DeanaBeana's Journey:

Family/Friend: Head & Neck/Throat Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 8 years ago, Male, Age: 57, Stage II

  1. 1
    • DeanaBeana
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    about 4 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    In 1988 while my brother in law was at the Dr. for a routine visit for allergies, the Dr. asked, "how long you had that lump in your neck". He said, "what lump"? This was the start of his journey with cancer, that continues today, 24 years later. After a needle biopsy, some cat scans and various other tests, he was referred to an Oncologist.

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  2. 2
    • DeanaBeana
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    about 4 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    The first of several operations that he had during this first bout with Cancer, was to have the Lymph nodes removed. In an outpatient surgery, the swollen Lymph Nodes were taken out. Wasn't that much of a surgery, went home that day, and waited for the final results from Pathology.

    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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  3. 3
    • DeanaBeana
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    about 4 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    After the final Pathology tests said he for sure had Hodgkin Disease, he was referred to an Oncologist. A course was set up for treatment, 6 courses of chemo were set up, the MOPP Regimine, he started right away. At the time in 1988 there weren't as many anti nausea drugs as there are now. He would have treatment, go home and get sick for hours, then sleep for a day and half or two. Then get up and go to work.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  4. 4
    • DeanaBeana
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    about 4 years ago
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    Nausea/Vomiting

    Side Effects

    He was very sick after most treatments. Some of the drugs that are out now weren't available then.

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  5. 5
    • DeanaBeana
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    about 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    His first experience with Radiation treatments were in 1988, the whole process has changed since then, back then the machines were larger, it was very scary to him, he lost the hair in the back of my head, got some burning in the neck and chest area, but other than that, it was a simple painless process. He got through it much easier than the chemo treatments he took. Radiation was every day, 5 days a week, for 5.5 weeks

    Painless Experience: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  6. 6
    • DeanaBeana
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    about 4 years ago
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    Implant chemotherapy port

    Procedure or Surgery

    During the chemo treatments, his veins began to get hard and unable to be stuck for treatment. A port was put in his chest area for use for treatments, blood draws, etc. this is one of the greatest inventions ever made for cancer patients. No more getting stuck in the arm or wrist several times, getting stuck in the port hurts very little, and can be used over and over. He kept his port for over 15 years because he didn't want to let it go, in case he needed it again.

    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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  7. 7
    • DeanaBeana
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    about 4 years ago
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    Cancer is back/Recurred

    Oh No

    After the 6 courses of chemo and 28 radiation treatments he was told he was good to go, no more treatment needed. After going back for monthly checkups for 6 months or so, the Doc squeezed his neck and felt a lymph node that had swollen again. So, we start all over again. This time a more aggressive type of chemo

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  8. 8
    • DeanaBeana
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    about 4 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Because the cancer had beaten the first type of treatment chemo he had been given, the Dr. said they were going to give him a much stronger drug, something that had just started being used . ABVD with a mixture of MOPP. Thanks to research done by American Cancer Society funded Researchers, a drug was available to be used on me. This time the treatments were much harder on him.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  9. 9
    • DeanaBeana
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    about 4 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    When diagnosed this time, the first procedure was another needle biopsy to get checked out. After it was confirmed that he had squamous cell carcinoma, a surgery was set up to take out the malignant tonsil. This was an extremely difficult surgery to recover from. He spent almost a month getting to the point that he could swallow anything other than liquid. Then it was time for the next surgery.

    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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  10. 10
    • DeanaBeana
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    about 4 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    The second of the surgeries, this one was a radical neck disection. He had no idea what this was going to involve, this was one hard surgery to recover from. First he had a bad experience while still in the hospital. The scab broke loose from his throat and had a terrible bleeding episode the night before he was to come home, that kept him in the hospital another night. When he went home, he had to sleep in his chair since when laying down fluid would build up in his throat and start to choke him. After that he started to get better, he slowly started to be able to eat thicker foods, but mostly soft and liquid foods. The nerves growing back were very painful for a few weeks. He wasn't able to swallow much, and choked a couple of times. Today, almost 4 years after that surgery, he still have lingering side effects, and trouble swallowing, and occasional pain, and stiffness from the scar tissue.

    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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  11. 11
    • DeanaBeana
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    about 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    This round of radiation was much harder on him than the radiation 20 years earlier was. This time though, the side effects started earlier, and were much harder, He had sores in his mouth that kept him from eating much. The radiation also caused him to lose his voice totally for about a month. He had burns or real dark spots on his neck where the treatment was directed. He had spells where he had to go home at about 2 each afternoon and take a nap. Still, he said it was easier than chemo.

    Painless Experience: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  12. 12
    • DeanaBeana
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    about 4 years ago
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    Cancer is back/Recurred

    Oh No

    after 20 years clean and free of cancer, he was diagnosed with a different type. This time squamous cell carcinoma, malignant tonsil.

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  13. 13
    • DeanaBeana
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    about 4 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    In April of 2009, he had his last Radiation treatment, my sister and I met him at the door of his office and plastered him with silly string.

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  14. 14
    • DeanaBeana
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    about 4 years ago
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    Chemo brain

    Side Effects

    Dr's told him several years ago that the chemo had no role in his change in memory and train of thought. Now it is proven and he is an example of it. It is progressively getting worse.

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