Myturn's Journey with Invasive, Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Patient: Head & Neck/Throat Cancer > Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancer > Squamous Cell Carcinoma > Invasive

Patient Info: Newly diagnosed (has not begun treatment), Diagnosed: almost 4 years ago, Male, Age: 57, Stage III

  1. 1
    • Myturn
    • Experience with Invasive, Squamous Cell...
    about 3 years ago
    Myturn's Avatar


    Procedure or Surgery

    I started to shave before work last November and there was a huge lump on the side of my throat. My PCP sent me to have a fine needle aspiration biopsy of the lymph node. Squamous Cell and they didn't know where the primary tumor was. So, by 12/12/12 I was sitting with a radiation oncologist. T1N1 stage 3. I was told that without two types of chemo and 7 - 9 weeks of radiation, I would not see this coming Christmas. The chemo oncologist backed him up the next day and told me that I was too thin to handle it without a feeding tube. I started on alternative therapy while they looked for the primary tumor. When they found it in my tonsil, they said that it had no bearing that it tested positive for HPV. I had done my homework and knew better. I told the surgeon who had removed my affected lymph node and done the tonsil biopsy that I was not up for the torture and I was ready to die. It was now March and they wanted me to get started. I said no. They asked me if I would go in for a second opinion at a major teaching hospital. They hooked me up with the director of the otolaryngology department. He asked if they had tested for HPV. I said it was positive and he didn't get the paperwork. He got it the next day and said "Let's cut it out and send it all to pathology for their opinion". They did a radical tonsillectomy, partial pharyngectomy and neck dissection to remove a bunch of lymph nodes. There was a small tumor in my tonsil. It had not escaped the margins and the nodes were clean. They don't want me back for PET scans. It still hurts a bit. I have one more appointment and think that they will cut me loose. THERE IS HOPE! Learn everything that you can! Spend all of your free time studying. Become your own, excellent, patient advocate, or get one. If you don't like what you hear from a doctor, just ask for a second opinion. If you don't like that, go to a major university, or cancer center. A friend with a young wife just got prostate cancer. He followed this process and is cancer free, with no side effects. This all happened while I was recovering.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree