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Things are progressing

jcortney's picture
Posts: 503
Joined: Sep 2012

Well folks been some happenings around here in the last week or so.  The big item is that I had my G-Tube and Port removed.  More of a psychological than physical change.  It just felt so damn good to have my body back to where it was before all this started, although much thinner and almost no muscle.  It's almost hard to believe that over 7 months have gone by since treatment started.  Solid food is coming slowly, but it is coming.  Tonight I ate my first piece of chicken (roasted) and some mashed potatoes and corn.  Actually got one bite of corn bread down.  Lots and lots of water of course :)

My big day is Monday.  It's first PET scan day.  All my doc's are convinced that nothing will be found, I just wish I could be as sure as they are.

To all of you that are going through treatment or about to start, you can do this.  It's a B$tch and there will be days you will ask yourself if you are going to make it, but I'm living proof, along with a whole lot of other folks hanging out here, that you can do it.  I only made it because of the help and support I got here and the lesson that you just have to take it one day at a time.

I'll let you know how it goes on Tuesday when I see the doc.

Joe Cortney

SCC BOT N2C Stage 4

CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4301
Joined: May 2012


Glad to hear you are fine or in the words of Skiffin “you’ve been deported” and removed your snaky little friend.  It also sounds like your swallowing has improved, great!

Keep healing,


Billie67's picture
Posts: 843
Joined: Jul 2012

So good to hear that you are getting back to normal. I guess I don't need to tell you that it's a slow process :-)
You sound like you are doing well tho.

It's so normal to be nervous about these darn scans and we all know that but boy when it's our turn we suddenly forget what we preach to our friends haha
I trust that you will be clear just as your doctors do.
Please keep us posted......

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4672
Joined: Mar 2012

Tube gone....check.  Port gone...double check.....4 days till scan, where you ARE going to find out everything is clear and clean.....nothing left to do but start testing the food supply Laughing.  You're a better man than I to get down chicken....I can't do it yet....and cornbread (even one bite...whoo).....how's the taste aquaintences?  Are they improving, too? 

Scans are nerve wracking, so just for extra insurance, you can join the party in my pocket....


Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1511
Joined: Nov 2011

I was BOT as well...one lymph node invovled....15 months out and still getting clear CT's...hey, at least you get a PET!! :)


Whispered a prayer all is good and clean (bet it will be) ...enjoy the food ....


Posts: 1914
Joined: May 2012


So happy to hear things are moving ahead.  Try to relax the wk. end, and I'm praying for an all clear on the PET.    Katie 

jcortney's picture
Posts: 503
Joined: Sep 2012

Matt, yes swallowing has improved although food does get stuck somewhere between the bot and my epiglttis.  ENT said both are still really swollen and they trap food.  Takes an ocean to get the food unstuck (or one glass of milk) :).

Billie, if I ever listen to my own advice I'd be either really rich or dead, not sure which.

Phrannie, stranges thing is I never lost my taste.  Everything tasted strange/different/bad at different times during therapy but I never "lost my taste".  Right now, most things taste like they should (except ice cream, tastes terrible.  Kind of like Matt's wall board).  The thing is I can only eat so little before I fill up and DRY UP.  I get so dry half way through chewing something that the effort is almost not worth the reward.  The key word there was "almost".

Hiya Tim, I agree on the fortunate description.  My doc believes in early (and often) scans.  He had me do a CT (full body) at six weeks out and I will be three months on Monday.  So far the insurance company (UHC) hasn't burped so I'm not going to rock the boat.  Actually, UHC has been pretty amazing to me all thoughout this process.

Katie,  Thanks for the prayers.  To keep my self occupied I went out and bought myself a new (used) car so I have something to learn and tinker with all weekend.


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

I knew you had it in you, now you don't....

You're lucky on the "de-port", my onco likes to leave the port in for two years... Now there's a confidense builder huh, being the first two years are the milestone years... I actually ended up having my port (actually I still have it, just in a zip-lock bag, LOL) for 2 1/2 years before they took it out.

Three months isn't too bad for a time frame on the first PET..., hopefully you'll be good to go.

I had my first around that time frame and had no problems with residual...




rachel12yrsuv's picture
Posts: 435
Joined: Feb 2013


Congratulations! Its abit shocking how they pull feeding tube out ain't it. The 1st one after treatment, I passed out, when the time comes for this one as swallowing progresses, I need to be numb or out of it! I'm serious!

Your Pet scan will be good, don't worry(haha like that ever happens with us!) Your doctors would not be that positive if they thought there was a chance, trust me they are good at covering their butts!

You are not SCC BOT N2C STAGE4, you my friend are a SURVIVOR who had that! Get used to your new and permient title!

God Bless you friend,


debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

joe, congrats on losing the tube and port.  thats a big step.  wtg with the dinner!!  its always good when u can eat.  saying a prayer for a scan of NED!!!

God bless,


cureitall66's picture
Posts: 911
Joined: Aug 2012

Glad to hear that things are progressing. The food types are going to take some time. Kreg is 4 months out and can eat just about anything except the hard chewing things (certain meats and breads). Everything is followed with about a gallon or so of water..Laughing.  Taste is pretty much back to normal. 

Our thoughts and prayers will be with you during your scan.


Dx: Aug 2012 BOT, 2 lymph nodes, Stage IV, HPV16+

Tx: Oct 2012-Dec 2012. 7 wks Rads & Chemo (Carboplatin & Paclitaxel) No surgery.

We are NED!!!


donfoo's picture
Posts: 1644
Joined: Dec 2012

Thanks Joe for checking in. As most who start active here, then get into the trenches of the day to day chemo-radio therapies, finding time and energy to post often becomes scarcer.

I always have you in my sights as I follow you in this journey. You have done great getting through it all and I know your scan will be fine. All your responses have been going the right way so why expect any course deviation at this point, right?

Take care


hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

Great news to have gotten rid of port and g-tube....good thoughts and prayers for a clean scan...I have a very good feeling for you!

peggylulu's picture
Posts: 375
Joined: Dec 2012

Wow you are doing great ! I too have lost almost all of my muscle ! I am 6 months out of tx and still cannot manage to get any meat down ! I do manage to eat corn bread with beans and a LOT of bean juice ! Please keep us updated but I have a feeeling you will be NED on Monday !

I have been wanting to ask you ever since I saw your name on here and that you live in Texas do you have a cousin named Mark McClendon ? Just wonder because we are friends with him and I believe he had an Uncle Joe Cortney .



jcortney's picture
Posts: 503
Joined: Sep 2012

Peggy, sorry but I don't know him. 


michdjp's picture
Posts: 214
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi joe,

my dads only wish for Xmas this year was to have his feeding tube out and he did get that wish granted.  He said to me that he felt almost human again! For Xmas that year my brothers and sister surprised him With a puppy dauschound.  He named it buttons.  

(My 5 year old called my dads feeding tube his button..so he decided to name the dog button!!!  

Anyway I am so glad you are without your tube as well and when you said it was more psychological Than physiCal I couldn't help but share that story.  

I wish you continued healing.


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