Share this:
Steve
@hoppy

Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 21, 2018

Welcome Our World as Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Posted by @hoppy, Sun, Jan 21 8:25pm

Take a peek into the mind and world of a head and neck cancer patient:

There is no words to describe how one feels when you hear the “Words you have Cancer.”

There are many stages you go through as you are wrapping your head around it.

There are many test you are bombarded with as well as biopsies.

Naturally in your mind you think the worst…..

You can’t eat,you can’t sleep, it’s even difficult to carry on a conversation…

You almost feel as if you are on death row being prepared for a firing squad and you see all these healthy people around you and you ask “Why Me?”

The state of limbo not knowing is almost unbearable….

Yet you have those surrounding you with love prayer and positive thoughts…

You know you must be positive but at times it’s very difficult.

Once you have your diagnosis you see your medical and Radiation Oncologist…

Neither sugarcoat what your treatment is like and they tell you that head and neck cancer treatments are of the most violent treatments there are in dealing with cancer.

Then they tell you what the chances are of a successful outcome with your treatment.

In my mind I had always said I will not put myself through this…..

But then I think of my wife,my children, my grandchildren and all of my loved ones…..

My attitude has changed because I owe it to them to fight so I can watch them grow up.

I tell myself I am going to give this one shot so I choose to go with the standard of care and not go with a clinical trial.

As treatments progress I become weaker and weaker. My neck,my throat, my mouth all feel like they are on fire.

The chemo drains me to where I feel like a ragged doll feeling Ill.

Although I have a feeding tube my weight drops and I become the shell of the person I was before.

At the end of treatments it feels so good to finally Ring the bell and I feel proud that I was able to complete my course of treatments that from time to time I wanted to give up on.

If not for my loved ones and my amazing wife I am sure I would have stopped and met my demise.

One year out you get clean scopes and scans… such a great feeling….

Yet in the back of your mind you know there is always the possibility of this ugly monster rearing it’s head again.

That is where you accept your life will never be as it once before….

So that is where you make the choice….

Do I let this define who i am or will I take charge and rely on my faith and positive attitude see me through the rest of my life.

I’m not as strong as I once was,my appearance is not the same and even my hair and facial features have changed.

But one thing I can say for sure is that my life is more filled with Love and Faith and each day I wake up with a smile because I have been given a gift.

Each and Everyone of Us are a Gift to One Another.

Please Don’t Ever Forget That.

REPLY

Hi Steve. I like what I think of as your “poems” and I’m glad to see it here. you have a great attitude.

Liked by Steve

You describe the upside of Head and Neck cancer (likely any cancer) in the renewed awakening of living each day with a positive attitude. Despite all the suffering of treatments, changes to the new normal, continued side effects, and worry about recurrence, living for today becomes an amazing way of life. I hope every cancer patient can find this new attitude to share in the joy and love of each new day. Good luck to you and keep celebrating those milestones!

Liked by Jamie Olson, Steve

@alpaca

Hi Steve. I like what I think of as your “poems” and I’m glad to see it here. you have a great attitude.

Jump to this post

Thank you my dear friend.

Could you tell me how long it took you to get thru the radiation side effects after your treatment? My husband is 1month out and is just as sick and exhausted as ever. He can't sleep longer than 2 hours at the time and he is just wore out.

@thom4545

Could you tell me how long it took you to get thru the radiation side effects after your treatment? My husband is 1month out and is just as sick and exhausted as ever. He can't sleep longer than 2 hours at the time and he is just wore out.

Jump to this post

I had a bit different radiation location as my cancer was in my ear but still had mouth ulceration, pain, and change of taste. I had chemo during radiation as well and it was 3 months before I started to develop an appetite. I was still very tired but not as constantly exhausted as before. Your body has a lot of healing to do from all the radiation damage and it takes a while. Probably different for everyone. I hope you are working with the radiation oncologist to deal with his symptoms.

@thom4545

Could you tell me how long it took you to get thru the radiation side effects after your treatment? My husband is 1month out and is just as sick and exhausted as ever. He can't sleep longer than 2 hours at the time and he is just wore out.

Jump to this post

Hello. Sorry your husband is still suffering the side effects. I was told it takes a month for each week of treatment to recover – so 6 – 7 months.
Should be some improvement by now – or soon – so it would be a good idea to talk to the doctors about the continuing sickness.
My treatment was mainly surgery with radiation a mop up exercise so I believe I was not hit with the full force and had no chemo. Even so, that first year afterwards was a quiet year.

@thom4545

Could you tell me how long it took you to get thru the radiation side effects after your treatment? My husband is 1month out and is just as sick and exhausted as ever. He can't sleep longer than 2 hours at the time and he is just wore out.

Jump to this post

I’ve had radiation 3 times and that was always the most difficult part. I had this end date in mind once radiation ended, but @alpaca is right- about a month to heal from each week of radiation. That first month or two after my course of radiation was always the most difficult during all treatment.

It seems like he is having trouble sleeping. Is it due to pain?

@thom4545

Could you tell me how long it took you to get thru the radiation side effects after your treatment? My husband is 1month out and is just as sick and exhausted as ever. He can't sleep longer than 2 hours at the time and he is just wore out.

Jump to this post

I have thought about your post for several days. I am a year out from my treatment. Following surgery where they removed cancer from base of my tongue and removed 42 lymph nodes from the right side of my neck, I underwent 6 weeks of radiation and 6 chemotherapy treatments. I was hospitalized many times during treatment, I lost over 50 pounds and have only gained back about 5 lbs. I could not eat solid foods for 6 months, and I am currently eating enough to sustain my health. I had to receive IV hydration every other day for 4 months after my last treatment. I had no desire to eat or drink, no did I want to. My family tried to support me but they just thought I could pick up a spoon and start eating again. My energy levels were very low and I tired easily.. I did maintain a somewhat normal active life, but I haven't exercised or gotten back to my walking 8 miles a day. I tell people the most difficult part of cancer is recovery!! Please be patient with your husband, the road to recovery is long and difficult.. But a year out from now he will be a new stronger person. Please be kind and gentle with him, and also remember to be kind and gentle to yourself.. Good Luck..

Your reply is very wise@katlijewski. It is a very tough journey and the first year is one of recovery. Hope you are back to 8 miles a day in the near future. That is admirable. x

Please login or register to post a reply.