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MDA Visit

wolfen's picture
Posts: 1313
Joined: Apr 2009

Hello New Friends,

Hubby had his consult with MDA today. Every staff member was very caring and informative in regard to his welfare(just like the commercial shows it) LOL I'm not making fun of it, but it was a little overwhelming meeting doctor, financial advisor, oncology nurse, clinical advisor, and swallowing technician within a 90 minute span.

After the exam, doctor confirmed tongue cancer far in the back(hard for him to see) and 2 neck lymph nodes. He will be ordering CT(head and chest) with contrast and more labs. He will also confer with the various specialists required to provide optimal care. Together, they will decide on a treatment plan. It is not known yet whether surgery will precede or follow chemo and rads. Since there are a cardio and a pulmonary in the mix of specialists, a decision will be made regarding what to do about hubby's current A-Fib and a lung biopsy.
He was told to hold off on the dental work for now, until all consults have taken place.

Hubby does feel more comfortable(or as much as one could be) in this "all inclusive" setting. The one thing that surprised us is that there seemed to be few patients there. I expected the place to be running over with people. Of course, we are in Arizona(not Texas) and this is a relatively new center in this area. They also compete here with Mayo and CCoA.

Thanks to everyone who responded to my original post. It is good to know that insurance should cover the nutritional supplements. I got a few Kellogg's Breakfast drinks for now as his appetite is failing. Was hoping for the "phantom" gas card that ACS sometimes provides, but no funding for HN cancer in this neck of the woods. Heck of a time to be driving a big 4WD truck that stops at all gas stations.

So for now, will hang on with all fingers and toes crossed. Will post again when results are in or if my sanity starts to slip.



CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4300
Joined: May 2012


This all sounds familiar (starting up). On my start up visit, after the visit, after the exam, after the short video about me and my cancer, they snapped a picture of me for identification. I saw that picture and I looked like I had been in a wreck (which I virtually had). Why didn’t they take the picture when I first got there (and looked fresh hand hopeful).

For me the ENT helped me decide to operate first followed by rads and chemo (just incase some residual cells where left behind). With you having lived through similar circumstances before I expect this time to be easier, at least I hope so for the both of you.

There was a steady stream of patients at my cancer center, but not crazy busy. Rads goes by fast, it is the chemo which takes a while.

Remember to enjoy your meals together now, because around week 3 of rads (provided he has rads) he won’t care much about eating anything. Of course you mentioned he doesn’t have a great appetite right now, so that is a moot point.

Anyway, both of you try to relax, your plan is coming together and you will be in the thick of it soon enough. Don’t read too much about H&N cancer, it can be overly scary.



Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2196
Joined: Nov 2009

Good. I felt sooo much better when I had decided on a plan of action, and knew things would soon be kicking in. After scans were done, docs knew what treatments they'd recommend.

I, too, had base of tongue cancer, two lymph nodes affected. Keep breathing. Keep us updated.

Posts: 344
Joined: Sep 2012

Sounds alot like my husband's diagnosis. Base of tongue cancer with 3 positive lymph nodes on right and none positive on left. He had Tonsillectomy/Base of Tongue intraoral laser surgery with right lymph node dissection. Three weeks later had the left side done and then 7 weeks later had radiation/chemo to right neck.

It will all fall into place for you, as it did for us. The planning phase doesn't happen over night but having a team approach is a good way to go.

They will kick the cancer's butt...just you wait and see.

I know what you are going through.


phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4672
Joined: Mar 2012

your man is on the road to recovery!!! And yes, in the beginning you are swamped with appointments, consultations, plans...it's so much to take in when you're still trying to wrap your mind around the word "cancer".

MD Anderson is a great hospital...they have the newest and best of everything. Your hubby is in good hands.

We'll be here for updates, questions...even a rant if you need it...or if your sanity begins to slide downhill...we're good for all of it! :)


jcortney's picture
Posts: 503
Joined: Sep 2012

You are on the right road. MDA may seem like a factory but they have an incredible H&N record. I went there for my initial consultation and, as you will probably have also, their preferred treatment for BOT w/N2C is Induction Chemo followed by Chemo/Rads. Dr. Weber (head of H&N Surgery) rarely recommends surgery for Sq of the tongue.

I decided to have treatment close to home (Baylor Hospital Dallas) but it is CRITICAL, if you make this choice, to find a facility that does a lot of H&N treatment. My doc's tell me that most of the patients they loose come to them from a facility that was not experienced in H&N and the beast came back.

So, keep your heads up, this is a battle that you can win!

Joe Cortney
Dallas, TX

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