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Cancer Has Returned

Posts: 97
Joined: Feb 2010

It has been quite some time since I have posted or been on this website. I have received much good advice and shared with others suffering head and neck cancer issues in the past on here. I was diagnosed in December of 2006 with pharyngeal cancer. I had a neck dissection and thirty five radiation treatments and chemo once a week for seven weeks. Even though I have suffering many effects of the treatment including burned up thyroid gland, destroyed saliva glands, problems with my teeth, dry mouth, swallowing problems and others I have been cancer free for going on six years now. To make a long story short it was discovered during a visit to have my esophagus stretched that my cancer has returned. Needless to say I was very shocked as my doctor had examined me just three months prior to this and did not see any cancer. I am scheduled to have a PET scan and a CT scan this week and then meet with a head and neck surgeon to see what my prognosis is. I do know that my cancer typically spreads to the lungs with no lymph node system to trap it. According to my doctor the cancer is back in the same area it was previously discovered. I have vowed due to everything in terms of side effects treatment and surgery caused that I would never fight this again if it re-occured. I do want some quality time left and is there anyone that could possibly tell me how much time I may have left without treatment. I am a person of faith and know God can perform miracles and only God really knows truly how much time I have left. I just would like to know how much time I might have if God does not perform a miracle for me. All my personal affairs are pretty much handled but again do I have any quality time left. I know it is my doctors responsibility with the oath they take to do something to save or extend my life and I understand this. This however is a decision I must make if necessary. I am a old coach who always has a game plan and I just want to complete my game plan. Please is there any advice anyone can give me.

Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1511
Joined: Nov 2011

I'm sorry I can not help. Kind of a newbie at all this (9 months post tx for base of tongue stage III) ...others will be along.

But I did whisper a prayer you have that miracle and do not even have to go through tx. Tx are your decision, but you sure sound like a man who can handle it again if needed. :)



ToBeGolden's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Aug 2010

Everyone must make his/her own decision about which fork in the road to take. I will support your choice no matter what it might be. (I may be making the very same choice for myself in the near future.) I hope and pray that we can be informed about our choices. The way I think: the more choices the better.

If you rule out conventional therapy, there are always the alternative therapies to look at. Rick.

Posts: 761
Joined: Apr 2012

My husband's cancer returned after only 12 months and he had said after treatment the first time, he wouldn't do it again. Well guess what he did fight it again with another 35 radiation and 7 chemo treatments since the second time we were told inoperable due to location and first radiation treatment. First laryngeal, second cervical of the esophagus, which when I researched is a rare spot for cancer. He has been NED since treatment ended and a PET/CT scan in October. Not saying it has been easy because it hasn't and side effects basically the same from the first time. Able to swallow again but still has a feeding tube just in case his throat closes off again. Dilation and scope done in in mid-October.

Your decision to undergo treatment will be yours and yours alone but whatever your decide, wishing you the best. But don't make any decision until the PET/CT scan and you see exactly what is going on. My husband has been lucky both times as there was no spread anywhere else. The doctor said the second cancer was a primary and not a reoccurrance.


ggpierce's picture
Posts: 30
Joined: Oct 2011

I am with those who say Never, Never, Never give up. Give everything, but up. I do know the frustrations, the sickness, the mouth problems, I have had it all. 3 TIMES. I was diagnosed in 1988 again in 1989, skipped 18 years then hit again with a different kind of cancer (just to make it interesting this time) I beat it down too. I have lingering side effects still, but I am on the green side of the grass and just refuse to give up.

You say your an old coach. Well listen to some of what Vince had to say.

Stay with it, and fight!

I wish you nothing but Victory.

Greg P
3X survivor

luv4lacrosse's picture
Posts: 1410
Joined: Jul 2010

I was two months shy of being cancer free for two years, SCC right tonsil with mets to 34 nodes in my neck, but one must have gotten by the goalie, as I have mets to my right lung and nodes in my Mediastynum. I am just about half way through a 24 week clinical trial, and by all accounts, I am doing OK. My first 6 week scan showed that the tumors in my lung did not shrink, but have definitely changed in appearance, indicating the drugs are working. I have my second 6 week scan Dec. 11 and am hoping to see some shrinkage or more good changes in appearance.

My Dx is not cureable, but treatable, and I am trying to cope with that, which is hard. I have chosen to go see a Psychiatrist who specializes on Oncology related depression and coping to get some help. Sucks to be 48 and facing this, but I choose to fight on, and I hope you do too.



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