I am from Southern Illinois. I am 64 years young! My wife and I will celebrate our 40th anniversary in Dec. My wife is a survivor of oral and breast cancer. Her initial diagnosis was in 2005. She is my hero!

In early July I was diagnosed with stage 2 squamous cell at the base of my tongue. I was revered to Siteman Cancer Center for surgery. I had surgery at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.  The tumor was removed on August 5th. I spent a week in the hospital. Still recovering. Outside of some jaw and swallowing pains, I am doing good.  Tomorrow is my initial visit with the radiation oncologist.

I am fortunate to have a wonderful support system. I certainly would like any and all advise as well as encouragement. Thanks 


  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,722 Member


    Glad to see you again.  Because i made so much sense earlier, I will just repeat myself.

    Welcome to the H&N forum, sorry that you are here, but maybe we can fill in the blanks.  Tomorrow, if your treatment is similar to most of us, your doctor will recommend a series of radiation applications to the areas with cancer or cancer potential areas.  How much radiation you receive and how your body reacts to radiation will determine the path  you follow.  A few H&N members hit the outer limits for a lot or a little side effects, but most of us land in the middle with throat, mouth and tongue discomfort, lost sense of taste, dislike for the way food feels and a variety of sores, burns, constipation and difficulty swallowing and eating, to name a few.

    To get maximum traction you should start a new thread and introduce yourself (which you did).  Also, take a peek inside of the superthread for all the relevant cancer stuff.

    Good luck,


  • Fritz
    Fritz Member Posts: 106
    Hello and Welcome!

    As Matt has already stated, everyone is different in how they heal from this treatment. I was diagnosed on 3/1/16 with Stage IVA Tonsil Cancer. Had surgery on 4/20/16 to remove both tonsils, some tongue base and parts of my soft palate. I also had a modified radical neck dissection where 1 cancerous lymph node was removed as well as 23 non-cancerous nodes.  After 6 weeks to heal from surgery, began 33 radiation treatments over 7 fields and 6 Cisplatin chemo treatments which lasted until 7/15/16.  In some areas I was lucky (never lost my sense of taste) and in others not so lucky (still dealing with excess mucous today).  As you progress through your treatments, you will experience various issues.  At that time ask for help on this site as it will server you well.  I credit this site in many ways in the way I was able to make it through this experience.

    Again, reach out to the members on this site with any questions you may have.


  • Barbaraek
    Barbaraek Member Posts: 626
    edited August 2016 #4

    Wow, I can't believe head and neck lighting struck twice in your family. I'm so sorry you have to be here, but glad you have found us. as you know from your wife's experience...oral cancer is no picnic, but it can have a good outcome. One of the best ways to get an overview is to read the superthread in the beginning of this forum. Also you can search specific topics using the search box. If you post a specific question...chances are you will get some response here. We are open 24/7 for encouragement and support. Keep us posted and we will all be wishing you the best.


  • Mgbfoster
    Mgbfoster Member Posts: 18
    Thanks for the words of encouragement.

    I appreciate having somewhere that I can gain both knowledge and support. My consoltation went well. I start treatment in 2 weeks. I will have 30 treatments.

    We in Southern Illinois are fortunate to have a brand new state of the art cancer treatment facility.

    Thanks again and I look forward to communicating with you all.

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    edited August 2016 #6
    Welcome to H&N group

    Welcome, and also sorry you need to be here. I will let the others answer your radiation questions as I only had surgery. Mine was Stage 3 larynx and had it removed and neck dissection on both sides. I'm just short of 3 years and cancer free. Which is really good considering only 5 thought I would make it. Two from work out of 250 believed in me. I also have stage 3 COPD, yet I ride my bicycle 12 - 17 miles every day. When you want to say, I can't, just add "Yet" to the end. You are much stronger than you know. 

    I will say that you are not alone in this journey. It is a rough road you are going down, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Many here have BOT and have been on that journey, and you will do fine. Just get the attitude you will beat anything as it does really help you get through it. Just take one day at a time, and never give up. Oh, stay hydrated and keep sipping water, you can forget how to swallow, I did.