Full recovery and beyond?

Purplemountain
Purplemountain Member Posts: 119
edited June 2015 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

hello everyone. 

I was wondering if anyone here or know of anyone who has fully recovered and healed from cancer after treatment?

Able to return to same or better physical health compared to pre-cancer. 

Or any articles or studies out there that you can share. 

We all need a little inspiration to know that we can achieve more once cancer is in remission. 

 

Thank you. 

PM

Comments

  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
    Very Well...

    Cosidering I had to have the Whipple last year...

    I feel that I'm as good, or actually better, LOL.. Better in the sense that I've lost weight that I didn't need.. But also, riding my bike and doing more exercise wise than I have in many years.

    I was Dx STGIII Tonsil Cancer in January 2009, went through sixteen weeks of four types of chemo, 35 days of rads and the tonsils coming out altogether.

    Even with the Whipple last year, and that ordeal.. I'm finally healed up, no meds other than protonix for occasional acid reflux. My blood work is good, as is all of the associated with it.. Actually my last check had my TSH (thyroid) level back in range..

    Hopefully, I'll be kicking around for many more years..

    John

  • jackflash22
    jackflash22 Member Posts: 524 Member
    Feeling better

    since I had surgery for small bowel cancer I feel on top of the world. I've started to gain weight and my energy levels are stepping up, I feel I have my mojo back. I've just spent a week with my daughter and we sorted her small garden out. She's been my carer for two years travelling from work in London back down to my village and her garden had overgrown, now after a week we have made it into a neat garden full of summer plants and mown lawn. It's given me the boost to live and enjoy life again. I get up in the morning feeling full of enthusiasm to start my day. I spent 6 months getting weaker and weaker and felt down all the time because of the pain and sickness of the undiscovered tumour and the loss of my partner, now I'm me again. There is life after cancer.

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    In a way....yes

    I only had surgery to remove my tumor, no chemo or radiation. They took my larynx and 86 lymph glands and I breath through my neck and have a TEP Prosthesis in my throat that lets me talk. I also have stage 3 COPD and the emphysema is what took me off work, not the cancer. So to answer your question as far as the cancer my answer is YES I am just fine. I have gained all of my weight back, and then some. I have learned to live as a laryngectomee and once I accepted that, and I did while I still could not really talk, I was fine. For me it all came down to me accepting who I was now and knowing I could live with it. The nurse my insurance company assined a nurse to me to help with what ever I needed to have for my recovery. She asked me one day If I was putting on a front just for my family or did I really belive I would be fine. I just laughed and told her this is no frount, I will be fine and I will go back to work. I am 20 months out and my nurse still checkes on me every month, we had our call today for this month. I am doing some speaking to the schools in my county on anti-tobacco, and going to start with the nurses college to let them see how to treat a person with a laryngectomee as there is only 60,000 in the US. My nurse just says "I'm amazing". I don't know about that but I was given a second chance on life and I have decided to help others. I have made five videos that are for Larygectomee to see how to do thuiings we were told we can not do, but I did. As a Lary we can't smell or blow your nose or whistle or blow out candles on a cake. Because of the prothesis I can do all of those things. I was told I can't do that by the person who put in the prothesis. Well she almost fell over when I did. My videos are now being used by Stanford hospital and the SLP as well as St Anges in Fresno SLP rehab and the WebWhispers which is for Laryngectomee world wide and have been seen in over 17 countrys. So yes, I am better than I was before. I hope this helps you some, and I put in a link for the YouTube videos so you can see me for yourself.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL-ZuyhSMEM

    Bill

  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member

    Feeling better

    since I had surgery for small bowel cancer I feel on top of the world. I've started to gain weight and my energy levels are stepping up, I feel I have my mojo back. I've just spent a week with my daughter and we sorted her small garden out. She's been my carer for two years travelling from work in London back down to my village and her garden had overgrown, now after a week we have made it into a neat garden full of summer plants and mown lawn. It's given me the boost to live and enjoy life again. I get up in the morning feeling full of enthusiasm to start my day. I spent 6 months getting weaker and weaker and felt down all the time because of the pain and sickness of the undiscovered tumour and the loss of my partner, now I'm me again. There is life after cancer.

    Hi Jackie

    I am glad to hear how well you are doing, I don’t know if this is a new picture of you are not, if it is you are looking fantastic. Keep up what you are doing

     

    Tim

  • donfoo
    donfoo Member Posts: 1,771 Member
    better than before...

    On some aspects of life, my current condition is better than before cancer. My outlook on life, what's important, and what is just noise is vastly superior than before cancer. Every day is now a  true gift and I NEVER have a bad day or complain. I do have less good days and some frustrations but every one is still accepted with gratitude and thanks. 

    Having just crossed two years post with no signs of recurrence and no signficiant long term side effects, I feel great both physically and mentally. In fact, my mental state is in a far better place than before cancer. My life was loafing along with no great inspiration or passion but my mind was failing as well. My mother died the previous year from Alzheimer's and I felt doomed to the same fate. Work was less than fulfilling and quite hard to maintain skills and motivation.

    Now a couple years post, I am doing really great, feeling rejuvinated and thankful for a second life. In fact, I am competing and staying with the pack of Silicon Valley software engineers half my age, holding my own applying cutting edge technologies at a world class company you all use when you buy, sell, and pay for stuff via the Internet.

    I hope my message inspires those who are really down and beat up as the treatments take their toll on your body and mind. I know some days are so bad, you end up counting hours to just make it to the next dose of medication or some painfree rest. You do get through this in the near term and do recover and get much better. Hopefully, you get the bonus of an improved soul and outlook on life and the joy and gift each day brings. Enjoy!

  • Guzzle
    Guzzle Member Posts: 710
    donfoo said:

    better than before...

    On some aspects of life, my current condition is better than before cancer. My outlook on life, what's important, and what is just noise is vastly superior than before cancer. Every day is now a  true gift and I NEVER have a bad day or complain. I do have less good days and some frustrations but every one is still accepted with gratitude and thanks. 

    Having just crossed two years post with no signs of recurrence and no signficiant long term side effects, I feel great both physically and mentally. In fact, my mental state is in a far better place than before cancer. My life was loafing along with no great inspiration or passion but my mind was failing as well. My mother died the previous year from Alzheimer's and I felt doomed to the same fate. Work was less than fulfilling and quite hard to maintain skills and motivation.

    Now a couple years post, I am doing really great, feeling rejuvinated and thankful for a second life. In fact, I am competing and staying with the pack of Silicon Valley software engineers half my age, holding my own applying cutting edge technologies at a world class company you all use when you buy, sell, and pay for stuff via the Internet.

    I hope my message inspires those who are really down and beat up as the treatments take their toll on your body and mind. I know some days are so bad, you end up counting hours to just make it to the next dose of medication or some painfree rest. You do get through this in the near term and do recover and get much better. Hopefully, you get the bonus of an improved soul and outlook on life and the joy and gift each day brings. Enjoy!

    nearly a year out
    And just completed UK coast to coast on bike for cancer research! It gets better!
  • lornal
    lornal Member Posts: 428
    Not fully recovered - but okay with that

    I have not fully recovered from my second bout with H&N cancer.  It has been almost 18 months, and I doubt I will.

    A lot more scatterbrainded, less endurance.  I am only working part time now, as I want to be able to give my company (employee owned!) the quality work they pay me for.  Any more than 8 hours a day or 3 days a week (not contiguous), they wouldn't get their money's worth, nor would I be doing my health any good.

    But, I am happy were I am in my recovery.  I have the time to do things I want to do, and spend time with my family - or even by myself (we all need that!)

    So, while not fully recovered, definitely a full life.

    Lorna

    2007 & 2014

  • Duggie88
    Duggie88 Member Posts: 760 Member
    PM

    Other than being abi-normal?

    I was on high blood presure meds but since treatment I have been off. I also use to have sleep apnea, my wife claimed I snored and stopped breathing. Since the operation I have been off the machine. The surgeon did tell me he would take care of the apnea. Plus I have a different outlook on life. In a few minutes I plan on having the second cup of coffee  while sitting outside in the woods with my 4 legged friend I'll look up and say thanks.

    Enjoy the day

          Jeff

  • Purplemountain
    Purplemountain Member Posts: 119
    Thank you everyone

    thank you everyone for taking your time in sharing your experience. Your personal  testimonials are very inspiring. 

     

    PM

  • MrsBD
    MrsBD Member Posts: 615 Member
    Full Recovery

    Full or nearly full recovery is possible. With all the new advances in therapy, full recovery is probably more common today. My cancer went misdiagnosed for about two years as my body continued to rebel. Today I feel so much better than three years ago. My blood pressure, blood sugar, blood counts, and weight are good again, and my energy is coming back. The hair that was lost to radiation treatment is growing back even though they said it would not. I can eat almost any food, but have little desire for sweets, which is an awesome side effect. There are little annoyances like having to be very mindful when swallowing, doing daily neck and tongue exercises, or not being able to sing, but I'm very greatful that God granted me a return to health. I'm praying for the same for you!

  • Mikemetz
    Mikemetz Member Posts: 465 Member
    Two kinds of recovery for me
    I have recovered from cancer fully--NED for 6+ years. However, I am still struggling to recover from my treatments, especially the rads. I had a left jaw resection a year ago, due to ORN--which has not healed fully. So, back for another surgery in 10 days. They are not expecting to do a resection on the other side, but that is still a possibility.

    But, otherwise I lead a good abi-normal life, with very few things off limits to me.

    Mike
  • Greg53
    Greg53 Member Posts: 849
    Mikemetz said:

    Two kinds of recovery for me
    I have recovered from cancer fully--NED for 6+ years. However, I am still struggling to recover from my treatments, especially the rads. I had a left jaw resection a year ago, due to ORN--which has not healed fully. So, back for another surgery in 10 days. They are not expecting to do a resection on the other side, but that is still a possibility.

    But, otherwise I lead a good abi-normal life, with very few things off limits to me.

    Mike

    Yep - Totally

    PM,

    At times, especially since some of my best friends have succombed to this shixxy disease, I don't always post my positive results. I also saw a post from ElaineH asking the same question.  So here goes:

    I was diagnosed in January of 2010 - Stage IV with bi-lateral mets.  They found 11 lymph nodes with cancer, 10 on one side, 1 on the other.  There was more than likely more on the second side, but due to the lymph nodes wrapping around both jugular veins, that was all they removed.  Comes to find out you can't survie with both jugulars gone, so they only took one out.  My ENT surgeon, who has worked on a few others here, is a great guy and is usually very positive.  My wife told me later  that he came out of the operating room with tears in his eyes because my cancer was much worse than he anticipated and he didn't give me a very good chance of making it. 

    That was 5 years ago.  I lost 75# during TX and was 1 1/2 years in recovering.  I have gained weight back (hopefully healthy weight).  I exercise daily, hiking a great deal, kayaking and other things I enjoy such as fishing and travelling with my wife and friends.  I try and give back when I can and volunteer when I have time.  Physically I can't say I'm better than I was, but then again I'm 5 years older.  BUT I feel great and there is nothing I can't do or at least try.  Just went on an 18 mile hike thru some rough country outside of town.  Rehabbing an old house (just retired) and had to cut down several trees - split 3 cords of wood last week.  So, yes physically you can come back.  More important is attitude.  I try to be the best person I can be now and don't fret the petty stuff. One of my heroes on this board, Marine, always says he tries to do something nice for someone each day (paraphrasing here).  I'm not as good a guy as he is, but I'm trying.  Do I have issues - yes.  But luckily mine are minor. 

    PM, ElaineH and all the other newbies - no gurantees on anything, but with the way the medical profession has progressed on this disease, there is no reason not to anticipate a full recovery. 

    Positive thoughts to everyone!

    Greg