, sorry you find yourself here.

You are just getting started and sound like you may benefit from a second opinion from a team experienced in treating you type of cancer.  Once you are satisfied with your team selection, your choices of treatment usually boil down to surgery, radiation & chemo, either singularly or in combination.

Stay upbeat, your cancer is very treatable and your team will help you make the correct choices and in several months you will be on the back side of treatment and moving toward your new-normal.

Matt

j4mie's picture
j4mie
Posts: 218
Joined: Sep 2013

getting a second opinion. My husband had left tonsil cancer with left lymph node involvement. He was stage IV when diagnosed. He had surgery with the Divinci robot, and ended up with a complete tonsilectomy, remolval of 29 lymph nodes, and some surrounding tissue/muscle in the area. He handled the surgery fine. After healing from surgery, he underwent 30 radiation treatments. At this point there is no evidence of disease.

A second, or even third, opinion never hurts, especially when dealing with something like this...

Jamie

PS- I just want to say also that this is very treatable and the prognosis is very good. You will get through!

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2590
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Mike, my cancer was different so can't add anything except that I agree with the others, get a second opinion.  I just wanted to welcome you to our group of caring, knowledgeable and uplifting people.  You've found a good place to be and many here have had your type of cancer so you will find lots of help here.  I hope you stick around.

God bless,

dj

DM1's picture
DM1
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2014

Thank you everyone who has replied :) Tomorrow will be my PET scan then 2 appointments with the DR.s next Thursday and Friday. I guess after that will be the plan on how to beat this. I am 50 years old and only weigh 145 lbs. I read that a lot of people loose lots of weight which is another concern for me. Thank you again everyone.

 

 

Mike

Steve5's picture
Steve5
Posts: 147
Joined: Oct 2013

Hi Mike - I had the same, found in October 2013 - I started treatment at Thanksgiving and finished mid January just over 2 short weeks ago.  I had chemo once per week and radiation treatments daily - my H&N specialist recommended against surgery so I went with his recommendation - one of the key aspects my docs pointed out was the welfare of the patient - so limiting chemo where possible as far as dose and frequency as well as radiation/chemo versus surgery/radiation/chemo - I am waiting for mid April for the PET/CT to see if it is gone - as many have said the treatment is hard but doable - I had a PEG put and a port prior to treatments - the PEG has proven itself here at the end - the last week of treatment was toughest - and I lost my voice because my throat was too sore - and I had to stop drinking ENSURE and start in with PEG feeding and PEG hyrdration - important - hyrdration - really important - so now I am trying to ween off of the PEG feeding - but taste takes 1-6 months to come back - I am eating yogurt now and pudding  - will try soups this week again as well - one other thing I had done which was recommended by the H&N doc was having the salivary gland on the good side moved to try and preserve it from the radiation treatments - as saliva production is a problem.  You will no doubt need to see to your teeth as well before starting - ask if they have said nothing about it yet - I was fortunate, others have not been as fortunate - my teeth were in good shape - you will most likely need to get fluoride trays which I have to use for the rest of my life (God willing a long one).  Just a few things - this is a terrific site, with incredible people who define care and compassion and empathy as well as positive energy and help and drive and passion to live and conquer this - please avail yourself of them (us) and lean when you have to, anytime.

Steve

KB56's picture
KB56
Posts: 262
Joined: Apr 2013

Mike, sorry you're here but you will find this site very useful.  I had right tonsil cancer and right lymph node involvement, stage IV when it was found.  I had a tonsillectomy but they didn't want to do a neck dissection because they said the lymph nodes were wrapped around so much stuff in the neck it ws very risky.    I had 7 chemo treatments with Erbitux and 34 radiation treatments that finished 6/11/13.   7 months later i have had 2 scans (one PET and one CT) and both were clean so the treatment was every effective for me.  So far so good! 

Our cases sound very similar except mine was one stage advanced and they felt the chemo and radiation would be very effective against the type of cancer I had and they did not want to do surgery. Do you know if your cancer is HPV based or not?  The HPV based cancers are very responsive to chemo and radiation and the long term survival rate is very good.

The wait can seem like forever but I'm sure they want to do the PET to see if it is anywhere else in the body to decide a treatment plan.  If it's isolated to your lymph nodes in your neck then surgery may not be necessary and chemo/radiation make elimate it from your body.  If you could avoid a neck dissection with all the reconstruction, AND get rid of the cancer with chemo/radiation, you will be much better off long term.

Good Luck

Keith

 

 

DM1's picture
DM1
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2014

Thank you Keith and I do hope all is well with you. The test was HPV possitive. Did you have a feeding tube is this also common with this type of cancer ? Thank you again 

 

Mike

KB56's picture
KB56
Posts: 262
Joined: Apr 2013

Mike, I did have a feeding tube but you will see lots of "fors" and "against" on this site.  I lost 30 pounds with the tube and can't imagine what I would have done without it as I could take food, meds, and really important stay hydrated through it.    It really helped me when I needed it and couldn't swallow food but I was ready to get it out but if I had it to do all over again I would definitely go for the tube again.  If you get a tube make sure you are always sipping on water as you can "forget" how to swallow and that can be a big problem.

Before you start treatment go to the denist and get a good checkup and a flouride tray.  The radiation can/will play hell on your teeth due to the saliva impact (saliva is key for dental health) and i still use it every night.  so far my teeth have help up OK but my dentist scared the crap out of me (he told my wife that was his intention as he's seen it go both ways) so I brush multiple times per day, floss frequently and really watch the sweets - couldn't taste the sweets for awhile anyway:)

The fact that the cancer is HPV+ is actually great news as the long term survival rate is really positive and it typically responds well to chemo/radiation.  Avoiding a neck dissection is a really good thing.   If you get Erbitux as your chemo drug (much less toxic and damaging as some of the other drugs) it was pretty easy for me to handle after the first one.  Radiation was really tough but you will get through it and it's a means to an end with the end being cancer free.  Not trying to scare you but it is key to be mentally prepared as you start the treatments.  The first couple of weeks are not bad at all but week three it will most like start getting tougher.   Everyone handles it different so you may breeze through.

Stay in touch as you go through the battle.  Stay positive, lean on friends and family as well as the great folks on this site, and before you know it you will have all of this behind you and get back to living life and I promise you that you will no longer take the little things for granted.   We're all changed by the experience and as I've told my wife, if everyone went through a little of what we all went through the world would be a friendlier, more tolerant place.

 

Good Luck and stay in touch and let us know if you need anything!

Keith

DM1's picture
DM1
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2014

Thank you Keith sooooo much evryone here is great . You have been very helpful for me and you are not scaring me at all , I am an up front type of person and want to be told how it is . Thanks :)

 

 

 

Mike

DM1's picture
DM1
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2014

GM Keith, do you know how long after the 1st treatment the whole jouney takes to start feeling better ? I worry about my Girl friend and family as I know that they all worry. 

 

 

Mike

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1329
Joined: Dec 2012

Hi Mike,

Welcome to CSN. Great place with lots of good folks and lots of good info. Start reading the superthread, it hits many common topics. Ditto on the HPV+ question, which has great outcomes. Glad you joined early as you can get a lot more informed and guide your treatment plan along a path that offers you the most comfort.

Getting second opinions is often very useful, especially in cases where your primary doctors and facilities do not treat a lot of HNC. At the very minimum, you want a team approach so your case is reviewed by a range of doctors and the recommendation is coming from multiple doctors. If this is not the setup now, number one on your list is to start exploring options to get more input and review on your case.

The wait is a pain for sure, once treatment starts things move along quickly as you will likely be dealing with many common side effects.

Good luck and visit often,

Don

DM1's picture
DM1
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2014

Thank you again eveyone.

 

 

Mike

 

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 2008
Joined: Jun 2012

Sorry that you had the need to find us but glad you did.  My first thought was is the reconstruction too much for your current surgeon or for all suregeons? I would lean toward a 2nd opinion so you are comfortable with your choices and treatment.  My cancer was of the jaw so allot of reconstruction (19 hour surgery). 

Prayers coming your way as you make your decision and get treatment.

Candi

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2590
Joined: Jan 2010

Mike, eat everything you enjoy right now and eat a lot of it.  try to gain some weight now while you can eat, that way when you lose some it won't be as bad.  also, it will be extremely important for you to stay hydrated and swallow everyday.  if you don't use your swallow muscels, you will lose the ability to swallow and you don't want that to happen.  I will be praying for tx to go well and with as few side effects as possible.  let us know how you progress.

God bless,

dj

ratface's picture
ratface
Posts: 1254
Joined: Aug 2009

Reconstruction should not be a word tossed about for someone with your stage 3 diagnosis.  A neck disection is generally the easiest of  all treatments with normally minimal need for reconstruction. Your current medical practitioner is either way off base or we are missing information.  Wait to you talk to the Oncologist, I'm guessing your plan is going to evolve from there. You must ask if a tumor board will discusses the plan. Then you wait for that recomendation. This will be your first opinion.  A second opinion is not as hard as it seems, Find a HN cancer ENT and ask for a consultation for a second opinion. The hospitals can send all the information along. You then compare plans. Not a bad idea to make copies of everything anyway. The meeting with your Oncologists should yield some direction for you. Let us know what happens?

PJ47's picture
PJ47
Posts: 339
Joined: Sep 2013

and investigate your treatment options with MD's from different disciplines.  The PET will provide more information for you and the MD's to make decisions with and you will become more informed as time goes on. Many of the rest of the group have made good suggestions and you will have good support here.  Welcome Mike and we are pulling for you,

PJ

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8104
Joined: Sep 2009

I was similar to you in many ways..., nearly five years ago.

Right tonsil, right side lymphnode, 55 at the time, but a bit more nourished at 275# an d 6'.

Tonsils out, power port installed..., and ready to go.

Not sure on what surgery has been discussed with you.. I didn't have any other than the tonsils removed, and port installed. As for the tumor, since it was close to the carotoid, they decided to see what effects the chemo and radiation would have on it first.

The possibility were, nothing and they'd opt for removal or dissection, the tumor would shrink and removal would be less envasive, or it would completely dissolve away.

My Tx consisted of nine weeks (three week cycles) of Cisplatin, Taxotere and 5FU.. That was day one of the first week, with the 5FU strapped on via a pump through the port, and pumped into me for the next four days. Then off for two weeks, starting the cycle again on week four, then again week seven.

After that, seven weeks of concurrent weekly Carboplatin, and 35 daily rads sessions...

I was lucky, around week seven the tumor had shrunk.., by week nine, it was completely gone, never to return.

I was also STGIII SCC Tonsils (and a lymphnode), HPV+

Since I was generously nourished, the PEG was not inserted, and for me that worked out just fine. Knowing that if things went south, it was always an option to keep calories and hydration coming in.

I dropped maybe 40# altogether..., and I swapped over to all liquid around week 3 - 4 of rads.., Ensure Plus, water and meds.., and a few scliced peaches to keep the swallower working.

With you only being 145#, you might discuss the PEG with them upfront, for their input.

Anyways, again welcome..., and hang on for the ride...

BTW, as for second opinions, they can be good... same goes for big name facilities..

But not always needed... I didn't have one, though my Cancer Center has an excellent ENT Harvard Grad, John Hopkins Intern... He also setup a team, with him as the lead, the onco, rads MD, and surgeon for the port install...

John

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3852
Joined: Mar 2012

but you're lucky you found us.....this is a great place for information.

I'm kind of like the others.....a second opinion sounds to me like the way to go.  There are many people here who had cancer of the tonsils, and I'm trying to think of anyone who's surgery was a cause for reconstruction.....it's not like they have to rebuild tonsils.  I also cannot think of one person here who didn't have surgery....usually before rads/chemo (this is for tonsil cancer).  Do you live anywhere near a big cancer center?  People have had surgery in one place and had their rads and chemo closer to home....this is definately something to look into....

As for your weight....I weighed 97 lbs when I was diagnosed, so like you, didn't have any weight to lose.  I did have a feeding tube put in before I started treatment, but I never used it once during radiation.  I had cancer in a different place, so had another 3 chemo's after rads were done.....that's when the tube became my best buddy.  On the grand scale, tho....I lost a lot less weight than most of the people who had treatment at the same time I did....I only lost 16 lbs.

Waiting is the hardest part, emotionally.....and man....in this Head and Neck Cancer business there is a whole lot of hurry up and wait....I was diagnosed on March 5th....and didn't start treatment until the last week of April.....I was a wreck.  But it all turned out fine. 

Where do you live....someone here might have just the info on where you might go for a second opinion.

jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1686
Joined: May 2011

Welcome Mike, so sorry you find yourself here but praying your treatment goes well, your anxiety is lessened and the out come is NED.

Debbie

Laralyn's picture
Laralyn
Posts: 454
Joined: Apr 2012

If they haven't already tested the biopsy sample for HPV, request it. In many cases with HPV+ tonsil cancer, studies are showing that the outcome without surgery is roughly equal to the recovery with surgery. Many oncologists are opting NOT to do surgery. Simultaneous chemo and radiation can be just as effective even without surgery. I know it sounds strange, but it's true!

I had Stage IV SCC HPV+ in my left tonsil, one lymph node, and soft palate. I got two opinions--one from the regional hospital where I was treated, and one from the head of radiaology at Stanford who is a head and neck cancer specialist--and they both agreed that surgery was not required in my case.

I'm not trying to give medical advice--every case is different. I also think you should get a second opinion because you need to feel confident in your decisions. I just wanted to put your mind at ease if your doctors choose not to do surgery.

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3852
Joined: Mar 2012

70 miles from Boston?  Dana Farber is there....a GREAT place for a second opinion.  They see Head and Neck Cancer of every sort, every single day....

p

DM1's picture
DM1
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2014

Thank you Phrannie the Elliot hospital is associated with the Dana Farber I wiil find out more this Thursday and Friday. 

 

 

 

 

Mike

DM1's picture
DM1
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2014

GM all, I just received a call from my ENT. The PET scan shows that the cancer has not spread anywhere else . 1st appointment Thursday with cancer center about radiation, then Friday with the oncologist. Happy but still nervous.

 

 

 

Mike

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 2008
Joined: Jun 2012

Very happy to hear that the cancer has not spread. That is fantastic news. I know what you mean about your girl and family worrying. My 19 hour surgery and recovery was harder on my family than it was on me. (My cancer was of the jawbone).  Radiation was the most difficult for me but we are all different. I did lose 65 pounds and did have a g-tube where I took in Ensure. I had the weight to lose. The best thing you can do at the present time is to try to put on some weight. Throughout tx know that hydration and nutrition are key. I found the actual radiation txs were a piece of cake, each lasting only about 15 minutes. It was the side effects that were difficult. My suggestion is to be aware of side effects but also know that you likely won't get all of them so don't dwell on what may never happen. Take them as they come and deal with them. I did not have issues with mucus and while my neck turned dark it never broke open or hurt. I did have to deal with horrible sores on my lips but none inside of my mouth. I slept allot! 

Know that you are not alone on this journey and don't hesitate to ask any questions.

God bless,

Candi

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1329
Joined: Dec 2012

You will lose weight through treatment. It is rare the loss is not a concern. So, eat every fatty food you avoid and then eat more, then some more. No joke. You should do as much as possible to pack on some extra weight, especially as you are so light. I am a PEG hater but only if one can slide through with the expected loss. If you are thin now, I suspect you will need to PEG up at some point. Some debate about doing it upfront, others may wait until you really need it.

As you have time, do check with your insurance and look for options to get a second opinion. Also, make sure your current process includes a tumor board review. If it does not, you then really have to get a second opinion from a facility that utilizes a team approach.

Good luck,

Don

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2590
Joined: Jan 2010

mike, super news that the cancer hasn't spread.  now you can concentrate on the tx and kick'n cancer's butt!! 

God bless,

dj

KB56's picture
KB56
Posts: 262
Joined: Apr 2013

Mike, great news that the cancer hasn't spread.  that is really good news and since it's isolated to the tonsil and lymph nodes only it is a very winnable battle.   the meeting with the radiation department to get fitted for your mask and getting shown around the facility is an anxiety filled event as you don't know what to expect but it's coming at you pretty fast.  Those feelings are normal and just remember that you can't finish your treatments until you start them, and the sooner you start the quicker you can get them all behind you.  

Are you having a tonsillectomy before you start treatments?  I had to wait 3 weeks after my tonsillectomy before I could start radiation.    Ask your doctor about Erbitux as your chemo drug because it's much easier on you than the others I've read about on this site and it is very effective against HPV type, or at least it was for me.  

One you start radiation you will deal with a lot of side effects from the radiation so don't hesitate to tell what you are experiencing and you'll receive many very useful suggestions to help deal with them.   

Good luck and stay positive.  you can and will make it but as Don says, treat the pain, get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and nourished.  

all the best,

keith

DM1's picture
DM1
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2014

Thank you Keith, my Dr. does not want to remove the tonsil. I can't believe that I haven't even started treatments and am so drained I am a work aholic and not use to being tired all the time. Tomorrow will be my onocolagist appointment and hope we can get this rolling. Thank you again Keith .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike

KB56's picture
KB56
Posts: 262
Joined: Apr 2013

mike, maybe it's better not to have the tonsillectomy if they think they can cure you without it.   I was 56 when I was diagnosed and when the tonsil was removed and it was rough (I lost 12 pounds before I started radiation) and I never fully recovered before starting treatments. 

 

Good luck tomorrow and please keep us posted after your meeting with the Doctors.  

 

Keith

wmc's picture
wmc
Posts: 620
Joined: Jan 2014

Great news that it has not spread. Think positive and just know you're not a lone, and can beat this. Attitude helps, to beat cancer.

Bill

Steve5's picture
Steve5
Posts: 147
Joined: Oct 2013

Mike- mine was the same, no spread indicated by the initial PET/CT which was good news - as Matt alway says, you will get a plan and things will begin to move forward - I waited about 5 weeks for the treatment to start - this is sort of noraml according to my H&N doc as they do not find any significant change in those weeks - so don't get too nervous if you don't start right away with treatment out of the box - some places have teams that meet with you - nutritionist, nurse, social worker, voice - etc..  take advantage of them and ask questions - also the radiation oncologist nurses are great  - so ask for help from them with anything you need - keep us posted -

 

Steve

DM1's picture
DM1
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2014

Thank you everyone for all the information and support from everyone this truly comes from the bottom of my heart.

 

 

 

Mike

DM1's picture
DM1
Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2014

Had my mask made yesterday and a schedule for treatments. Monday the 17th is my loading shot of erbitux then radiation starts on the 24th with the second shot of erbitux. Time to fight. Thank you everyone for all the support and information.

 

 

Mike

KB56's picture
KB56
Posts: 262
Joined: Apr 2013

Mike, I know getting the mask made was a bit freaky... it is really tight (and needs to be as the radiation is pretty precise) and while you're on the table, in your mind transport yourself to another place with great memories and the treatment will be over before you know it.  You'll get to know the sounds of the machine and from the sound you'll know how much time you have left on the table.  The staff is really good at unfastening your mask as quickly as they can so you can sit up.

You had asked me how long before you start feeling better once you start.   It's great you're doing Erbitux as the biggest side effect is acne and you will most likely look like a teenager going through puberty!  It will get much better before you finish but for a few weeks you'll most likely have it on your face, chest and back (at least that's where mine was).  You won't lose your hair, I was only sick the first 2 treatments but after that it was pretty easy.   Keep lotioned up (but do NOT do it before your radiation) and they can give you a prescripition for some ointment with an antibiotic that will help with the acne.

The first 2 weeks of radiation will be pretty easy but you'll start noticing your mouth will get dry and soon you won't be able to leave the house without grabbing a water.  Drink as much as you can as often as you can because getting dehydrated really makes you feel miserable.  Once you start feeling bad you'll most like feel a little worse each radiation treatment until your finished, and then you'll probably feel the worst for 1-2 weeks after the last radiation treatment.   Get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated and manage the pain/side effects.  The human body is an amazing thing in it's ability to repair itself.  It just needs time, and a little help with the symptons along the way, but you will start to recover and will begin to feel better.   My throat still hurt like hell with every bite for 5 months past my last radiation treatment but then it started to feel better fast.  now I'm 8 months out and other than a little dry, I don't have any throat pain and can't eat almost anything but spicy foods.  All my taste is back so my old time favorites are still my favorites:)

Keep the your attitude of now is the "time to fight".  You are in for a battle but you are stronger and bigger than this, so just keep fighting, and when you need encouragement look to your beautiful wife and she will give you all the strength you need.   My wife, 2 grown children, mom, brother, sister and friends were unbelievable and your wife looks like she is a fighter as well.   Get checked out at the dentist as well and get that flouride tray.   A lot of people lose teeth during this ordeal but so far I've done Ok and going to the dentist today for a cleaning/checkup.

Good luck my friend as you are now a warrior and you're in for a battle but you will win!!!

Keep us posted and if you need anything we're as close as your computer.

All the best,

Keith

Mom of 3
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2014

My husband had stage 4 throat cancer, tongue and nodes involved. He had robotic surgery and neck dissection on the right side. Followed with 7 weeks of radiation and chemo. He had no problems, sailed right through. No feeding tube, no teeth pulled. Overall did GREAT! I agree with the others regarding a 2nd opinion. 

wmc's picture
wmc
Posts: 620
Joined: Jan 2014

I was told T4 N2 Mo just before surgery and was told I could not servive radation because how bad my lungs were. So we decided to do a full laryngectomy and become a neck breather the rest of my life. [But I have a life now] I never knew how lucky I got. As it turned out it was T3,N0,M0 and the tumor got all the cancer out. They did a neck dissection on both sides and removed 86 glands, [no robotic surgery] by hand. I never had to have chemo or radation. They put in a TEP at the time of surgery and I was talking in two weeks and back to work in 10 weeks. Now here is the best part. I can whistle, blow out the candles on a cake with one breath, blow up a balloon, and the best one yet. I can blow my nose. I could never be able to do that with radation. I went to a large hospital over 200 miles away and met with a tumor board to decide what treatment was the best for me. Thank God for Stanford Medical. There ranked #9 in the nation and saved my life.

I do so wish you the best and will keep you in my prayers.

Bill

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2590
Joined: Jan 2010

bill, my cancer was described as T3 and that's all.  what are the other letters in your dx?

dj

Mom of 3
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2014

My husband had stage 4 throat cancer, tongue and nodes involved. He had robotic surgery and neck dissection on the right side. Followed with 7 weeks of radiation and chemo. He had no problems, sailed right through. No feeding tube, no teeth pulled. Overall did GREAT! I agree with the others regarding a 2nd opinion. 

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