The C: Section Chronicles - 6 years later

Bob Watt
Bob Watt Member Posts: 60 Member
edited March 31 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

It's been a while.

Yes it has been that long. yesterday I had my final ultra sound scan at the bequest of the ENT.

It is hard to believe that 6 and a half years ago a lump was discovered on my neck, which started this adventure (as recorded in the Chronicles which I am going to collate into a full document sometime.)

Reflections are great things and one reflection I have is when the oncologist told me that without treatment I'd be lucky to have two years at most. Although I hummed and haaa'd for a day about having chemo, I put my big boy pants on and decided that I'd have any and all treatment on offer. Six years late I'm pleased to say it was the right choice.

It hasn't been all plain sailing as recovery was long and painful, but I got through that. I contracted sepsis for the second time, had a heart attack and stent 3 and a half years ago, and still get a stiff neck from the radiation treatment, and cannot sleep on my right hand side lest I get vertigo. Dry mouth is persistent, but I cope with that by chewing gum during the day, and only occasionally wake up to have a drink of water. I have to be careful when eating cos I have a tendency to choke on some foods.

I've had numerous scans since the treatment as the ENT try to figure out the problems. Needless to say I'm no longer under their care now, except if the ultra sound shows any anomalies.

The saddest thing about this adventure, many people I had met during treatment have since passed away. Several friends have also gone too. This is part of life and I accept that. I'm 71 in a few months and often wonder what the future will be. best not to dwell on it and be glad we don't know the future I guess.

Anyway I have a good loving and supportive family and for that I am eternally grateful. Love to you all as always


  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 1,981 Member

    Hello, Bob, so glad you have stopped by and given us an update.

    As you bring to account it’s been six and one-half years since the start of your cancer journey with the discovery of the lump in your neck. I bet you are surprised by how fast the time has gone by, I know I am, and as you probably will agree as we get older the faster it goes by.

    My first cancer was discovered a bit over 10 years ago in late November of 2012 and the time has just zipped by.

    I urge you to do your Chronicles and make it into a full document, don’t wait, it will be fulfilling to you and helpful to others.

    I am so glad you made it through the full treatment, and you took it all, whatever was recommended to eradicate your cancer, I agree it was the right decision. We want to hit our cancer with everything necessary and make it a one-shot deal.

    You certainly have had your tough times in treatment and recovery like most of us, and then a heart attack besides, and weathered it all.

    You have your share and then some of the leftovers from treatment and then some. I always said going through this treatment, they will get rid of your cancer but nobody comes out on the other side without having some sort of side effects. Unfortunately, that's all part of it, to save your life there are some other effects we have to deal with the rest of our lives.

    Bob I would like to recommend that you make sure the gum you chew has the ingredient Xylitol as near the top of the ingredients as possible. It means it has a fairly good quantity of Xylitol which helps stimulate saliva. Also for nighttime, if you are a bit dry try Xylimelt lozenges which adhere to the side of your gum or tooth and slowly dissolve keeping your mouth moist.

    So it appears you are past the period of regular scans but you may want to ask your care team if a CT Scan with a contrast of the H&N area and chest once a year would be a good idea for you in your case. Some doctors recommend this especially if they feel their patient is at possible risk for a recurrence or a new cancer. I myself was almost five years out when I got a new cancer on my tongue. A surprise to me because the thinking is when you make five years you pretty much have it made past any worries.

    I agree Bob, the passing of friends and others we have become close to because of this illness can be hard on us and make us think why am I still here and they are gone? I have posted two memorials on here both within a short time of one another in late 2022 and we never seem to forget them and the help and support they have given us.

    Bob, I am glad you have solid support and are just looking ahead and moving forward and enjoying life you are truly, like many of us Blessed so greatly.

    Wishing You the Best

    Take care, God Bless-Russ