New Guy Starting Chemoradiation treatment tomorrow... Yikes!
I am am new to this site and a first time poster. I would first like to say a quick thank you all of you who are on here and continue to post valuable information and answer other various questions concerning all things H&N cancer related. I have already learned a lot from all your many posts and I really appreciate it.
Here is my story, first off I am 39 years old, married to an amazing women for 11 year with two beautiful boys. Back in June I noticed a lump in my right neck, I thought it was a little strange but not to concerned as I had been dealing with allergies all year I assumed it was related but I did keep an eye on it. I read on the Internet not to freak out and give it 6 weeks and if it had not gone down or gone away I should go have it checked out by a doc. So that what I did and 6 weeks later no noticeable change was seen. So I went to a Doc-in-the-box to get checked out, I don't even have a PCP because I never get sick, they looked me over and said yea you've got something there you better go to a general surgeon and have them take a closer look, so I did. First a CT scan said it was probably nothing just looked like a cyst then a FNA biopsy which two days later on 8/13/15 revealed SCC. I was then sent to the local ENT surgeon the next day for an oral exam and no signs of cancer or primary tumor was seen. He recommended that I undergo a tonsillectomy (both tonsils) and a modified radical neck dissection. After that he said i would need chemo and radiation as a follow up treatment and if I did all that he felt like I would have about an 80% chance of being cancer free or as I am learning NED after 5 years. Which all in all didn't sound too bad although I had no idea what any of these treatments would be like or how they will change my life. I of course went for a second opinion (which I will always reccomend for anyone) on everything at the nearest cancer center which was at a University hospital. They pretty much confirmed and reccomend all the same treatment of course they first had to try and locate the primary tumor and see how many/much lymph nodes were involved.
So I had the surgery a week after diagnosis on 8/20/15 it was a very successful surgery. The primary tumor was found in the right tonsil as my ENT suspected and the tumor was completly removed with a negative margin although a very small margin. I had 17 nodes removed with 2 positive for cancer cells. There was extra capsular extensions in at least one lymph node And my tumor did test positive for HPV-16. I was diagnosed with T2N2b stage IVb SCC of the H&N. The first 10 days of surgery recovery was rough and I couldn't eat much because of an obvious sore throat but also because the doc took some biopsies from the back of my throat to include the base of my tongue and man that hurt worse than all of it put together. A big ouchy.
Since my surgery i once again recieved multiple opinions on the recommended Chemoradiation treatment and i have spent countless personal hours studying and researching this cancer it's treatment and any other possible homeopathic/naturopathic cures that might be out there. And although I find much of the natural homeopathic approaches compelling i ultimately decided to have the Chemoradiation treatment my medical doctors reccomend because it has the most 'statistically' favorable outcome.
I start my chemoradiation treatment tomorrow which will be cisplatin by IV once a week for seven weeks along with 32 Tomo(IMRT) radiation treatments. Broken down into the first 25 fractions of 2 gray each to the left and right head and neck area, pretty much from the cheek bone to the collar bone on both sides and then the last 7 fractions of 2 gray to just the right side, where the cancer was removed, right tonsil area and right mid neck.
i am curious to know if anyone else who had surgery first received their radiation in a similar dose/area as mine. I have read many stories from you all it appears most people receive more rad sessions (35 on average) and possibly to the both sides of the neck for all sessions?
I wish I could say that Im not scared of having this treatment but I cant. I am mostly scared of all the unknowns, short term and long term side effects of the treatment. I do have a strong faith in God and I know that he is going to get me through this in one piece because he is able.
Thanks for everything that you all have already contributed and for the support that you provide. I hope to be on the other end of this cancer one day soon and that I might help someone else who is in my shoes today.
PS: I am not having the PEG tube put in on the front end and I pray i don't regret it. I just couldn't bring myself to go there in my mind.
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