safirentx's Journey:

Survivor: Head & Neck/Throat Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 6 years ago, Female, Age: 50, Stage IVA

  1. 1
    • safirentx
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat C...
    over 4 years ago
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    Medication not helping

    Oh No

    Went to the doctor September of 2010 with a sore throat. Doctor gave me antibiotics but they didn't help. Doctor prescribed different antibiotics and they didn't help. I knew in my mind something big was wrong. I told my family I wanted to wait until Christmas was over and get health insurance and we would go forward from there.

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  2. 2
    • safirentx
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat C...
    over 4 years ago
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    Appointment with ENT. Ear Noses and Throat Doctor

    Oh No

    I had an appointment on February 6th and doctor initially told me I was too young to even consider having cancer. Doctor did a scope look down my throat during my visit and agreed with my initial concern. That I had cancer. Doctor told me we would line up surgery to do a biopsy and that he would get a whole support team of doctors lined up for treatment.

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  3. 3
    • safirentx
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat C...
    over 4 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Biopsy was done as a day surgery. Several days later I was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer. Stage IVA.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  4. 4
    • safirentx
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat C...
    over 4 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Feeding tube surgery. I opted not to have a chemo port because I would only be having 3 chemo sessions. I was very thin to begin with and thought there could be complications with having a chemo port near my thin collar bone. I made the right choice not to have a chemo port and had chemo therapy done through an IV. The bad thing is one chemo session the nurse missed my vein twice and I had 4 knots up my forearm that were black bruise-like. The knots caused fiery pain and throbbing for 4 months. So bad I couldn't sleep some nights. The knots eventually went away.

    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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  5. 5
    • safirentx
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat C...
    over 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    My treatment plan was 35 radiation treatments. Everyday for 7 weeks. I was very sick with chemotherapy I had during radiation so I missed several days of radiation when I was hospitalized. My radiation treatment ended up lasting 9 weeks.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  6. 6
    • safirentx
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat C...
    over 4 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    My chemotherapy called Cisplatin made me so sick. I had 2 chemo treatments. One treatment every 4 weeks. I threw up for 5 days straight each time and was hospitalized twice for dehydration. I lost a total of 30 lbs. I was 5'11 126lbs. As of today I haven't gained any weight back. I weigh 100lbs and my last radiation treatment was July of 2011. I have a new Thyroid problem that I am seeking a specialist to help me deal with because my Primary doctor isn't specialized. My Thyroid problem is from radiation damage.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  7. 7
    • safirentx
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat C...
    over 4 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    I had a Petscan done October 2011 and have had another Petscan done earlier this year. I am in remission and cancer free.

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  8. 8
    • safirentx
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat C...
    over 4 years ago
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    Psychosocial

    Other Care

    I am currently going through counseling for anxiety. Having cancer brought up a lot of issues from my past. I still have fear of getting sick again and dying. I have one child, a son 15. I am a single parent with no family support that lives close by.

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  9. 9
    • safirentx
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat C...
    over 4 years ago
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    Thyroid Condition

    Other Care

    Radiation killed off part of my Thyroid and I am seeking a specialist to help me regulate it. I have been told I have Hypothyroidism but I have the opposite effects. Hypo makes you gain weight. I am loosing weight. I badly need to find a Endocrinologist to help me deal with my Thyroid condition. I also have an upcoming Hysterectomy surgery scheduled for 9/20. I don't like the fact that I will be "down" again recovering from this surgery. I am very hard headed and stubborn and HATE laying in bed.

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  10. 10
    • safirentx
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat C...
    over 4 years ago
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    Other

    Side Effects

    So many side effects to list> Constipation from pain medication, mouth sores from radiation treatment. Taste lost, oss of salivary glands (will never come back)-consistant dry mouth, swallowing problems, loss of appetite, anxiety, depression, SEVERE weight loss, hair loss, eating problems, fatigue, fever, infection. Just to list a few.

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