alliawn's Journey with Head & Neck/Throat Cancer

Survivor: Head & Neck/Throat Cancer

Patient Info: Prefer not to answer/not applicable/unsure, Diagnosed: over 6 years ago, Male, Age: 55

  1. 1
    • alliawn
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
    alliawn's Avatar


    Oh No

    My Name is Rob . I am 51 years old and I live in Massachusetts. I have been a letter carrier for the post office for 30 years. I was in the service and was retired as a disabled vet. I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in my left sinus. (Squamous cell carcinoma) It was thought that it was just a polyp but after the first surgery and a biopsy the cancer was found. It was the size of a walnut. All XXX broke loose then. I thought this was a death sentence. I went to my lawyer to review my will and everything. I started treatment in Worcester Mass. but realized that I needed the care of Boston's Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The care was night and day from Worcester. I didn’t want to be away from my family and away from home but with the help of the Hope Lodge in Boston and support from family and friends. I know now that this was the best option for me. Surgery was done again in Boston to remove the cancer which they cut part of my skull away just 1 millimeter from my left eye socket. Now the treatment begins. 8 weeks of chemo and radiation. I was able to do 6 weeks by myself but needed my wife’s help doing the last two weeks. I realize that all cancers are different and are treated different so I can only tell you how it affected me. The cancer was found in February of 2010, after almost one year since the cancer was found I am still dealing with side effects. (GRRRRRR). The doctors told me they were going to hit me hard. Boy were they right. I have been told that the side effects from the chemo and radiation would last a year to a year and a half. I have some days on my mail route where I just want to pack up and go home never to return. But I refuse to quit. There are a couple of things that I would recommend to everybody. Have some short term disability Insurance along with life insurance to take care of your family. DONT wait till you are sick. This short term insurance saved me along with sick time and vacation time. I had already had that in place so I felt better about that. If you think you may have a problem going to one of the better hospitals, DONT. I was going to go to a nearby hospital but my brother talked me into going to Dana Farber in Boston. About an hour away. (Thank you John). This was the best thing I ever did. The care and support was night and day from my local hospital. I stayed at the Hope Lodge in Boston free of charge. There are Hope Lodges all over the United States. I just want to tell people this. Cancer is NOT like having the flu as some people may think. To me it feels like all your energy is being sucked out of you making it impossible to get anything done. Oh yea you can’t concentrate to save your life. But no matter what you do........... (DONT QUIT) I may even get to see grandkids someday. Take your time Shawn and Ally. No Rush LOL