SteveG's Journey with Invasive, Squamous Cell Carcinoma

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

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 6 years ago, Male, Age: 65, Stage IV

  1. 1
    • SteveG
    • Experience with Invasive, Squamous Cell...
    about 5 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    I was unable to swallow for months and for a while I took opiates via patch

    Painless Experience: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  2. 2
    • SteveG
    • Experience with Invasive, Squamous Cell...
    about 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I was unable to swallow for months and for a while took opiates via pain patch but I only had three chemo treatments so these effects may have been the result of my thirty five radiation treatments that took place the same time as the chemo

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  3. 3
    • SteveG
    • Experience with Invasive, Squamous Cell...
    about 5 years ago
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    Skin changes

    Side Effects

    The radiation made my neck redder and redder and I was advised not to shave because my skin would be too sensitive. To this day, the only beard I have below my jaw is a narrow band in front. The skin on my neck was at its worst about two weeks after the end of my radiation. It was red and peeling and even if I washed it gently it would bleed a little. It did not hurt but the nurse who showed me how to wash it said most guys would have yelled.

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  4. 4
    • SteveG
    • Experience with Invasive, Squamous Cell...
    about 5 years ago
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    Nausea/Vomiting

    Side Effects

    For a month or two I vomited almost every day and could not even brush my teeth since that would make me vomit.

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  5. 5
    • SteveG
    • Experience with Invasive, Squamous Cell...
    about 5 years ago
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    Pain

    Side Effects

    I took the narcotic Hydrocodone (which doctors know as Vicodin) and then the opiate Fentanyl

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  6. 6
    • SteveG
    • Experience with Invasive, Squamous Cell...
    about 5 years ago
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    Swallowing problems

    Side Effects

    For two months, beginning during the third week of my six weeks of radiation, I could not swallow anything and then I began five months of almost weekly therapy with a speech and language pathologist. For a total of five and a half months I did not swallow any calories other than via some apple sauce the therapist gave me as a test. The oncologists expected this problem so a gastroenterologist gave me a feeding tube four inches above my navel. I had the tube a total of eight months. I lost six pounds the last week I was swallowing because I was not smart enough to supplement my mouth with my tube. I only lost a total of about ten pounds, which seems like less than everybody else lost. I had no weight to spare to begin with. I was putting more than three thousand calories a day in my tube,doing eight ounces of shake every three hours around the clock.

    1 Comment
  7. 7
    • SteveG
    • Experience with Invasive, Squamous Cell...
    about 5 years ago
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    Hypothyroidism

    Side Effects

    My tumor was so close to my thyroid gland and the gland got so much radiation as a result that it is shutting down and my radiation oncologist thinks I will have to take synthetic thyroid hormone.

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  8. 8
    • SteveG
    • Experience with Invasive, Squamous Cell...
    about 5 years ago
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    Pulmonary embolism

    Side Effects

    Two months after the end of my radiation and chemo I had a pulmonary embolism as a result of the cancer, the feeding tube or my inactivity since I felt so bad i tried to sleep all the time or a combination of the three causes. I went to the ER with chest pain and shortness of breath and was admitted for three days. I then had to take the blood thinner Coumadin (Warfarin) for a year, get my blood checked every one to four weeks and be careful about cuts and vitamin K in my diet.

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  9. 9
    • SteveG
    • Experience with Invasive, Squamous Cell...
    about 5 years ago
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    Birthday

    Celebration

    My fifty ninth birthday occurred shortly after I lost the ability to swallow so we celebrated a month early. For my sixtieth birthday, my son rented a restaurant and invited everybody. I ate everything. My five year old grand daughter read me her birthday card, signed it with "love" and her name twice and wrote on it "Love Pop Pop so much". The only final wish that I have is that I be buried with that card but I am planning for that to be at least twenty years into the future. I am now back up to running at a little over nine minutes to the mile and doing ninety pushups. I have seen my radiation oncologist at the gym and hope to be on the track at the same time as him so that I can pass him.

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  10. 10
    • SteveG
    • Experience with Invasive, Squamous Cell...
    about 5 years ago
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    Loss

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

    0 Comments
  11. 11
    • SteveG
    • Experience with Invasive, Squamous Cell...
    about 5 years ago
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    Other Care

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

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  12. 12
    • SteveG
    • Experience with Invasive, Squamous Cell...
    about 5 years ago
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    Oh No

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

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  13. 13
    • SteveG
    • Experience with Invasive, Squamous Cell...
    about 5 years ago
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    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
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  14. 14
    • SteveG
    • Experience with Invasive, Squamous Cell...
    about 5 years ago
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    Celebration

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

    0 Comments
  15. 15
    • SteveG
    • Experience with Invasive, Squamous Cell...
    about 5 years ago
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    Decision Point

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

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