Tonsil cancer and metastatic SCC

Posted by Anamir @anahitam, Nov 9, 2022

Three weeks ago my 63 years old father was diagnosed with cancer based of the biopsy result on a tumor on his neck, after PET Scan it was confirmed that the primary tumor is his left tonsil and there was a doubt of secondary metastatic tumor in his sinus. So they have operated a bilateral tonsillectomy and drained out his left sinus on Saturday. The operation was so long and complicated which was necessary for him to staying a night in ICU. Unfortunately, the ENT told that the surgery was successful but we have to wait for pathology results and the deciding the treatment. But, they said that because of the size of the nodal tumor on the neck, they won’t take it out.

It is noticeable that my father was the healthiest person till last year, he got a grave Covid, and had beed hospitalized for 3 weeks. Because of the treatment he got diabetes 1 afterwards. And 6 months later he got a herpes zoster. And now is the cancer.

Honestly, even though he is so strong and positive. But, I keep thinking about the worst scenario, and all the difficulties that he has to go through. And I hate myself to think about all these negative stuff, and not being positive. Since his Covid, I am afraid of losing my beloved.

I feel so desperate so thought to share it with you. Hope the result of pathology would be positive.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Head & Neck Cancer Support Group.

@anahitam, I can imagine that you feel so desperate. This is a lot of health issues to absorb in a short period of time. Members like @sandralea58 @sepdvm @thomason @jimthomasintl @calenbd and others understand understand.

You may be interested in this related discussion:
– SCC HPV+ on right tonsil and nodes treatment plan. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/scc-hov-on-right-tonsil-and-nodes-treatment-plan/

When do they expect to get the pathology report back to discuss treatment options? How is your dad's recovery going?

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@colleenyoung

@anahitam, I can imagine that you feel so desperate. This is a lot of health issues to absorb in a short period of time. Members like @sandralea58 @sepdvm @thomason @jimthomasintl @calenbd and others understand understand.

You may be interested in this related discussion:
– SCC HPV+ on right tonsil and nodes treatment plan. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/scc-hov-on-right-tonsil-and-nodes-treatment-plan/

When do they expect to get the pathology report back to discuss treatment options? How is your dad's recovery going?

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@colleenyoung thank you for your comment.
Actually, the recovery is not easy at all, besides the surgery’s pain and so on, he has an unbearable headache.
The soonest would be tomorrow. It’s terrifying to expect the report back.

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@anahitam

@colleenyoung thank you for your comment.
Actually, the recovery is not easy at all, besides the surgery’s pain and so on, he has an unbearable headache.
The soonest would be tomorrow. It’s terrifying to expect the report back.

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@anahitam, I think I can understand and sympathize with you and your Dad with this terrible year of health issues. It sounds like his immune system took a beating fighting Covid and allowed the rest to take hold. I cared for my father who was diagnosed with oral SCC at the age of 70. Despite radical surgery, chemo and radiation that was available back then, he died in 1993. He was not a positive person, and felt that his cancer was relentless and unstoppable, and likely his history of alcoholism and smoking worsened his prognosis. Now, 30 years later, there are so many more options for treatment, so much more knowledge about cancer, that there are many reasons to stay positive in a cancer battle. In 10 years of dealing with H&N metastatic SCC myself, I have had many moments of panic and anxiety. It can be so hard to stay positive, but in the end I really think your attitude helps in the cancer battle. After mentally addressing all the worst scenarios, allow yourself to then consider and picture the desired result, with a successful treatment and continued life with your family. For me, time spent outside in nature is the best medicine to be "in the moment" , reduce stress, and refresh my optimism. Think of the medical staff as members of your team, all fighting toward the goal of prolonged life for your Dad. Seeing him weak and in pain is so very hard, but your strength and support can be his rock to help him get through this. Keep educating yourself about options and above all, try to find your optimism again and hang onto it. You both need that attitude to get through this. I found help with positivity with a book called Radical Remission by Kelly Turner. I wish you both good luck and skilled doctors and a good path report. And remember that there are more treatments available as more information is gained. If need be, a second or third opinion can open more doors. Be strong and God Bless.

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@sepdvm

@anahitam, I think I can understand and sympathize with you and your Dad with this terrible year of health issues. It sounds like his immune system took a beating fighting Covid and allowed the rest to take hold. I cared for my father who was diagnosed with oral SCC at the age of 70. Despite radical surgery, chemo and radiation that was available back then, he died in 1993. He was not a positive person, and felt that his cancer was relentless and unstoppable, and likely his history of alcoholism and smoking worsened his prognosis. Now, 30 years later, there are so many more options for treatment, so much more knowledge about cancer, that there are many reasons to stay positive in a cancer battle. In 10 years of dealing with H&N metastatic SCC myself, I have had many moments of panic and anxiety. It can be so hard to stay positive, but in the end I really think your attitude helps in the cancer battle. After mentally addressing all the worst scenarios, allow yourself to then consider and picture the desired result, with a successful treatment and continued life with your family. For me, time spent outside in nature is the best medicine to be "in the moment" , reduce stress, and refresh my optimism. Think of the medical staff as members of your team, all fighting toward the goal of prolonged life for your Dad. Seeing him weak and in pain is so very hard, but your strength and support can be his rock to help him get through this. Keep educating yourself about options and above all, try to find your optimism again and hang onto it. You both need that attitude to get through this. I found help with positivity with a book called Radical Remission by Kelly Turner. I wish you both good luck and skilled doctors and a good path report. And remember that there are more treatments available as more information is gained. If need be, a second or third opinion can open more doors. Be strong and God Bless.

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@sepdvm thank you for sharing your story, and I’m sorry for your loss. It’s really heartwarming to hear from someone who has this experience as a daughter and for her own self.
Thankfully, he has such a strong mind and is optimistic, but the radical surgery is taking him down sometimes. And I think it’s more difficult for him to feel that the pain is doing so.
How was your’s journey, what type of treatment you have received?

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Animir, because my initial tumor was deep in my ear canal, a rare location, it was quite different in treatment. Initially I had a subtotal temporal bone resection where they removed much of the skull bone underneath the ear which had been invaded by cancer. That included a select neck dissection and parotidectomy to remove lymph nodes and part of the facial nerve that was involved in the cancer. I woke up with no hearing and face paralyzed on the right side. It was rough, but immediately stopped the constant pain I had from the tumor invading bone. That was done at Mayo Clinic Rochester. I then had 7 weeks of radiation plus weekly Cetuximab infusions at the University of Michigan closer to home. That was really tough and miserable. I have had 3 metastases all removed surgically from lungs and a subQ location. My last metastasis was in my kidney, also a rare location, but involved lymph nodes so surgery was not to be curative, I have been on an immunotherapy Cemiplimab for a year and a half now and the tumors are gone at this point. It has been quite tolerable with the side effects. Maintenance infusion is every 6 weeks now. There is now immunotherapy available for head and neck cancer that wasn't approved for use even a few years ago. I also pursued a complementary therapy for immune augmentation at a clinic in the Bahamas, starting right after my chemo/radiation and continuing with these daily injections today. My Mayo oncologists believe it has altered the way my tumor acts, as it has been very atypical. I also use supplements for immune strength like beta glucan and medicinal mushrooms. So at this point my immune system is controlling my cancer with the help of the Cemiplimab. I can share more reading sources and clinic information if you are interested in the future. I believe that using everything that traditional medicine has to offer, then pursuing more complementary treatments that may be unproven in scientific studies, but has much anecdotal success, is the way to go. Just simple diet changes and supplements can be beneficial. If it might help, and won't cause harm, then it is worth a try. I hope your Dad is more comfortable every day. It will be worth the suffering in the end.

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I’m so sorry for my late reply.
I can’t believe mentally and physically you’ve been through. Thank you for all the details. It’s fascinating that how the combination of all the treatment was this effective. Actually, you’ve brightened my day when I see that cancer is not anymore like in past with all the researches and new technology. It could be treated or controlled.
I hope one day will come and there wouldn’t be any trace of cancer in your body.
God bless us.

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