surgery completed-not so good results

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joannaw81
joannaw81 Member Posts: 185 Member
Hi, so my mom is fighting recurrance for the third time within not even 2 years, had her surgury today, right neck dissection and part of left side of her tongue removed. Unfortunately doctor had to remove the jagular vain which will leave her arm limited for the rest of her life. Any suggestions on that? does the prognosis change if the cancer involved the vain? He also said that she may not feel left side of her tongue becasue he probably removed some of the nerves so she will be left with the right side to work with. He also thinks that he removed all the cancer however in her situation he thinks that the prognosis isn't as good. Said it's probably just the matter of time until something else will show up. She will be in ICU until tomorrow because she has a breathing tube since the tongue is really swollen. For now I'm just happy that she is alive. After what I heard today I feel devistated, I keep wondering how long she will live......I really need some encouragement words since this is the only place which gives me real support. Now we will wait for the pathology report and see if she will have any further treatment. Thank you to all of you for praying and I ask for more prayers for her comlete healing and that she will be cancer free for ever now.

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  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    Each and Every One...
    Of us are different...so just coming out of surgery, and where she is. I don't think she could be in any better hands or place.

    As for recovery and longevity, thoughts and prayers she'll be around and cancer free for a very long time.

    Time heals a lot.... If you believed all of the percentages you read on us (H&N Cancer Survivors).

    The very long list of long term disabilities and residual, we'd all be short lived and have pretty miserable lifes.

    I think to actually, there are quite a few of us that have been around for awhile now, several like myself that have regained nearly everything back, with minimal residual. The after effects I have, more than likely I'd have something anyways. The longer you are around, the less things seem to work quite the way they use to, LOL...

    It's just another characteristic that defines us and makes us the people that we are.

    My deepest thoughts an prayers that your Mother will be around for many more years.

    Best,
    John
  • longtermsurvivor
    longtermsurvivor Member Posts: 1,842 Member
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    the terms get confusing
    Each side of the neck has two jugular veins, the external and the internal. My left external jugular vein was removed at the time of my radical neck dissection. sometimes that is done as a matter of routine, and it won't cause any trouble at all.

    there are nerves to the shoulder and arm. Those are a different situation. I don't know from reading this if there will be a problem or not. The most common problem afte a radicalneck results in temporary or permanent inability to raise the arm over the head. That happens. several on this board can talk to you about it.

    The tongue has its own nerve supply. The left side of mine is numb from the surgery last year. It really doesn't work at all. It took some getting used to, for purposes of eating and talking, but it all works out ok. I can eat, and as a couple on this board can testify, i can talk normally.

    Its tough surgery she just had. It seems from a distance to have actually gone pretty well. Try to stay calm and just let this develop as it has to for all of you. It isn't fun being in ICU, or on the ventillator, or in pain, but it will be temporary. Even the swelling will be muchbetter by tomorrow.


    Pat
  • George_Baltimore
    George_Baltimore Member Posts: 303
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    Jugular removal
    Hi Joanna, as Pat said, I wouldn't worry about the jugular vein. Back in June, I had mandible reconstruction surgery. The surgeon busted my carotid artery which is the accompanying artery for that vein. It had to be capped off by a vascular surgeon. I have no "limiting" problems on my left side. I was a mortician for 26 years. During that time I have seen many people with artery and vein blockages or rips that never caused them any problems whatsoever. I can't really comment on the tongue surgery because mine was put in remission with chemo and Rad. I know it's a scary situation but hang in there. Better days are right around the corner. May God bless you and your Mom.
  • MarineE5
    MarineE5 Member Posts: 1,031 Member
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    Take a deep breath
    Joanna,

    Inhale and exhale a few times,yes, it looks bad at the moment, right after the surgery. True story, my brother and I served in the Marines together. After my surgery, much like your Mom's, my brother stood at the end of the hospital bed and I could see his eyes welling up. I told him I was going to be fine, and I wasn't in any pain. I too had a trach because of the partial tongue removal, Radical neck disection, removal of the SCM muscle,tubes everywhere, you get the picture.

    Yes, your Mom may have some issues with taste and will have to watch how she eats. I had 4 choking episodes the first year, scary to say the least, but I make sure I eat slowly and chew well now, along with plenty of fluids.

    Your Mom sounds like a fighter, my sister-in-law's mother ( small in size, large in heart) was given a very short time to live after they found cancer in her lungs. She refused radiation and lived another 10 years. Go figure.... Each person is different...

    My Best to You,Your Mom and Everyone Here
  • robinleigh
    robinleigh Member Posts: 297
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    jugular
    My husband lost his jugular vein during surgery, as well. He had issues with raising his arm for a few months but I think that was more from nerves being stretched during surgery, which is very common here. After some time to heal and a bit of physical therapy he has regained his range of motion.

    Seems to me if the doctor reported that he "removed all the cancer" then her chances are as good as everybody else here that it won't return.

    Recovering from that surgery is no picnic so...one day at a time.

    Wishing you strength (and patience)!
  • stevenl
    stevenl Member Posts: 587
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    jugular
    My husband lost his jugular vein during surgery, as well. He had issues with raising his arm for a few months but I think that was more from nerves being stretched during surgery, which is very common here. After some time to heal and a bit of physical therapy he has regained his range of motion.

    Seems to me if the doctor reported that he "removed all the cancer" then her chances are as good as everybody else here that it won't return.

    Recovering from that surgery is no picnic so...one day at a time.

    Wishing you strength (and patience)!

    Nerves
    I had tonsil cancer and they removed the jugular vein as well as a nerve that goes to my shoulder. The C was wrapped around the nerve and they had to sacrifice the nerve.
    I still have muscle loss in my right shoulder and there is some discomfort and loss
    in range of movement. I am a bricklayer and I can still do it. Not as good as I used to,
    but just wanted you to know that even though it seems like you won't be able to do
    some things it is not necessarily so. I went to therapy for 3 months and finally
    just got all the things they had and I do it all at home now. It's great to be here
    telling you this LIFE!,is good.
    Hoping the best for you
    Steve
  • patricke
    patricke Member Posts: 570
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    Keep The Faith
    Hey Joanna, with cancer, you never know what's going to happen, so I believe in making the best of every day (felt that way before, but even more after the diagnosis). The doc having removed all of the cancer is certainly good news, now it's hit the ground running and doing what needs to be done to recover and live life to the fullest. Certainly your mom will be adjusting to a new normal, as we have all had to do, but she will still be able to enjoy life and being with you and the rest of your family. I suggest letting go of wondering how long your mom will live, but instead focus on recovery and beyond, always taking it, as has been said, a day at a time. When I was diagnosed, I had a 15% chance of survival, which I learned several years later, so you never know; it's been 11 1/2 years now. You have my prayers for your mom's healing and cancer free future.

    PATRICK
  • Kent Cass
    Kent Cass Member Posts: 1,898 Member
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    patricke said:

    Keep The Faith
    Hey Joanna, with cancer, you never know what's going to happen, so I believe in making the best of every day (felt that way before, but even more after the diagnosis). The doc having removed all of the cancer is certainly good news, now it's hit the ground running and doing what needs to be done to recover and live life to the fullest. Certainly your mom will be adjusting to a new normal, as we have all had to do, but she will still be able to enjoy life and being with you and the rest of your family. I suggest letting go of wondering how long your mom will live, but instead focus on recovery and beyond, always taking it, as has been said, a day at a time. When I was diagnosed, I had a 15% chance of survival, which I learned several years later, so you never know; it's been 11 1/2 years now. You have my prayers for your mom's healing and cancer free future.

    PATRICK

    Joanna
    Prayers for your Mother, and you, are en route- that she is C-free and has many more years, and can accept her new normal.

    kcass
  • Pam M
    Pam M Member Posts: 2,196
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    Hoping
    Hoping your mom's cancer gets wise and stays gone.

    I have reduced use of my right arm/shoulder from neck dissection. It's fifteen months after the surgery, and I continue to make progress. I started out not being able to lift the arm as high as my shoulder. I can now raise my hand over my head, and have a much better range of motion than I did have (not as good "as new", but much improved) - hoping to keep getting better - hoping your Mom is at least as lucky as I've been with regaining use of the arm. Hoping the pathology report gives you more hope.