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3/15/2017 Latest post:
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John was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the right tonsil with metastasis to his lymph nodes on October 16th, 2012. He underwent three rounds of strong chemotherapy prior to starting radiation. During radiation he received weekly chemo with Erbitux. After treatment was complete his follow up scans still showed enlarged lymph nodes. On July 2nd, 2013 he underwent a right radical neck dissection. They removed most of the lymph nodes from the right side of his neck. At that time there was still a tiny bit of cancer in one lymph node but since it had been removed no treatment was needed at that time. On a follow up PET scan they noted a nodule in his thyroid. This was completely unrelated to his first cancer. He then had a partial thyroidectomy in December of 2013. After surgery they found that they did not have clean enough margins so he underwent a second surgery to remove the rest of his thyroid. He had to have radioactive iodine after that to kill any remaining thyroid cells. Finally in July of 2014 he was finished with everything!! He has been doing well with all of his follow up scans until January of this year. He had thought something was different for a few months but nothing we could pinpoint. When he went for a follow up with Dr Pluenneke he has a small nodule about the size of a piece of rice that had appeared on his Adam's apple. The doctor was immediately concerned and ordered a PET scan. That got us where we are today, seeking treatment at MD Anderson for a recurrence of his original cancer.