GonzeauxGator's Journey with Head & Neck/Throat Cancer

Survivor: Head & Neck/Throat Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 12 years ago, Male, Age: 62, Stage 0

  1. 1
    over 4 years ago
    GonzeauxGator's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Out of the blue I developed a small lump just under my jaw where it hinges on the left side. Showed it to my general physician and he immediately said "let's get that checked out". I was diagnosed within days.

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  2. 2
    over 4 years ago
    GonzeauxGator's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I did 32 treatment days of chemo once a day and radiation twice a day. Great news is I lost a lot of weight and didn't lose much hair. Still can't grow my beard back properly. My worst days/nights were Tuesdays and Fridays. One of the two chemo meds I was taking acted like "speed". It kept me awake on the two nights a week that I had doses of it earlier that day ( Mondays and Thursdays ), so I wouldn't get much sleep those nights. So the next day I was OK most of the day but got very tired by nightfall and just wanted to be left alone.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    over 4 years ago
    GonzeauxGator's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    For the most part I felt pretty good throughpout the treatments, even to the point of being able to ride my motorcycle in to take the treatments on days that rain wasn't forecast. The radiation physically burned my tonsils out, so my throat was very raw. Towards the end the only thing I found I could eat regularly was the old style Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup with the skinny noodles. Drank LOTS of water. Lost 75 pounds. The Drs threatened to put a feeding tube in me but I told them losing the weight was the silver lining behind this dark cloud.

    Painless Experience: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  4. 4
    over 4 years ago
    GonzeauxGator's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    I have a small "chunk" missing out of my neck, but most folks say they don't notice it unless I point it out. Things went well and I have had no problems to date.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  5. 5
    over 4 years ago
    GonzeauxGator's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    I play music and sing in a local band. During the treatments I lost my voice completely. Was only able to whisper. I was more worried about not being able to sing again than I was about losing my hair. The Drs were 100% sucessful, and not too long after my surgery, I was able to start singing again. My voice isn't as strong as it was when I was 30...a little deeper maybe... but then I am now 57 and even without the cancer, my vocal skills woiuld normally be fading at this point in my life.

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