This is a link to my Caring Bridge account where I will be journaling my path towards recovery! Feel free to comment or share with friends.
I have been diagnosed with squamous cell cancer at the base of my tongue on the left side which has spread to the lymph nodes on the left side of my neck. Per the PET scan it has not spread below my neck! The cancer has been caused by the HPV virus. Apparently, this is how the HPV virus presents itself 20-30 years after contracting it. I have the same type of cancer that Michael Douglas had. You can "google" him and get a good idea of what is in store for me. The doctors, and I have three, have all said that this form of cancer is very treatable and curable. My ENT doctor made a "Pacman" analogy that describes what the radiation treatment does to the cancer. He said the cancer just melts away! It is a great way to envision the treatment and it is helping helping me have a really positive outlook!
The treatment will be seven weeks of radiation, five days a week, and seven weeks of chemotherapy, one day a week. I will probably get a really bad sore throat from the radiation and the chemo will make me nauseous. Swallowing may become a problem so my radiation nurse has already warned me that she won't let me lose more than 10% of my body weight! If you go read Michael Douglas' speech to a medical group he lost a lot more weight than the 10% my nurse is talking about. So, a feeding tube may be in my future. I have an appointment with a swallowing expert this week.
I plan on working until I don't feel up to it. My boss at the YMCA has been very supportive and Jeff's company has been too!