My Neck Dissection and results; not what my SO and I was expecting.



I had a selective Neck dissection to remove about 6 or 7 remaining lymph nodes in the right part of the neck (The rest were destroyed by Radiation in Sep to Nov. 2016), as well as The following parts of mouth all on Right side:   BOT, Tonsil, glossopharyngealand the right posterolateral pharyngeal wall, plus unexpectedly (when I was openeded up), a largish amout of cancerous cells outside the area with 1 cm or 0.5 cm of SO's saftey margin around the main tumor seen in MRI imaging. There were 2 surgeons (1 SO and 1 restorative surgeon), and 1 pathologist working real time on what the SO passes to him. The larish amount of cancerous cells outside the area of operation (new to SO when he opened me up) were pointed out by pathologist, when he noticed cancer hiding in between and underneath tissues in the outer boundary of SO's initial safety margin operation plan. Thse extended all the way to floor of voice box, and I am thanfull my SO saved my voicebox in the process. 

After surgery he explained to me that he was not shocked by the way the cancer had recurred in such a tricky way, however he did call it it one of the trickiest recurrences he has seen for some time. He said when patients ar radiated and cancer returns it does not just recur, in the original site, it goes all over. (my original cancer was treated with radiation in 2016). The SO was very happy with what he saw and told me that it differed sharpley with my MRI, based on which he put together his surgery plan. The largest tumor visible in Mri meeasured 1.0 x 0.7 x 3.7 cm, whereas the actual size of that tumor was 5.8 X 2 X 0.6 cm.

Before the operation he was even tellling me if we get 99.99% negative margins no furthrer treatment will be needed. Now he is talking about chemo, immunotherapy and even perhaps going back to evil radiatin. I was hospitalized for 10 days. The operation (SO and restorative surgeon) took 11 hours. and I don't know where I am headed to. He said he will discuss my case with the tumor board of Stanford health care and we have a consultation on 10/15/18, at which time he'll tell me about my opyions.





  • Curlyn
    Curlyn Member Posts: 189
    I'm sorry that this happened

    I'm sorry that this happened to you but it sounds like your docs are on top of it. I had radiation twice and it wasn't the end of the world (though it felt like it at the time!). Immunotherapy is having very good results. Hang in there. One step at a time. Hugs!

  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 2,341 Member
    Well Sir

    You are certainly going through a tough period and the unexpected. My heart goes out to you as I read your story. It does sound like your doc is pretty satisfied with the way things turned out even though it was not as he expected pre-operation. It also sounds like you are handling it as well as a person can. Try to keep a positive attitude going forward to the 15th and stay focused on beating this the rest of the way. I'm sure they will have a plan to get you clear of this disease. You are part way there, stay positive, trust your medical team but don't be afraid to input your opinion and ideas and view of your treatment plan. Wishing you the best-God Bless-Saying a prayer for you and your medical team-Russ