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Sunday, October 22, 2017

TRIED EATING AGAIN

Tried eating some vegetable soup tonight.  Amazingly enough, it didn't stink.  So I tried a few spoonfuls of the tomato broth.  I was so happy that it didn't taste chemical.  However, after the second spoonful it started to burn my throat -  especially on the left side where the cancer was.  I kept trying and drinking water after each bite but it really burned a lot so I quit.  More wasted food. 

I feel that there is something on the base of my tongue as I can feel it when I move my tongue.  It doesn't feel like a lump.  It feels like some loose skin or a piece of skin hanging.  It's hard to describe.  I'm just hoping it is scar tissue.


CAT SCAN RESULTS

Study Result of CT Scan

Impression

1. No discrete left vallecular mass seen comment there is soft tissue fullness in the region which could represent post therapy change, but residual mass is possible.
2. Interval decrease in size of the metastatic left cervical lymph node, now measuring 1.2 cm.
3. 5 mm calcification adjacent to the right submandibular gland, possibly a stone.


Electronically signed by: JOHN STEIGNER MD
Date: 10/20/17
Time: 15:59

Narrative

Exam: CT neck without IV contrast.

Indication: Elected a neoplasm.

Comparison: Neck CT 2/9/2017, PET/CT 05/16/2017.

Iterative reconstruction technique was used.

Findings:
The left vallecular soft tissue mass seen on the previous study is not definitively seen; however, there is mild fullness in the left vallecular region. This could represent residual neoplasm or post therapy change. The enlarged left cervical lymph node is decreased in size, and now measures 1.2 cm. No other masses are noted. The parotid glands are unremarkable. There is a 5 mm calcification adjacent to the right sub-mandibular gland, suspicious for a stone. The left submandibular gland is not identified. No enlarged cervical lymph nodes are seen. There is a 2 cm nodule in the right lobe of the thyroid.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Not sure if I should be relieved or not.  This is not a NED.  I'll see what the Oncologist has to say on Wednesday. 


Friday, October 20, 2017

CAT SCAN TODAY

Had a CAT scan today.  Will get results at next appointment with Oncologist on Wednesday of next week.  Hoping for the best - prepared for the worst.

They wanted me to pay a copayment of $225.  I asked if I could be billed and they said no.  I paid the money then after the scan was complete I went to the Financial Services department and spoke to Jennifer who said I do not have to pay the whole amount as I have been approved for assistance and only owe 10 percent.  So they reimbursed me.  This assistance is good until February of 2018.  After that I will have to pay the copayment every time I get a scan.

The left side of my throat is still sore and burns when swallowing any liquid.  I also feel something is there at the same place that the cancer was.  It is a new sensation and it scares me.  I hope it is only scar tissue.  I continue to take the antibiotics and have discontinued the steroid as it hurts my stomach.

I forced myself to try to eat something today.  Stopped at a fast food place and got a vanilla shake and some fries.  The fries did not smell bad so I figured I'd try some.  No luck.  Had to spit out.  I did lick the salt off of some of them and it tasted so good.  I drank half of the shake before it started to taste really bad.  At least I tried.  Still not ready.




Wednesday, October 18, 2017

REACTION TO ANTIBIOTICS AND STEROID

Having severe stomach pain after taking the meds the ENT doctor gave me for my inflamed throat.  Took some Gaviscon to see if it would ease up a bit.  Think I will stop for a day and let my stomach heal.  It seems that every time I take a drug I get this thick coating that forms on my throat even though I take the meds in my tube.  It gags me.  This is so strange.  I gargle but it doesn't help.  

Started doing the exercises the Speech Therapist told me to do.  It's hard to concentrate on any task when my throat is gagging me.

Today was not a good day.  Feeling pretty bad.


A NEW EPIDEMIC

There is a new epidemic building world-wide that has received surprisingly little attention. It is a significant increase in the number of head and neck cancers caused by the HPV virus (human papilloma virus). And the numbers are expected to keep rising.

According to the US Center for Disease Control, there are now more cases of HPV-related head and neck cancers diagnosed each year in the US than cases of HPV-related cervical cancers.

HPV is sexually transmitted and is associated with cancers in the cervix, anus, penis and  head and neck, especially in the tonsils, back of the tongue and throat.

About 80 per cent of the population have HPV in their system at some time. Usually the immune system does its job and throws it off. However, for some, it causes changes in the DNA that take a long time to manifest as cancer.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

LYMPHATIC MASSAGE EVALUATION

Had my second session with the Speech Therapist today.  Was given instructions on how to do many exercises that will have to be done at least twice a day and some for the rest of my life.

This session ended and it was time for my Lymphatic Massage Evaluation.  However, when the tech found out that I am now on antibiotics she said we would have to wait till after I'm through with the meds.  So I got to leave early.  Glad, as I am not feeling well today.  Took a nap when I got home.

I ingested through my PEG tube 1282 calories, 85 grams of protein, and 19 ounces of water.

Monday, October 16, 2017

ENT APPOINTMENT TODAY

Saw Dr. Beyer today and he scoped me.  Said that the area that is hurting and burning is a little more inflamed than the rest of my inflamed throat.  Gave me an antibiotic and a steroid.  He does not feel it is a recurrence of the cancer.

Felt the lymph node and said the swelling I feel is my saliva gland not node.  Didn't say what to do about it.  Asked him about the white stuff on my tongue and he said it was not thrush but a side effect of the radiation.  Nothing we can do about it.  Wants to see me in one month.

I'll be through with the meds he gave me in one week but will have to wait 3 more weeks for another scope.  That will be nerve racking.

He said to keep my mouth moist even if I have to sip water and swish and spit it out.  I think he feels that the dryness is hurting my throat and hindering healing.  I agree.

Today was not a good day as I felt weak and just wanted to nap on the sofa when I got home.