What A Difference a Day Makes-New Situation

wbcgaruss Member Posts: 1,982 Member
edited October 2022 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

I had a sore neck on the same side as previous lymph cancer August 30th. 

 I let it go about 5 days and it got better but didn't go away.

 Knowing my past cancer history I didn't wait any longer.

 I had an upcoming ENT appointment and I made it sooner.

I Asked if I should get a scan before the appointment.

 They set me up with a scan right away.

 I had a CAT with contrast scan on Friday September 9th.

On September 10th at 7pm I got a call from ENT at Hershey Medical Center to report into the ER that evening ASAP and start treatment for a condition found on scan.

I have had another CAT Scan and an MRI and am receiving antibiotics and steroids for the condition listed below. If you do a search you will find plenty of information on this.

Still in hospital and receiving treatment and not sure of release date yet but improving. 

I will update as I can and feel up to it. 

Take care God-bless Russ 

retropharyngeal abscess

A retropharyngeal abscess is a life-threatening collection of pus that forms in the back of the throat. It typically develops when the lymph nodes behind your throat become infected. They may have several causes, but a retropharyngeal abscess requires immediate medical attention.


  • MarineE5
    MarineE5 Member Posts: 1,023 Member


    I am glad you didn't hesitate to long before moving on your instincts. Wishing you the very best. Praying for a quick recovery . We need you here for all the good advice you send out to everyone.

  • mel_
    mel_ Member Posts: 4 Member

    Hang in the, Russ. Sending positive thoughts with hope for a speedy recovery your way.

  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 1,982 Member

    Thanks 👍 MarineE5 and mel_for your your thoughts, well wishes and prayers 🙏 it is appreciated.

    Take care God-bless Russ

  • ProustLover
    ProustLover Member Posts: 116 Member

    Russ - I'm so glad you're where you need to be, surrounded by expert help. So glad you got there quickly and didn't delay. We're keeping you (and your wife) close in our thoughts.

  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 1,982 Member

    ProustLover thanks for your kind words and positive thoughts 🙏 you are a good friend.

    Take care and God bless Russ 🙌 🙏

  • TawandaJ
    TawandaJ Member Posts: 27 Member

    Russ, I am so happy you took quick action and you are getting the treatment you need. Hang in there. You will continue to be blessed!! You have been so helpful in our time of need. I wish there was something more we could do.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery!


  • Remington25
    Remington25 Member Posts: 92 Member

    Russ ~ Thoughts and prayers headed your way. Thankfully you took action soon!!!!

  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 1,982 Member

    Tawanda & Remington thanks for your kind thoughts and prayers 🙏 it is appreciated.

    Take care 🙂 and God bless Russ

  • big G
    big G Member Posts: 164 Member

    Great that you moved quick. We all could learn from this. Prayers your way and god bless!

  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 1,982 Member

    Thanks, big G for your prayers and support. Appreciated.

    Take care, God Bless-Russ

  • Chillg8r
    Chillg8r Member Posts: 65 Member

    Another appreciative member of this community sending you best wishes for a speedy recovery……man, everyday is an adventure at our age, huh!!!!

  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 1,982 Member

    Thanks for your good wishes Chill, yes you never know what's around the corner.

    Take Care God Bless-Russ

  • Dagney1924
    Dagney1924 Member Posts: 30 Member

    Russ, I don't visit this forum often so I just saw this. I'm praying for your healing. It's a good thing you took quick action to get medical care.

    I saw this and thought it may be interesting so some on this forum.

    Genetically-engineered herpes virus can beat cancer, scientists find

    A genetically-engineered cold sore virus is the new hope to beat cancer after scientists found it could eradicate or shrink tumours in terminally ill patients.

    Patients were injected with the weakened form of the herpes simplex virus that has been modified to kill cancer cells in an early trial at the Institute for Cancer Research (ICR) in London.

    The injection is given directly into the tumour, attacking it in two ways — by invading the cells and making them burst and boosting the immune system.

    RP2 was tested on 39 patients with cancers including people suffering from skin, oesophageal and head and neck tumours. 

    A patient from West London has hailed the drug as a 'true miracle' after he was able to go back to work as a builder. 

    Overall, three out of nine patients treated with RP2 saw their tumours shrink. Seven out of 30 patients who received the drug and immunotherapy also got better.

    While larger studies are needed, the drug could offer lifeline for those with late stage cancer. 


  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 1,982 Member
    edited September 2022 #15

    Here is an UPDATE on my situation. All is good Now. Thank You for All Your Concerns and Well Wishes

    Thank you Dagney for your prayers and concern it is appreciated.

    My most recent happening was they thought I had A retropharyngeal abscess which is very serious and was told to report to the emergency room right away and check in to start treatment with antibiotics.

    This was on Sept. 10, 2022.

    I started receiving treatment of antibiotics as such for about 3 days when an MRI ordered by the spine team of the area revealed sort of a blank spot or a fluid area rather than an abscess as was first suspected. The spine team wanted to make sure no vertebrates had a chance of being affected.

    I am told this is due to the ravages of radiation treatment over time and aging, the gift that keeps on giving.

    While I was there my ENT questioned my swallowing ability and wanted me to get a swallow test which I agreed to.

    Unfortunately, it showed silent aspiration and I didn't do well on it.

    So then I agreed to a feeding tube being put in.

    Keep in mind I was fully eating when I went in but I can tell swallowing is not perfect.

    I tend to cough off and on while eating so I think that is protecting my lungs so far while I was in the hospital I had another chest x-ray and it shows my lungs are clear.

    I am going to try to balance formula with some lighter eating.

    I am scheduled with speech therapy to work on my swallowing ability.

    But my age and past radiation history I think work against me, we will see. I think they say as you age past radiation can affect you later in life.

    This can be removed easily if I get better.

    This will be a big help in keeping my weight up and staying healthy

    I finally got home Saturday 9-17-22 late afternoon.

    Still didn't feel well and was having issues with my medical supplier over formula and supplies doesn't help when you are trying to recover.

    I woke up Tuesday 9-20-22 and there was blood in my feeding tube, so I flushed it out but blood started coming back in.

    I called Hershey and the folks who put it in and of course here I go back up to the hospital again.

    Luckily a Doctor, the Surgeon who put it in and a third Doctor attended me and flushed old blood mostly out of my stomach and got it cleaned out and serviced around my feeding tube and used silver nitrate sticks to cauterize the area, and stopped all bleeding. The surgeon who put it in felt that the bleeding on the outside was following the tube into my stomach. I was released to go home after they determined that there was no active internal bleeding.

    I am so thankful to God for the way this worked out and I didn't have to be admitted back into the hospital.

    I am now back home and thank the Good Lord for watching over me.

  • Duggie88
    Duggie88 Member Posts: 756 Member

    Hi Russ

    Not being a frequent flyer I miss alot of posts and just saw this one today. Funny (not really) how we develop a new issue and it scars the pants off us until we find out it is not cancer as we once thought but none the less we get treatment for a new issue and we are back on the path of life. But it seems you decided to add issues as you went along. I am glad you're home and doing better and hopfully looking forward to having the tube yanked. Being almost thirteen years past my treatment I notice changes in my mechanics while eating and I can't help thinking how much more change is in the future. Time will tell.

    Take care Russ, and I hope you are back to your norm sooner than later.


  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 1,982 Member

    Thanks, Duggie for checking in on me, good to hear from you. Sometimes we never know what's coming but hopefully not much except enjoying life. This one surprised the heck out of me, I never saw it coming. As you say it is just a great blessing the way it turned out even though it was a little rough on me at least it was NOT cancer.

    Take Care God Bless-Russ

  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 1,982 Member

    Update, another quick update--

    9/30/22 New update

    I went to see a speech therapist yesterday. This was an appointment my ENT made for me and I was told about it as part of my hospital release info.

    This is another part of my situation and I think as a teaching hospital they offer more in-depth overall treatment and general coverage of different angles of your recovery.

    At least in this particular situation, I see it but I am sure with each patient a little different it is a case-by-case evaluation.

    Speech therapists do all things speech, swallowing, breathing, etc. I have a lady with many years of experience and she spent a lot of time with us in the first meeting, explaining things, examining me a bit, and answering questions we had. I am now set up to see her Tues. and Thursdays the whole month of October for therapy. Also doing Biofeedback and something else called IOPI I think it has to do with tongue strength and evaluation. They offer a lot so it should be interesting and I am hoping very helpful to me.

    Take Care God Bless-Russ