Betty1948's Journey with Head & Neck/Throat Cancer

Patient: Head & Neck/Throat Cancer

Patient Info: Newly diagnosed (has not begun treatment), Diagnosed: over 5 years ago, Female, Age: 69, Stage IVA

  1. 1
    • Betty1948
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat C...
    over 5 years ago
    Betty1948's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I am a 64-yr-old caucasion female with a nursing background. Mid-Feb. 2012 I "accidentually" discovered a mass on the lower left side of my neck. I have never been a smoker. I have had "other" masses (other places) found prior over the years. which have all been negative <for cancer> when checked. I went to see my doctor who sent me for a CT Scan, and for a biopsy of the mass (in my left lower neck) at the hospital. He also told me the site I found is a secondary site (to the primary/origional site) and they needed to determine if "the primary site" (of the cancer) could be found -- in my throat. This was the day after my 64th BD, and I had no symptons or reason to feel there was anything wrong, other than some fatigue. I saw my GP, "Dr. T", who told me that I had Squamous Cell C arcinoma. He could not look at me when he said the words..... and I felt disbelief at what I was hearing. In one hand, my disbelief was making my mind go a thousand miles an hour -- and then I remember screaming in my head -- "Listen to what he is saying. You will need to remember and understand later..." Fortunitely, Barbara, my daughter-nurse, was there....listening. He referred me to a trusted Oncologist, Dr Whorf, who saw me in approx. 10 days later, and immediately sent me to a Radiologist, Dr. Fitch, and ENT (for internal) biopsies of "anything suspicious" inside my neck.... possibly back of tongue or where my tonsils had been removed when I was 4. Tomorrow (4/23/12) @ 9 AM I am to meet with my Oncologist for results of all blood tests and biopsy results -- to map out my treatment. When I pushed my Oncologist for "what stage" this is or how agressive this is he hesitates to say until more findings are in. Added to my diagnosis of SQUAMOUS CELL CARSINOMA is now the following: MILIGNANT NEOPLASM HYPOPHARYNX Elizabeth A. Scott

    0 Comments
  2. 2
    • Betty1948
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat C...
    over 5 years ago
    Betty1948's Avatar

    Procedure or Surgery

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

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
    1 Comment
  3. 3
    • Betty1948
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat C...
    over 5 years ago
    Betty1948's Avatar

    Procedure or Surgery

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

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
    0 Comments
  4. 4
    • Betty1948
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat C...
    over 5 years ago
    Betty1948's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    April 16, 2012 Following a CT Scan and PET Scan I was referred to an ENT for biopsies of my throat, esophagus, site where tonsils had been removed and sinuses. This was accomplised under a general anthestic at he hospital. Results will be in on 4/23/12.

    0 Comments
  5. 5
    • Betty1948
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat C...
    over 5 years ago
    Betty1948's Avatar

    Oh No

    April 23, 2012 Today was my 3rd appt. with my Oncologist, Dr. Whorf. My HPV (Human Pappolima Virus) was negative. (Ironically a "negitive" result is harder to treat than a "positive" result.) Either way, we needed to know. The biopies taken last Tuesday were ALL negative, so the "primary/origional" site of the cancer remains unknown. meaning my Immune System has (probably) destroyed it. This is good. It gives me a better chance of cure than if it was positive. There appears to be no METASTISIS at this time. The doctor feels a full remission will occur with the Chemo. None of my doctors feel surgery is recommended. The Oncoogist told me that the FACT that I am healthy otherwise is encouraging, however he wants me to STOP all Vitamins/Food Suppliments -- because anti-oxydents are contra-indicated when doing Chemo/Radiation. For the past 5 years I have been religiously taking 12 vitamin/food suppliments. My thought was that taking vitamins/suppliments should have helped with healing -- but he reminded me that this CANCER occurred while I was taking them, and we do not want "to encourage healthy growth" of cancer cells we are trying to kill. So I guess I get that. I have stopped. Dr. Whorf believes that with the completion of the course of Chemo he is prescribing: (1) Taxatere (2) Cisplatinusm (3) 5-FU my mass (left lower neck) will shrink & disappear. This means that tomorrow a PIC Line will be put in to administer the Chemo. I will meet with the ARNP on Thursday to go over all the information. Monday, April 30, I will begin Chemo. This means 3 days of Chemo, then 3 weeks off....x 3 courses....or 9 weeks. Following the completion of Chemo. I will go for RADIATION defined as 7 weeks, 5 days a week for 20 minutes a session. Dr. Whorf has ordered the following medications prior to Chemo beginning: (1) Dexamethasone 4 mg. (20 tab.) (2) Ondansetron 8 mg. (15 tab.) (3) Prochlorperazine 10 mg. (20 tab.) These are for (anticipated) nausea once Chemo begins. I picked them up today so I will have them on hand.

    0 Comments
  6. 6
    • Betty1948
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat C...
    over 5 years ago
    Betty1948's Avatar

    Radiation Mask

    Procedure or Surgery

    I was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carsinoma (Malignant Neoplasm Hyopharynx) and was just fitted for the mask. No one told me this was going to be a part of my Radiation. I found it shocking when they clamped it down to the table and formed it to my face! I have become prone to Closterphobia as I have gotten "older" (I am 64). I could not open my eyes while they were fitting me. I had to talk myself thru the initial process which took approx. 45 min. I was then told I would be 7 weeks/5 days a week for 20 minutes. I have Ativan 1 mg. for anxiety, and at times have a friend who can drive me to and from -- but I am very concerned. I wonder if I can use my MPV player while having Radiation. I am going to asked about listening to music, which would ease the anxiety, I think. My dotors are awesome -- but I need to find out if the eyes will be cut out of the mask so I can open them & look around. The whole process (since my diagnosis) is very stressful without additional complications. Elizabeth A. Scott

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments