Right at the start of the journey - husband just diagnosed with throat cancer

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Right at the start of the journey - husband just diagnosed with throat cancer

Has anybody recently been diagnosed themselves or their loved one has been with throat cancer? there appears to be so much frightening information about the radiation treatment and associated side effects online, Im so glad he is not reading it, but I cannot help myself

 

My husband is acutely agoraphobic and could not deal with the mask being made a couple of days ago, he is due to go back and have it done under heavy sedation tomorrow, but I really dont know how he will manage to wear the mask every day for 7 weeks, this seems to worry him more than anything else about the treatment, having that mask across his face, neck and chest is his worst nightmare!

 

Any encouraging remarks, advice, things that worked for them or their loved ones in this situation would be truly appreciated .....

 

 

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Re: Right at the start of the journey - husband just diagnosed with throat cancer

Hi RB4444,

 

 It's very understandable that your husband's agoraphobia would trigger/heighten during stressful times, especially with the daunting task of treatment. It's only natural that you wish to research as much information as possible about the offered treatments. But please be careful as this can also increase the fear about possibilities which may never apply/occur in your situation.  

 

Agoraphobia can be treated through pharmacotherapy, behavior therapy or psychotherapy. Usually behavioral is the more natural and long term method used. 

 

Psychotherapy involves working with a therapist to reduce symptoms of anxiety so that the person will feel safer and able to function better.

 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on changing the thoughts that cause the condition.

 

The person may learn:

* How to cope with the symptoms

* How to understand and control a distorted view of stress-inducing situations

* How to recognize and replace thoughts that cause panic

* How to manage stress

 

This site contains more information in regards to Cancer and Agoraphobia.

 

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/coping/emotionally/cancer-and-your-emotions/fear-anxie...

 

If your husband is acutely affected by this condition then mild sedation might be the best option in this case. Perhaps just before your husband enters into the appointment; find an topic, puzzle or anything that he is passionate about, to help mentally distract him.

 

But above all, speak with an guidance counsellor and the treating doctor for additional recommendations, use the hospital's resources that are at hand. They have services in place that can assist you.

 

I hope that I was able to help in some small way, if not...there are many more individuals, who may be able to assist more effectively.

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Re: Right at the start of the journey - husband just diagnosed with throat cancer

This is such an awful time for both your husband and you. He has his his fears and you have your own. I can read in your message that you love him deeply, and that is more powerful than anything. My advice is to protect him, care for him, and be with him  for every step that he wants you to be on this journey.

I know that sounds simplistic, but it's often just the little things that matter most.

And for yourself, allow yourself to cry.

While he may be focusing on the molehills , I guess you are seeing the mountains ahead.

My best wishes to you both on such challenging time. X

 

 

 

 

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Re: Right at the start of the journey - husband just diagnosed with throat cancer

thank you for your message and advice, it means a lot....it feels like such a long journey already and he has not even begun his treatment yet

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Re: Right at the start of the journey - husband just diagnosed with throat cancer

thank you, appreciate your support, already it feels like there are so many people around us who have been through similar trials and have got through them and that is a real comfort

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Re: Right at the start of the journey - husband just diagnosed with throat cancer

Hi, I should have added ... 

My brother has SSC in neck, not throat, but very similar area. He is 70 years old and has had an accute and  lifelong fear of doctors, dentists, and basically all medical treatments even including blood tests.  When he first was diagnosed (this started as a BCC on his lip), they wanted to do a biopsy. He was terrified. 

After the biopsy they decided to remove the BCC, but as he had left it so long before seeing the doctor, it was a much bigger surgery than we expected.

That was 4 years ago.

Since then, an SCC became apparent on his neck. He has been through all manner of treatments, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, scans, blood tests etc for the treatment of this. His feat of these treatments disapperared very soon after treatment commenced. I think the staff at the hospital were so kind and understanding, and with repeated exposure to different therapies, he just learnt toi tolerate then very quickly and very well. But I am still amazed when I see him casually drop into pathology for a blood test!

I hope your husband has a similar experience, and wish you both the strength and courage to go through this journey together, and with all the love you have.

 

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