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

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

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 6 years ago, Female, Age: 69, Stage III

  1. 1
    • redlady
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcinom...
    over 4 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    My father passed away from this type of cancer. I should've taken better care of myself by not smoking. But, most people (like me) are in denial that bad things will happen. My most furious point was that I had gone to an oral surgeon years before and was told the pain I experienced on the side of my tongue was not cancer, He said it was from "sucking on candy" or the result of friction against a newly installed tooth crown!

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  2. 2
    • redlady
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcinom...
    over 4 years ago
    redlady's Avatar

    Whether or not to go through treatment

    Decision Point

    Because my life was, and still is, not much to brag about, I weighed the benefits of having treatment. I'm basically a loner after being divorced and ostracized. I have no "big" career. I have children who I see often but they seem disinterested in me and I get the feeling they do things because "it's expected" of them. Also, I have limited finances and told the surgeon this. His reply: "Your insurance will pay." WRONG!!

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  3. 3
    • redlady
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcinom...
    over 4 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    I purposely did not want to know what to expect and did little research. Did not take advantage of befriending someone who had been through what I was about to do. Being extremely healthy and pain free for most of my life, I foolishly assumed I'd return to that life.

    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • redlady
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcinom...
    over 4 years ago
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    Pain medicine

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I did not "do well" with chemotherapy. Type was changed and schedule shortened due to a persistent blood problem. Spent needed money on anti-nausea, etc. drugs I was told not to take. Store would not reimburse me. Took pain medication through stomach tube and then orally. After two years, I still take Methadone.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  5. 5
    • redlady
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcinom...
    over 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    Hated radiation treatment and how it imposed on my son's life since he took me everyday for six weeks. It was a long drive. I felt vain and needy when I complained. Because of radiation my teeth rotted. I had them pulled after selling stuff for the fee. Now I have no funds for replacements and I feel ugly and useless.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  6. 6
    • redlady
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcinom...
    over 4 years ago
    redlady's Avatar

    Other

    Side Effects

    Side effects include dry mouth, eating problems, appearance changes, etc. My sickness caused me to be unemployable and I was not granted Disability insurance. I hired a lawyer and got my old job back for a year until my employer of almost 10 years, found another reason to get rid of me. After severance pay, I exhausted my Unemployment pay because I've been unable to get a job. I think there are many reasons I'm not hired: I speak differently, appear ill and unable to do the job, am elderly, etc.

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