billyc1800's Journey with Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Oral Cavity ...

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

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: almost 9 years ago, Male, Age: 64, Stage III

  1. 1
    • billyc1800
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carci...
    over 4 years ago
    billyc1800's Avatar

    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    My initial diagnosis was devastating to me and my wife. I am sure I was no different than everyone else. I just wanted to know "Why Me?". After about a week, I decided to put myself in God's hands and do everything I could to fight this, but that whatever God decides to do would be all right. It would turn out OK, either way, but do not ask me to stop doing everything I can possibly do to beat this. I just trust in a higher power. I may not like it but I am fine with the outcome.

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  2. 2
    • billyc1800
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carci...
    over 4 years ago
    billyc1800's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    After my initial diagnosis, I had a needle biopsy of a swollen lymph node under my chin. While doing this biopsy, the doctor found Papillary cancer on my Thyroid. We then had a Pet Scan done and my surgeon saw the results of the Pet Scan as I was already under sedation for a Neck Dissection. The Pet showed a lymph node in my left clavicle area and the Neck Dissection turned into a Modified Radical Neck Dissection. A nerve in my left shoulder area was damaged during this surgery and I have been unable to fully raise my left arm completely since then.

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  3. 3
    • billyc1800
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carci...
    over 4 years ago
    billyc1800's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    I received 27 Radiation Treatments in August / September of 2010. I was scheduled for 30 treatments but the doctor felt like the radiation was damaging my neck area too much so we stopped at 27. After about the first week, I had an awful taste in my mouth. It almost tasted like rust. The only thing I could put in my mouth due to the taste, was Boost. I survived for about 7 or 8 weeks on 5 bottles of Boost per day. Needless to say, I lost about 45 pounds during that time. At the end on my radiation ordeal, I was declared Cancer Free. That lasted for about 1.5 years until the cancer returned on my tongue.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  4. 4
    • billyc1800
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carci...
    over 4 years ago
    billyc1800's Avatar

    Cancer is back/Recurred

    Oh No

    I was initially diagnosed in May 2010. After surgery and radiation, I was declared cancer free. The cancer returned to my tongue in March 2012, and again in November 2012. After surgery in November, margins were still positive and a major surgery was scheduled. After a second opinion, a Hemiglossectomy with Free Flap was scheduled and performed at Vanderbilt on April 1, 2013. In November 2013, after a follow up Pet Scan, the cancer had metasticised in several different areas on my body and chemotherapy at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. I am still doing chemo weekly 8 months later, and will continue for at least another 10 weeks.

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  5. 5
    • billyc1800
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carci...
    over 4 years ago
    billyc1800's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    In November 2013, a Pet Scan revealed the cancer had returned but in several placed in my body. The original tongue cancer had spread to my pelvic area, my back, both sides of my neck, and my shoulder. I visited Cancer Treatment Center of America in Newnan, Georgia, where we started chemotherapy on Thanksgiving Day. I was prescribed a regiment of Cisplatin, 5-FU, which is a pump that I had to wear for 4 days and wear home,and Urbotox. Each cycle lasted for 3 weeks. During week 1, I received all 3 drugs and my infusion lasted about 9 hours. During week 2 and 3, I only received the Urbotox. This continued for 6 complete cycles. The worst of the side effects seem to come during the second week of each cycle about the time the 5-FU pump came off. When the pump comes off, I had to take a shot of Neulasta, to help regenerate the white blood cells. After 4 cycles, a Pet Scan was done and almost all spots were gone except the area in my left neck/shoulder area. After the 6 cycles were complete I was given a month off to recover from the side effects of the chemotherapy. We did another Pet Scan during the first week in May. It showed every area of cancer gone with the exception of an area in my left neck/shoulder area which had actually increased in size. We decided to begin a different chemo drug, Methotrexate. Another Pet Scan was done during the first week in July and the area in my neck/shoulder was somewhat smaller although now another lymph node in my right shoulder is showing up. The RECIST criteria classifies my cancer as "stable". I am now continuing my weekly trip to Atlanta for doctor visits and chemotherapy, and expect to continue this regiment until at least October when another Pet Scan will probably be performed.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  6. 6
    • billyc1800
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carci...
    over 4 years ago
    billyc1800's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

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

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    1 Comment