Just joined today - but diagnosed Aug 2014 and now cancer-free!

Not sure why I never got around to joining early on - but I've been reading here the past year.  All the details are in my about-me page - but in a nutshell - I was diagnosed at age 45 with SSC/Base of Tongue - HPV Neg - I had seven weeks of Cisplatin and radiation and ultimately a conservative neck dissection.  I had a Peg tube from the beginning (Best decision I ever made).  I lost about 3/4 of my Epiglottis to Cancer - but am able to eat and drink pretty well.  Just have to be careful with certain foods.  I never smoked or was ever around it and do not drink - so the cause of my is basically unknown.    My main issue right now is the thick saliva thing, but it's not really that bad.   Anyway-  just wanted to introduce myself...

Comments

  • MarineE5
    MarineE5 Member Posts: 1,029 Member
    Welcome

    Kate,

    Welcome to the club no one wants to join as Phannie usually states here. I am glad to read that you are doing well except for the thick saliva, hopefully this too will pass. Yes, be careful with your foods and make sure you chew well. I have choked a few times over the years when I don't pay attention.

    My Best to You and Everyone Here

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    Welcome to the H&N Group

    Welcome to the group, and as always, sorry you need to be here. 
    The top reasons for getting H&N Cancer:

    #1 Tobacco products

    #2 Excessive use of Alchol

    #3 HPV +

    #4 Acid Reflux [GURD]

    #5 No Reason, you just did.

    I would guess you got #5, sometines there is just no reason but it happened. The most important thing is what you do now you have it. It seams you have done the righr thing and went at it hear on and fought the beast. 

    My Epiglottis did not work right because of the cancer and the tumor was pressing on my left voical cord, and causing lots of bleeding, and my lungs are not good [COPD] so we had our larynx remover and 86 lymph glands remover as a precaution. It worked and I'm great because of it. Diidn't really have any choise if I wanted to stay above ground. They even gave me a prosthesis so I can still talk. I think some regrete that dission some times as I can get long winded. LOL

    Glad to here you are doing good, and remember. We are always open 24/7

    Bill

  • MrsBD
    MrsBD Member Posts: 615 Member
    Welcome

    It's okay; we don't penalize tardies. Welcome to the group. We' ve traveled similar paths. I was diagnosed July 23, 2014 and like you, I'm a #5 according to Bill's analysis. I do feel pretty blessed to be just about back to normal. Hopefully you can add your experiences to help the newcomers in this battle.

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,722 Member
    most welcome

    Kate,

    Welcome to the H&N forum, now that you have joined you can throw your two cents in.

    I read about you (Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day) and if you had waited till Monday to join you could have thrown in Labor Day, but then again we would have missed not knowing you a little longer.

    And about those “best hands”, there must be more than one pair because I thought my doctors had them too.

    Lastly, at 3.5 years post my spit is definitely thick.  I have found that it works pretty good as a lubricant when  I need to push a hose on fitting.

    Keep moving forward.

    Matt

  • debbiejeanne
    debbiejeanne Member Posts: 3,102 Member
    hello, Kate, and welcome to

    hello, Kate, and welcome to the family.  we're glad you decided to talk.  i'm very excited that you are done with tx and back to living.  you are one more to show the newbies that is can and will be done.  i hope you will stick around.

    God bless you,

    dj

  • Carolinagal4
    Carolinagal4 Member Posts: 22

    hello, Kate, and welcome to

    hello, Kate, and welcome to the family.  we're glad you decided to talk.  i'm very excited that you are done with tx and back to living.  you are one more to show the newbies that is can and will be done.  i hope you will stick around.

    God bless you,

    dj

    Hi Kate,
    it sounds like you

    Hi Kate,

    it sounds like you and I have a lot in common.  I am 45 and I live in Apex and I am also going through treatment at Duke--who was your surgeon?  I was diagnosed this spring with SCC of the oral tongue--non-smoker, didn't drink much, HPV negative. I just finished radiation and chemo (cisplatin) 5 weeks ago--I will have the PET-CT scan the last week of October to determine if I will need surgery or not.

    So excited to hear that you made it through this and are on the other side now!

    Cathy

  • Kent Cass
    Kent Cass Member Posts: 1,898 Member

    Hi Kate,
    it sounds like you

    Hi Kate,

    it sounds like you and I have a lot in common.  I am 45 and I live in Apex and I am also going through treatment at Duke--who was your surgeon?  I was diagnosed this spring with SCC of the oral tongue--non-smoker, didn't drink much, HPV negative. I just finished radiation and chemo (cisplatin) 5 weeks ago--I will have the PET-CT scan the last week of October to determine if I will need surgery or not.

    So excited to hear that you made it through this and are on the other side now!

    Cathy

    Hello

    Like Marine said- I echo what Phrannie always says. And, like Matt, I read your Profile story- just the facts, Ma'am, just the facts.

    One of the causes of C not mentioned above might apply to you, but also may not. When I first met with my Chemo Dr I was asked two questions:

    1) Do you smoke?

    2) Are you involved in agriculture?

    #2 is an often overlooked cause of C, perhaps for the greater good that allows the world to be fed, or perhaps not- the corporate farmer age would not exist without the herbicides and pesticides it uses to combat weeds and bugs that would harm crops and yields. I live in the midwest cornbelt, and my Dad managed Grain Elevators for a career. I did not take that path, but know much from him. I wonder if you, or any of your other C-positive, non-smoking relatives, live near any crop fields, or are involved in food production? Maybe not, but I'm just putting it out there that this is a leading, though seldom spoken of, cause for C.

     The area, which extends for many miles, where the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico- what do they call that? They call it "The Dead Zone." The reason for this is all the agriculture chemicals which eventually get washed all the way down into the Gulf, along with other pollutants. And I remember way back in the early-70s swimming in a creek, and when I got out it was like- What the heck? My hair was weird, like stiff and nothing like regular water would make it. My Dad told me it was from what the farmers were using in the fields. Now, take it a step further, and consider what all the wild animals drink from- such as Deer drinking from creeks and streams that get field run-off. You eat much Venison? Or fish? I live just a 1-1/2 block distance from the Mississippi, and no way would I eat river fish, though they say the cooking of those fish destroys all the bad chemicals from the water in the river. Ocean fish are not subject to this, but the majority of rivers are, I'm afraid. And then there's the subject of preservatives added to the food on our friendly neighborhood grocery store shelves...

    Just saying, Kate, that there are possibles beyond genetics for this to have happened to you, and those in your family for you to consider. And, by the way, CONGRATULATIONS for now being C-free.

    kcass

     

  • Crazymom
    Crazymom Member Posts: 339 Member
    joining

    Congratulations for joining and surviving for a year!  Glad your here.

  • Hi Kate,
    it sounds like you

    Hi Kate,

    it sounds like you and I have a lot in common.  I am 45 and I live in Apex and I am also going through treatment at Duke--who was your surgeon?  I was diagnosed this spring with SCC of the oral tongue--non-smoker, didn't drink much, HPV negative. I just finished radiation and chemo (cisplatin) 5 weeks ago--I will have the PET-CT scan the last week of October to determine if I will need surgery or not.

    So excited to hear that you made it through this and are on the other side now!

    Cathy

    Small world - At Duke Raleigh

    Small world - At Duke Raleigh I saw Dr. Yoo during Radiation.  My surgeon/ ENT guy is Dr Ramon Esclamado.  He's the Division Chief over at big Duke.  I see him for all my follow up appointment and absolutely love him.  I've also seen a Dr. Richard Scheer.  Hopefully the treatment was not too hard on you.  When I had my scan at three months, I still had some things glowing.  I was given the option of surgery or just waiting to re-scan.   I decided I was ready to be done and surgery really was not that bad. 

  • Carolinagal4
    Carolinagal4 Member Posts: 22
    Crazymom said:

    joining

    Congratulations for joining and surviving for a year!  Glad your here.

    Kate,
    it is a small world--my

    Kate,

    it is a small world--my doctors are Dr. Yoo and Dr. Scher. Glad to know your surgery was not that bad as I am really concerned about that possibility.

    It is so good to hear a local success story--thanks so much for posting!

    Cathy

  • Kate,
    it is a small world--my

    Kate,

    it is a small world--my doctors are Dr. Yoo and Dr. Scher. Glad to know your surgery was not that bad as I am really concerned about that possibility.

    It is so good to hear a local success story--thanks so much for posting!

    Cathy

    email

    Carolinagal14 - would love to keep in touch and answer any questions about surgery or whatever.  Send me an email at [email protected]