Bleeding Lingual Artery Aneurysm = Changes, like liquid diet and more
Another chapter for my adventure.
I had stage 3 squamous cell carcinoma of the right base of the tongue.
My final radiation treatment was July 9, 2021.
On January 13, 2022 I was watching tv with my wife when I coughed. This resulted in blood spewing from my mouth. I went to the washroom and simply holding my head over the sink resulted in a copious amount of blood and tissue pouring out from my throat. My wife was a little upset to say the least. The bleeding continued until shortly after paramedics arrived.
I was admitted to the hospital while they ran a series of tests. CT, X-ray etc. and released the following day after they could not find the cause.
2 days later I started to bleed again. After convincing my wife to hold off on calling paramedics I was able to get the bleeding under control within about 30 minutes.
After another 20 minutes and drinking a glass of water the bleeding started again. Another ambulance ride to emergency. They conducted more tests including more CT scans. This time they noticed a bleed at the Lingula Artery. They rushed me to the cancer hospital and subsequently I had emergency surgery to repair the aneurysm. 4 hours. Luckily they were able to go through my wrist.
Apparently, this is quite rare. They were then concerned with a possible recurrence or radiation narcosis.
The good news is there is no sign of recurrence and radiation narcosis has been ruled out at this time.
The not great news (but could always be worse) is that I have been told that due to the radiation damage in my throat I will most likely be on a liquid diet for the remainder of my life. In addition, also due to the nerve damage I can expect to be on a pain management program for the rest of my life. I really don’t want to be on opioids but I need to also be aware of my quality of life. As my oncologist put it “don’t try to be a hero”.
At age 62 I am now working towards my new life. My new normal. I am the luckiest man alive. I have the most loving and supportive wife on the face of this earth. She is my strength. We all have a cross to bear in this life. If mine is no solid food and taking medication to help with pain then I am doing pretty good. I am going to make sure that however many years I have left are going to be the best ever.