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Second Opinions

Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2004

My 77 year old father has been diagnosed with squamous cancer. There is a tumor on the left side of his neck (about the size of a golf ball). His history is 63 years as a heavy smoker (he quit 3 weeks ago), daily drinker with dentures. He just had major lung surgery two weeks ago as they saw a spot in his PET scan (they wanted to rule out lung cancer). Turned out it is NOT cancer. But now onto his throat which is positive for cancer (i.e., the tumor was diagnosed positive). The doctor is recommending we go to have the tumour removed, along with all his lymph nodes on the left side, both his tonsils and a biopsy of the back of his tounge. We still don't know where the cancer originated. We are told the surgical process will tell us. Said he will be in hospital 2-3 days max (we find this amazing). After the throat surgery they say radiation 5 days a week for 6 weeks (30 days) 15 minutes a day. We really like our doctor/surgeon but my family and I are wondering if we should go for a second opinion perhaps to Mayo or somehwere? Words of wisdom welcomed. Chris

Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2004

Dear Chris, I am a 66year old man, I have been through what your dad is starting. In the year 2000 whike coming home from vacation I noticed a Lump on the left side of my neck. At first they gave me antibiotics hoping it was a gland infection. Two weeks later I had a biopsy and I was diagnosed with SQUIMUS? (spelling) cell cancer. Afew days latter I was taken to examinating room where there was several doctors, they inserted a lens in my nostril and went down my throat, as they got to my voice box they located my problem. It is probably the ugliest thing I have ever seen. the picture that came up on the screen from the lens looked a round ugly red PIMPLE which happened to be bleeding at the time, it was the size a silver dollar. I was given two choices. 1.radiation and then check and see if I needed surgery. 2. surgery followed by 30 treatments of RADIATION. I discussed it with my Doctor and he said that with the tumor that had spread to my NECK he was recommending option #2. That is whay I went with, and I tell you it was HEII. And now that I have started my fourth year since my surgery I thank God that I have made this far, for I too was a heavy smoker and every time I see young people smoking I tell them and show them what it did for me and how addictive nicotine can be. Now let me tell you about the last three years. On Nov. 30 I was in surgery for 11 hours. they had to remove all my lymph nodes in my neck as the cancer had spread inside. I was in intensive care for three days. And then I spent five days in a hospital bed. I had a traich in my neck for five months and had to bed fed through a hose that was inserted in my nose to my stomach. I have a scar from one ear to the other. When the hose was removed I had to learn how to eat again, because they to remove my Galotic flap which controls your throat and lets it know when there is food or air coming in and channels it to your lungs or your stomach. However before they removed the traich I went for radiation 5 days a week for 6 weeks,6you dont feel any pain or any discomfort from the treatments, however they leave drained of streginth. I am a diabetic and over weight so it it was longer for me to recup, but the diabetes went away when I lost almost 75 pounds. the diabetes is back so are about40 pounds. When I was a young man I studied music and took voice lessons but if you heard my voice now you would pay me to shut up (haha) My beard never came back under my chin, I only have yo shave about a one inch line from ear to ear. If your dad goes to Radiation tell hin that nothing hurts just strange things like a mask for your face with no pain, it helps to hold your head still during radiation. any way I think I have told you every thing. By the way it took me about seven months to start eating normal again. after all this I know now what loving life is all about. By the way i prayed that I would make it because my daughter was giving birth to my first grand child in May 2001 and boy is she something. I will pray for your dad, if there is anything that you want to know and I can help you can answer on this message center. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS.

Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2004

You have really been though alot..Well we just found out my Dad has the same thing but they only gave him 3 to 6 months to live...They said they can't even do surg. because it is to far gone..they are going to do rad. on him only to make things alittle less painfull. Do you have any info that wound be wonderfull..thanks,

Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2004

Dear Polo- thank you so much for sharing your story. It inspired my father as well as my family. To all who read these threads, know that you are all our blessing. We are learning from everyone and we thank you all. Our big throat surgery is this Thursday (2/26/04) so your ongoing prayers of support are welcomed. Hopefully, we too, will be able to educate and share with new and "old" visitors in the coming months. Thank you again. Chris

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