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Pampered Chef: Tonsil cancer & treatment

  1. pattikake

    pattikake Member

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    A little bit off topic (well maybe alot off topic!) ...

    My husband will be starting treatment within the next 10 days for tonsil cancer. His primary doctor has recommended radiation only for treatment. However, another doctor has suggested he receive a 'touch of chemo' to help boost the radiation treatments. This would obviously add more sickness to the mix.

    Just wondered if anyone out there has gone through this and which treatment(s) you chose. Any insight would be most appreciated.

    tx
    Patti
     
    Aug 16, 2009
    #1
  2. The_Kitchen_Guy

    The_Kitchen_Guy Legend Member Silver Member

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    Tonsil cancer? I don't think so.

    Squamous Cell Carcinoma maybe? That said, I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV, but I would bet that's what he has.
     
  3. The_Kitchen_Guy

    The_Kitchen_Guy Legend Member Silver Member

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  4. cwinter474

    cwinter474 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Tonsil Cancer? never heard of this. Why don't they remove his tonsils and then treat with whatever?
     
    Aug 16, 2009
    #4
  5. cwinter474

    cwinter474 Veteran Member Gold Member

    1,183
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    Aug 16, 2009
    #5
  6. lcucinella

    lcucinella Member Gold Member

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    FIrst I would find a good oncologist to go to. My FIL has throat cancer & he did radiation tratments 5 days a week for 6 weeks & 3 chemo treatments. 1 when he started radiation, 1 three weeks later & the last one 3 weks after that.

    I also a lady my mom works with, her brother has tonsil cancer. I will be praying for a good outcome for your husband & please keep us updated!:)

    Lisa
     
    Aug 16, 2009
    #6
  7. The_Kitchen_Guy

    The_Kitchen_Guy Legend Member Silver Member

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    Some resources that will help him, and you, as the primary care giver:

    The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.
    Unlike the ACS, which is dedicated to eradicating cancer, NCCS is an
    advocate for cancer survivors. They have a Survivor's Tool Kit that
    they will send you at no charge. It is filled with good information about
    coping, patients' rights and to let you know that you are not alone. If
    you click on the link below, you'll find the toolbox along with a listing
    of other resources that will be helpful to you.

    The Cancer Survivor's Toolbox.

    Books that helped me cope:

    [​IMG]

    Not Now, I'm Having a No Hair Day! by Christine Clifford.
    She's a survivor that I read about in the St. Paul Pioneer Press
    back around 1995 and remembered when I needed to, just four years later.

    [​IMG]

    Anatomy of an Illness by Norman Cousins.
    Cousins was diagnosed with a rare tropical disease and given six months
    to live. He decided that wasn't good enough and set out on a path to
    heal himself. He lived for about 25 more years and this is his story - it's
    actually a MUST READ for anyone who is serious about surviving life!

    I also had something called "Everyone's Cancer Encyclopedia" that is no
    longer available. It's out of date, anyway, and it was redone in special
    volumes for different types of cancer.
    (Sadly, Squamous Cell is not one of them.)

    There is, however, something called the Cancer Dictionary that sounds like it might be useful.

    The Kat Lady also found this book to be very helpful to her sanity:

    [​IMG]

    When Someone You Love Has Cancer:
    What You Must Know, What You Can Do, and What You
    Should Expect A Dell Caregiving Guide
    because he's
    not the only one going through this. You're going
    through it too, and you're going to have to put up
    with a lot in support of him. This should help. ;)

    Of course, one of the most important survival books I had was:

    [​IMG]

    The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes (A Calvin And Hobbes Treasury)

    During my first round of chemo, I was in the treatment center
    (The Kat Lady and I called it "The Feeding Room") surrounded by
    12 other poor suckers with tubes in their arms, all of us being
    poisoned while a support person was with them. The Kat Lady
    was reading Irma Bombeck while I was reading Calvin & Hobbes.
    We were laughing so hard that I actually had tears in my eyes.

    There was a young lady supporting an elderly woman who was
    getting her dose. The young lady leaned over to the lady that
    was probably her grandmother and said, not knowing we could
    hear her, "What is wrong with those people? All they do is laugh!"

    Yup - you can't take life too seriously, you're never going to get
    out of it alive, anyway.
     
  8. lcucinella

    lcucinella Member Gold Member

    165
    1
    Also, my father in law had very little sickness from the chemo, it is the radiation that will get him. Make sure he drinks PLENTY of fluids. The radiation in that area is very hard on the throat.

    Lisa
     
    Aug 16, 2009
    #8
  9. The_Kitchen_Guy

    The_Kitchen_Guy Legend Member Silver Member

    12,532
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    NO NO NO NO NO!!!!

    Under no circumstances have the tonsils pulled! A tonsilectomy in an adult is major surgery with all kinds of complications. Pulling the tonsils is no guarantee of a cure anyway.

    If I had known better, I never would have let a surgeon extract the lymph node with the lump. I would have done a needle biopsy because now my neck looks like I was in a knife fight.
     
  10. The_Kitchen_Guy

    The_Kitchen_Guy Legend Member Silver Member

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    It all depends on what they give him for poison...er...chemo.

    An unfortunate side effect of radiation the tonsils is that saliva glands are collateral damage. That had lots of side effects for me that might not be a problem for him, but I can share if you like. Dry Mouth is one, I always have a water bottle with me (those who were with me at NC will attest to that) so I can wet my whistle when I need to.

    There is a drug called Salagin (or something like that) that stimulates muscous membranes and will promote saliva creation.
     
  11. pattikake

    pattikake Member

    436
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    He had his right tonsil and a lymph node removed 5 weeks ago. The cancer, yes Squamous Cell Carcinoma, was in his tonsil and attacked his lymph node. He was out of commission for 2 days following that surgery. He feels great right now, which I know will soon change once treatment starts.

    Thanks for all the links/resources and info... We have done so much reading lately that my eyes hurt! We're keeping a positive attitude and know we are in for a little 'bump' in the road so to speak.

    Thank you all again.
     
    Aug 16, 2009
    #11
  12. rennea

    rennea Legacy Member Gold Member

    3,733
    0
    I don't have any advice to give you, just sending many good thoughts your way. Hope you hubby has a speedy recovery. My DH is just healing from skin cancer and is doing well after his treatment. The "C" word is such a dirty and scary word!!
     
    Aug 16, 2009
    #12
  13. Intrepid_Chef

    Intrepid_Chef Legend Member Silver Member

    5,185
    20
    KG, as a long -time ACS volunteer, I'd NEVER heard of the agency you mention! I will keep it in mind for future referrals.

    I've not heard of this either, but I second the reccomendation for an excellent oncologist.
     
  14. flemings99

    flemings99 Veteran Member Gold Member

    1,028
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    My Dad went through tonsil cancer treatments this past fall. I don't know the official name, but it was a small cell cancer & very agressive. His tonsils were removed & anoids. He had both chemo & radition, started in Nov & ended in April. It's been along road, but he's so far cancer free & doing well.

    Will keep you in my thoughts.
     
    Aug 24, 2009
    #14
  15. The_Kitchen_Guy

    The_Kitchen_Guy Legend Member Silver Member

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    Yup. Squamous cell carcinoma. Tell him welcome to the club!

    10 years clean and green for me - with squamous cell, if it's going to come back, it will come back in 12-18 months and with a vengence. If he makes it a year, he's in good shape, if he makes it 18 months, chances are that he's got the little *&^$#! beat!

    How's the dry mouth so far?

    Personal note to You-Know-Who-You-Are, thanks for signing my Cancerversary guest book! :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
  16. pattikake

    pattikake Member

    436
    3
    My husband starts his radiation treatments today. We're anxious to get them started and to get it over with ..
     
    Aug 26, 2009
    #16
  17. The_Kitchen_Guy

    The_Kitchen_Guy Legend Member Silver Member

    12,532
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    Ask him how much he likes his mask. :)
     
  18. The_Kitchen_Guy

    The_Kitchen_Guy Legend Member Silver Member

    12,532
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    I thought of you as soon as I saw this

    [​IMG]
     
  19. pattikake

    pattikake Member

    436
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    KG - too funny!
     
    Aug 26, 2009
    #19
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