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jerryskids

I have Cancer :/

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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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Wow the life changing diagnosis that we all don’t want to hear.  Thanks for sharing, you may have helped someone down the road. At least you are in good hands. Good Luck. 

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Sounds like the doc has a solid plan to knock this out.  I’m sure you know we’re all here for you.  Take care man.  

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Sorry to hear this. Kick it’s ass. 

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Man, thoughts are with you JK. Even with the jorts and wine obsessions I believe you’re man enough to beat it. You will beat it :thumbsup:

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So the surgeon thinks he can get it all then?  No need for radiation or chemo?  That's huge, as the 7 weeks of radiation with a few doses of cisplatin was the suck. 

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9 minutes ago, vuduchile said:

Sounds like the doc has a solid plan to knock this out.  I’m sure you know we’re all here for you.  Take care man.  

Agreed 

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1 minute ago, DonS said:

So the surgeon thinks he can get it all then?  No need for radiation or chemo?  That's huge, as the 7 weeks of radiation with a few doses of cisplatin was the suck. 

Glad you are still with us DonS 

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You just had to one-up my divorce thread 😒

 

But seriously, hopefully it’ll all be okay and I’m pulling for you buddy! :cheers:

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6 minutes ago, Mike Isles said:

Glad you are still with us DonS 

Thanks man.  TBH I was never worried about dying as I knew that the puzzy eatin' cancer had a well known course of treatment with extremely high success rate.   Just a matter of getting through it all.  Not recommended.  (the cancer part, not the puzzy eatin') 

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I beat COVID.  You can beat cancer Jerry!

Sounds like you’re in great hands. Keep the positive attitude you always seemingly have. The GC will be here however we can be...likely just for a few laughs and political slap fights.

Keep is updated on your progress if you’re up for it.

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Good luck. You will beat it. 

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9 minutes ago, DonS said:

Thanks man.  TBH I was never worried about dying as I knew that the puzzy eatin' cancer had a well known course of treatment with extremely high success rate.   Just a matter of getting through it all.  Not recommended.  (the cancer part, not the puzzy eatin') 

Women.  They're going to get us one way or another.  😉

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Sorry to hear it. Sounds like the prognosis is good. Here’s hoping for a speedy complete recovery. 

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37 minutes ago, DonS said:

So the surgeon thinks he can get it all then?  No need for radiation or chemo?  That's huge, as the 7 weeks of radiation with a few doses of cisplatin was the suck. 

Well, we don't know at this point.  That's why I vaguely alluded to "post-op treatment."  After rad/onc and their cancer board we'll meet with him for a more detailed plan.  I haven't seen the actual scans and wouldn't know what to look at if I did; he might say "easy peasy" or he may say "eesh umm..."  This type of cancer tends to grow mostly out of the skin (inner throat) vs. into the body, which is another positive.  But we don't know.

He said to expect about a month of recovery from the surgery, after which they'll do radiation and/or chemo if needed.  I'm kinda hoping no chemo since it didn't metastasize elsewhere.  We'll see.  :cheers:

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53 minutes ago, Baker Boy said:

Wow the life changing diagnosis that we all don’t want to hear.  Thanks for sharing, you may have helped someone down the road. At least you are in good hands. Good Luck. 

Thanks.  I guess my message is that if you know your own body, you know when something is wrong.  In hindsight I should have gone in a month sooner.  I'm not sure how much it would have made a difference, but I wouldn't feel like an idiot for hoping it would go away.  :thumbsup:

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How many shots of com have you taken? Jesus... Keep the drinking lose the c0ck sucking.:thumbsup:

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39 minutes ago, IGotWorms said:

You just had to one-up my divorce thread 😒

 

But seriously, hopefully it’ll all be okay and I’m pulling for you buddy! :cheers:

Funny you say that, between that thread and the Wiff wrist AIDS I did wait a few days to post this.  :lol:

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1 hour ago, jerryskids said:

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!!! :(

 

I’m sorry man. I really am. I hope the surgery goes well for you and you recover well from it. Hang in there man and take it easy. Go ahead and eat the foods you want to eat because once the surgery is done you won’t be able to. I worked on the bone marrow transplant unit for 2 1/2 years in the AF and had a few men and women come through that had that. Took care of them pre-op and post-op. All of them came out returning to their lives almost completely back to normal. So praying you’re able to as well man. Keep us updated buddy :thumbsup:

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37 minutes ago, Gladiators said:

I beat COVID.  You can beat cancer Jerry!

Sounds like you’re in great hands. Keep the positive attitude you always seemingly have. The GC will be here however we can be...likely just for a few laughs and political slap fights.

Keep is updated on your progress if you’re up for it.

Thanks.  I plan to keep you all up on it.  My challenge, other than having no idea how I'll feel in the coming months, is that I've got several small friend groups which I'll need to update.  In fact I need to go tell my IBL FF team - includes @MTSkiBum, also @Know Doubt although he doesn't post here much.  There are apps where you enter updates and people get notified of an update, I may do that.  We'll see.

 

 

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1 minute ago, jerryskids said:

Well, we don't know at this point.  That's why I vaguely alluded to "post-op treatment."  After rad/onc and their cancer board we'll meet with him for a more detailed plan.  I haven't seen the actual scans and wouldn't know what to look at if I did; he might say "easy peasy" or he may say "eesh umm..."  This type of cancer tends to grow mostly out of the skin (inner throat) vs. into the body, which is another positive.  But we don't know.

He said to expect about a month of recovery from the surgery, after which they'll do radiation and/or chemo if needed.  I'm kinda hoping no chemo since it didn't metastasize elsewhere.  We'll see.  :cheers:

Even if you did need a bit of radiation post surgery it probably wouldn't be as extensive as what I went through since it was used to nuke the entire thing.  The analogy the doc used when describing the role of the chemo (cisplatin) for the treatment was that it was like spraying lighter fluid on charcoal before firing it up.  It was to help make the radiation more effective.   It also ended up putting me in the ER due to puking everything up, including the anti-nasuea pills.  Nothing like dry heaving blood into the toilet.   Good times.   

I'm gonna call you a pansy if you end up just having a doc use a light saber to get rid of the cancer.  Sounds too easy. :thumbsup:

One thing is for certain: it definitely helps having quality cancer care nearby.  As much of a PITA daily radiation was, at least I just had to drive downtown.  Feel bad for folks that would have to travel in order to receive treatment. 

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wow jerryskids, sorry to hear.  best of luck with this.  You will kick its ass.

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Best of luck man, you'll be in my thoughts. Sounds like the prognosis is good, I like to hear that.

:thumbsup:

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2 minutes ago, Djgb13 said:

I’m sorry man. I really am. I hope the surgery goes well for you and you recover well from it. Hang in there man and take it easy. Go ahead and eat the foods you want to eat because once the surgery is done you won’t be able to. I worked on the bone marrow transplant unit for 2 1/2 years in the AF and had a few men and women come through that had that. Took care of them pre-op and post-op. All of them came out returning to their lives almost completely back to normal. So praying you’re able to as well man. Keep us updated buddy :thumbsup:

Thanks.  Ah, food... I generally eat healthy, and by healthy I mean avoid carbs, and I'm pretty thin -- about 5'11" 160.  But for the past week we've been trying to fatten me up -- today for lunch I had a sammich w/3 eggs, brie cheese, two pieces of thick bacon, and avocado.  plus two types of veggies.  Plus a bowl of fruit and some chocolate for dessert.  I'm struggling to gain, even just after such a meal when nothing has been digested yet.  I'll keep at it though -- wife is making prime rib with taters and some veggies.  I'll have ice cream with chocolate and syrup for dessert as well, maybe some fruit again.  If I don't gain weight it's not for trying.  Also it rocks to have a wife who loves to cook.  :)

 

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Wishing you the best from Alabama USA Jerry’skids -  jeesh good luck man.  

 

Im remember the day several years ago where a scorpion was in your shoe and stung you.  You gave us a play by play description through the day.  Classic 

 

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1 minute ago, jocstrap said:

Wishing you the best from Alabama USA Jerry’skids -  jeesh good luck man.  

 

Im remember the day several years ago where a scorpion was in your shoe and stung you.  You gave us a play by play description through the day.  Classic 

 

:D  

Gawd that sucked.  Imagine that feeling when you sit on the crapper to long and one of your legs goes numb.  Then imagine your entire body with that feeling.  Nose, tongue, everything.  I called poison control and they asked if I had trouble breathing.  Um, no... Them:  Then you aren't allergic, be a man and ride it out.  :thumbsup:

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9 minutes ago, jerryskids said:

Thanks.  Ah, food... I generally eat healthy, and by healthy I mean avoid carbs, and I'm pretty thin -- about 5'11" 160.  But for the past week we've been trying to fatten me up -- today for lunch I had a sammich w/3 eggs, brie cheese, two pieces of thick bacon, and avocado.  plus two types of veggies.  Plus a bowl of fruit and some chocolate for dessert.  I'm struggling to gain, even just after such a meal when nothing has been digested yet.  I'll keep at it though -- wife is making prime rib with taters and some veggies.  I'll have ice cream with chocolate and syrup for dessert as well, maybe some fruit again.  If I don't gain weight it's not for trying.  Also it rocks to have a wife who loves to cook.  :)

 

That’s good man. Enjoy it now while you can. Cause post-op there’s no telling how many weeks you won’t be able to eat solid food. And that’s when you usually start craving the things like burgers, pizza, sushi, Mexican, etc. Let us know how things go and we will try to help keep you entertained with some slap fights and some rank’em pics 👍

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Dam man.  Sorry to hear.  Best of luck. :(

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Wow, this is like a punch in the gut. I have never met you, but feel that you are a friend.  I am at a loss for words and that does not happen very often. Fock cancer and you will beat this.

Please PM if there is anything that I can do to help you through this.

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Best of luck Jerry.

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