Throat cancer diagnosis

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Post by coalkirk » Wed. Dec. 14, 2022 3:57 pm

So on October 31st I woke up with swollen lymph glands on my right side under my jaw. Went to see my primary doctor who said he thought it was a blocked saliva gland and recommended I get sour lemon drops and suck on them. He added if it didn’t clear in a day or two that I should see an ear nose and throat doctor. It didn’t clear and the ENT doc took one look at it and said this is not your saliva gland. He scoped my throat and said this is not good. He said a biopsy was required for a definitive diagnosis but he was positive it was cancer as he had seen it many times.
So next day I had an appointment with a head and neck surgeon and the biopsy came back squamous cell carcinoma HPV. That stands for human papilloma virus, a sexually transmitted disease. He said I could have been exposed in my teens or twenties. I’m 70 now. The tumor is at the base of my tongue in my throat. Too advanced for surgery or I would lose my entire tongue. What has been prescribed is 7 weeks of radiation therapy 5 days a week. Concurrent with that is 6 weeks of chemotherapy one day a week. I started all this Monday morning. So far no real side effects but I’m told the radiation ramps up over time. I will lose my sense of taste, the ability to make saliva, possibly the ability to swallow and it may fry my thyroid gland. There’s a list of potential additional side effects a mile long. Hopefully the ones above are temporary and will subside at least to some degree.
The chemotherapy is milder than some apparently. They say I will not lose my hair. I may lose my hearing. Again a big list of potential side effects.
When the radiation is being administered I have to have my head immobilized. Picture below is a custom molded mask that is bolted to the table while I’m being irradiated. It really sucks!! Yes that’s me. If I can get through all this poison and torture they say that they can cure this cancer. I’m skeptical but they seem very sure. Thankfully it looks like Medicare and my supplemental insurance will cover everything. My wife, my family and my friends have been great offering lots of help and support.
By the way there is now a vaccine to prevent HPV available to young people. If you have young children or grandchildren make sure they get vaccinated. The statistics are about 90% of people who are or were sexually active have been exposed to HPV. There are over 100 strains of HPV and apparently only 4 are associated with cancer. Lucky me.

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Post by Toddburn » Wed. Dec. 14, 2022 4:07 pm

Kirk keep positive sounds like your doctors are confident!

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Post by tcalo » Wed. Dec. 14, 2022 4:39 pm

So sorry to hear this. Try to stay positive and we will all pray for a speedy recovery!

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Post by Lightning » Wed. Dec. 14, 2022 5:27 pm

Ooooooooffff.. Yer in my thoughts buddy!
and hoping for the best!

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Post by warminmn » Wed. Dec. 14, 2022 5:37 pm

I can add nothing except to stay positive. There is green grass on the other side of these treatments.

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Post by gaw » Wed. Dec. 14, 2022 6:08 pm

Godspead coalkirk. I hope it things work out well for you.

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Post by nut » Wed. Dec. 14, 2022 6:40 pm

Good luck.

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Post by freetown fred » Wed. Dec. 14, 2022 9:01 pm

Ya know ya got prayers headed your way Terry!!!

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Post by Pauliewog » Thu. Dec. 15, 2022 12:17 am

Stay positive and hang in there. Praying for a quick recovery 🙏


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Post by franpipeman » Thu. Dec. 15, 2022 8:33 am

thanks for this heads up and the recommendation for my grandkids
I have been wondering how to bring this topic up with my daughter and son in law so your advice will make it happen for the kids who are 7 months 4 ,,,6 and 8 years old
thanks and good luck with your treatment.

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Post by Sunny Boy » Thu. Dec. 15, 2022 12:09 pm

And some more prayers from here, CK.


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Post by coalnewbie » Thu. Dec. 15, 2022 3:47 pm

God speed, be brave

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Post by ColdHouse » Thu. Dec. 15, 2022 4:13 pm

Good luck!
Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer have had it.
The older we get the more precious each day seems.

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Post by Hambden Bob » Sat. Dec. 17, 2022 9:11 am

Terry,I Can't Thank You Enough For This Update!!
As Daft as this may sound,in my eyes,Your Situation isn't negotiable. Your either "All In,All Hands On Deck To Repel Borders And Full Faith & Force Forward"! Rather easy for a dumbass such as me to state that,but You've always struck me as a "No Nonsense Kinda' Guy"! Like I've said in the past,"We'll Walk Alongside Of Ya' On This Deal!" Per Freddy: "Forward We Go"

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Post by Seagrave1963 » Sun. Dec. 18, 2022 8:18 am

Many prayers and thoughts of strength to you coalkirk - wishing you the absolute best!

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