Wes Szwedo

First post: Dec 13, 2017 Latest post: May 24, 2024

Wes's first diagnosis was in November 2017 where they found that he had Squamous Cell Carcinoma (stage 4) that had   into his metastasized into his chest and neck.  He went through several rounds of Chemo and Radiation and a long road to recovery.

The cancer was found again in 2019 while the surgeon did a procedure harvest tissue to close an open area where a tooth was pulled and had not healed.

In April of 2021 he had to undergo a 12-hour surgery (Mandibulectomy) where they used his Fibula to replace his right jaw.

In April 2023 more Squamous cells were found and they removed approximately a quarter of his tongue.

In April 2024 Wes experienced swelling of his tongue and an ulcer began to develop.  His CT/PET scans came back clear but we continued to be persistent that we felt there was something going on.  The swelling did not improve with steroids or antibiotics and it began to become more difficult to speak and swallow.  They brought him back to Atlanta for a MRI and found a large tumor that did not show up previously.   A surgical biopsy was done and showed he has a rare Scarmatoid Carcinoma (stage 3) that is possibly from his Chemo/Radiation.  His surgery is scheduled for May 8th where they will remove at least 1/2 of the tongue and reconstruct the tongue.

Original story:

On November 29, 2017 I received results from a biopsy of my tongue and it came back positive that I have Squamous cell carcinoma or oral cancer. I have met with a team of Doctors at Cancer Treatment Centers of America and the plan of care is to dissect a silver dollar size area of my tongue and they will make a long incision down the right side of my neck to remove approximately 20 lymph nodes. The surgery will take about 4 hours to do. The lymph nodes will then be sent out to the Pathology lab and the results will be back within a week. The stage of cancer will be determined by how many lymph nodes are affected or if the cancer is outside of the lymph nodes or the margins. If the cancer is contained within one lymph node, no radiation or chemo will likely be needed. If there are 2+ affected lymph nodes or it is outside the margins, I will have radiation 5 days a week for at least 7 weeks. They have told me the first few weeks during radiation are not too bad, but as time goes on it will get worse making the last few weeks the most painful. After surgery, I will have a feeding tube for 1-2 days. If my nutrition levels decrease, it may be necessary to have a feeding tube which I am hoping to avoid.

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