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    User: GregP_WN

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    A guy named Steve who had recently survived a similar cancer got wind of my situation and would call me periodically throughout treatment to empathize, etc. His kindness is not forgotten and I owe him a cup of coffee. I hope joining this site may have the same effect for someone else.

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    Other Care (Home care): My wife was my primary caregiver and I owe her my life. I doubt I could have survived it alone. It should also be said that I am fortunate to have an abundance of friends and family that would have stepped in if it had been necessary. I thank them all for their support. I was overwhelmed with well intended information and recommendations about various treatment options. Again I'm grateful for all of it but I must confess I went on blind faith in my doctors and my wife's independent research to make my decisions. I didn't change my diet or drink medicinal teas. I've tried to reduce my intake of alcoholic beverages and expect I'll never touch a cigarette again.

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    Side Effects (weight loss, dry mouth, trouble swallowing, hearing loss, hair loss, voice change): By the end of my treatment I was thinner, weaker, lost hair, and perpetually nauseous. I also noticed food tasting different, not pleasant. I had a feeding tube in my tummy which was my only source of nutrition in the later weeks of treatment. I was also given a wide range of other meds to treat nausea, appetite, anxiety, etc. Since completion of treatment those side effects have subsided. I eat regularly. I feel stronger and I've regained most of the weight and hair. However, there are some long-term side effects that I am still adjusting to, such as hearing loss and trouble maintaining comfortable body temperature(it seems I'm always cold). My radiation was done concurrent with the chemo so it may be difficult to distinguish the side effects of each. The side effects during treatment were limited to burning of the skin around my neck and some additional trouble swallowing. After treatment effects include loss of function of my esophagus and one of my lymph nodes. I've also noticed some degree of perpetual dry mouth and that most of the facial hair below my jaw line has stopped growing. I should also note that I was constantly fatigued and no doubt depressed. Although these effects have largely subsided, I'm coming to terms with the fact that depression can be a long term problem that I was likely plagued with prior to the onset of this illness but I am now more capable of addressing it as such. BTW, did I mention that I now talk more like Barry White?

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    Celebration (Remission): Six months to the day after my diagnosis I received a call from my ENT doctor with results from the PET Scan following treatment. He said it was clean! I like to tell people I won the first round. I don't want to get cocky. Cosby said it best, 'Never challenge worse. Never say, 'it can't get worse', because worse will get you'. I thank the heavens every day for each new day.

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    PUBA shared an experience

    Radiation (External radiation ): My radiation was done concurrent with the chemo so it may be difficult to distinguish the side effects of each. The daily visits to the lab for treatment were relatively painless. The side effects during treatment were limited to burning of the skin around my neck and some additional trouble swallowing. After treatment effects include loss of function of my esophagus and one of my lymph nodes. I've also noticed some degree of perpetual dry mouth and that most of the facial hair below my jaw line has stopped growing.