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Found 1 result

  1. jerryskids

    I have Cancer :/

    Throat cancer; a large tumor blocking a lot of my airway. A squamous cell carcinoma in my supraglottis, for those playing doctor at home. Yes I've been throating hogs like @DonS. In fact he and I have been PM'ing as I've started this journey a few weeks ago. TL;DR: It is operable, and I will have surgery in a week or two. Post op treatment TBD. Prognosis looks pretty good as of this weekend but there is a long way to go and several risks described below. Symptoms started maybe 4 months ago in hindsight; a slight cough maybe once every day or two. I was also training for Pat's Run and commented to my wife that I felt like I wasn't quite getting all of the oxygen I thought I should. While I'm fit I'm not a runner so, what did I know? With Covid floating around and the symptoms just sorta hovering I figured I had it and was experiencing some of those longer term effects they mentioned. In May or so I occasionally noticed that I'd choke a little occasionally when I was eating. I figured I was getting old and just needed to chew my food better. It never occurred to me that they were all related. Swallowing became increasingly difficult and I started coughing consistently whenever I swallowed anything, even water. I became convinced that something was wrong with whatever isolates the food pipe (esophagus) from the air pipe (trachea). I hoped… prayed… meditated? that it was irritation from drinking too much. Did I mention that I was drinking too much? I was. I also used to chew, a lot, but quit that 5+ years ago. Anyway, I stopped drinking altogether around when I noticed some blood in my mucus (there wasn't much mucus so it probably had been there for a while and I didn't notice). Finally called an ENT. After some Covid test delays he saw me last Friday and was confident, based on my fitness, that it was just acid reflux. He stuck a camera down my nose into the area and… oops, big ass tumor. Covers more than 50% of the area. Just above the vocal cords but isn't growing on them. He thought I should look a lot worse, so I've got that going for me. He is friends with an ENT at Mayo who is the teaching doctor in the state, maybe country, for a laser procedure that cuts it out from the inside. He called him that evening and said "you need to see this guy ASAP." Got a call Monday to go to Mayo for another Covid test (I'm quite Covid free it appears), saw the surgeon Tuesday, CAT scan Wed, PET Thurs, results on Mayo patient portal Fri including a summary from the PA. Meeting rad/onc Tuesday. Somebody mentioned recently how much better a place like Mayo is than other clinics. All of this under one roof (well, two campuses and multiple buildings), and so far you can set an atomic clock by their keeping appointment schedule. Since I can breathe fine even while laying down, the surgeon wants to collect the above data and review with their cancer board this week. Probably surgery next week is my guess. The good news from the tests is that carcinoma is the best cancer you can get, and as hoped it hasn't spread to other parts of my body. It did go to the lymph nodes on that side of my neck, but that is expected apparently. Also no sign of other tumors brewing. I was particularly skeered about it metastasizing, because it might have been growing there for years. Post-surgery depends on if they can get it all, if they can save my vocal cords, and if they can avoid a permanent tracheostomy (breathing thru a hole in my throat). As the doctor said, I should get back to normal, but I may have a new "normal". I expect I'll be eating smoothies for a few weeks, and not allowed to talk much if at all in that period. Anyway, I'm sure there is more but for now LOOKATMEEEEEEEEE!1!!!!11!!!
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