keahemalie's Journey:

Patient: Cancer of Unknown Primary > Squamous Cell Cancer

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: over 5 years ago, Female, Age: 62

  1. 1
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 4 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Mohs surgery on chest lesion July 2012. + for SCC.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  2. 2
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 4 years ago
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    Problem with doctor

    Oh No

    Routine mammogram found an enlarged lymph node in right axilla. Possible mets to axillary lymph node Dec 2012. Needle biopsy stated "no malignancy". The doctor missed my lymph node!

    0 Comments
  3. 3
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 4 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    December 24, 2012- Sentinel lymph node removed. + for SCC

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  4. 4
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 3 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Lymph node resection, right axilla, Feb 2013.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  5. 5
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 3 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    5 wks external radiation following axillary lymph node removal.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  6. 6
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    Lymphedema

    Side Effects

    Right arm and breast. Lymphedema physical therapy and compression garments. June PET scan showed suspicious activity near left vocal cord. Looked OK on scope; no tx.

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  7. 7
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    Other

    Oh No

    PET scan Dec 2013 found activity in left neck/supraclavicular area.

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  8. 8
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    Neck biopsy + SCC.

    0 Comments
  9. 9
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Jan 2014- Surgical removal of suspicious tissue in left neck and lymph node resection. Large incision.

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
  10. 10
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    Flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, sweats)

    Side Effects

    Swelling of entire neck w/ pain, headache, increased edema, partial separation of incision.

    0 Comments
  11. 11
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Surgical drainage of neck abscess, packing of wound.

    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    1 Comment
  12. 12
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

    Side Effects

    Nerve damage to left neck and shoulder, pain, lymphedema to neck, skin changes, headaches. Numbness, shooting electrical "zaps", some loss of function in left arm.

    0 Comments
  13. 13
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    March 2014- 8 weeks of radiation tx. Had to wear face mold during sessions.

    Painless Experience: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  14. 14
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Weekly cisplatin infusions and 2x/wk hydration. Did chemo and radiation together for 8 wks.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
  15. 15
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    May 2014: Finished radiation and chemotherapy...for now. Continued w/ IV hydration for 2 more weeks.

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  16. 16
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    Physical therapy for left arm/shoulder/neck; return to lymphedema clinic.

    Other Care

    Some improvement in strength, range of motion on left side. Doing exercises & have added another compression garment; this one for my neck @ night.

    0 Comments
  17. 17
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    PET scan July 2014 noted suspicious area in left lung, hilar region.

    Oh No

    First out-of county referral to an Interventional Pulmonologist.

    0 Comments
  18. 18
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    Breakthrough

    Celebration

    I danced at our local Relay for Life! I hadn't danced hula in public for a few years so it meant the world to me.

    0 Comments
  19. 19
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Outpatient bronchoscopy, August 2014. Biopsy of growth in left lung & markers placed for future "cyberknife" treatment if biopsy was + for SCC...it was +. Stage lV

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    1 Comment
  20. 20
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    cyber knife

    Radiation

    Did 5 sessions. The hardest part was laying still for approximately 2 hrs @ each session after a 1.5hr drive to get there! September 2014

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  21. 21
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    My local oncologist referred me to an oncologist @ Stanford Cancer Center. November 2014

    Decision Point

    This was to get additional information/other opinion re: treatment. I have been consistently told that the cancer I have is "highly unusual". Very few studies have been done & there is no standard treatment protocol. He also informed me that the 5yr survival rate percentage is "in the single digits". He said the same about the effectiveness of chemo but discussed its actions/side effects anyway. He recommended aggressive chemotherapy to kill microscopic cancer cells in blood and/or lymph system. This would help prevent recurrence.

    0 Comments
  22. 22
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    Cancer is shrinking

    Celebration

    My Dec 2014 PET scan was clear! No evidence of active disease. I decided to NOT commit to aggressive chemotherapy based on the scan results and risk/benefit issues. So I'm having a nice break from being a "patient". Next scan...March 2015.

    0 Comments
  23. 23
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    Breakthrough

    Celebration

    YAY!! My PET scan done yesterday (March 12) was clear! I see my oncologist next week and will have a follow-up scan in June or July. I feel my decision to NOT do aggressive chemotherapy in December 2014 was validated by the scan results. So my "break from treatment" continues and I'm HAPPY!

    0 Comments
  24. 24
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    over 2 years ago
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    Home care

    Other Care

    Diagnosed with the flu in April: fever, dry cough, fatigue, congestion, wheezing. Treated at Urgent Care 2x; diagnosed as pneumonia. Given antibiotics and inhaler. Breathing improved but wheezing continued after finishing antibiotics.

    1 Comment
  25. 25
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    about 2 years ago
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    Cancer is back/Recurred

    Oh No

    Tumor in my lung returned. It's pressing on my pulmonary artery and causing much of the shortness of breath and pleural pain I'm experiencing. Before, all my various symptoms were secondary to treatments. Now it's the cancer itself. That reality totally changed everything... It's changing ME down to the depths of my heart and soul and in it's way, it's an amazing gift.

    0 Comments
  26. 26
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    about 2 years ago
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    Hospitalization

    Other Care

    Two hospitalizations within a month to treat pneumonia, rule out pulmonary embolism. IV antibiotics, CT scans, breathing treatments.

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  27. 27
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    about 2 years ago
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    Time to look at treatment options once again.

    Decision Point

    I consulted my various docs about treatment for the lung tumor. Because of its location and previous radiation, neither surgery or radiation are appropriate. That left the choice to do nothing or do chemo. I chose chemo for now; actually a biologic called cetuximab. Eight rounds, once a week for 8 weeks. I start next week.

    0 Comments
  28. 28
    • keahemalie
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Cance...
    about 2 years ago
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    Celebration

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

    0 Comments