Dan R. on October 19, 2014
I was Diagnosed with:
Tonsilar Squamous Cell Carcinoma reoccurence
Type and Description of Treatments:
Removal of right tonsil, lymph nodes, section of tongue and surrounding tissue.
How do you feel today?
Sore, thankful, glad the surgery part is over.
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?
I'm back in a recliner on tube feeds for the time being.
What is going well for you right now?
I'm able to tolerate the tube feedings, my voice is coming back, and I'm able to get around better.
What is not going well for you right now?
The donor site for the flap in my throat was my left thigh. This has hampered mobility a little. I get around, but some days it's a little painful. Learning to swallow again is a challenge. I have dry mouth so I am trying to sip water constantly, sometimes I can get it to go down, other times I gag and it comes back up.
What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?
Because it was in my throat, I have to work through this constant fear that I won't be able to breath or will choke while trying to swallow. Staying hydrated and getting the nutrition I need to heal.
When difficulties overwhelm you, where do you go for support?
My Wife has been phenomenal through this whole ordeal. I would not be making it without her.
How have your long-term goals or life goals changed since diagnosis?
I'm always looking at thing months ahead, It gives me goals to work towards. I try not to get stuck in "tomorrow", I'm looking at next week, next month.
What is your work arrangement right now? What are your hours?
I'm unemployed at this point.
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your work life?
My contract ended and was not renewed.
What has helped you continue to work the most?
If "today's you" could give advice to "day-of-diagnosis you," what would you say?
Just keep trying, Don't stop making plans and setting goals. Patience is key.