Just diagnosed with throat cancer.

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Occasional Contributor

Just diagnosed with throat cancer.

Hello , I have just been diagnosed with throat cancer. I am a 48 year old male with a wife and two small children ( 6 & 3 months ). Everything is in turmoil now as the nightmare begins. Initial shock and denial are now being replaced with a dull ache. Initially there was a feeling of " I don't believe I can beat this. " Next day I became vegetarian and non alcoholic. Does this ring a bell with anyone ??
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Re: Just diagnosed with throat cancer.

I think you do whatever makes you feel better after getting news like that. Good luck.
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Re: Just diagnosed with throat cancer.

T4n2m0 base of the tongue tumour. Five years since I have I finished treatment. Tough but doable! Keep talking to the docs anc nurses and self care even when you first don't feel like it. Julie
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Re: Just diagnosed with throat cancer.

Hi Paul, My name is Natalie I am new here, I found out I had Thyroid cancer two years ago which was really shocking being vegan, not smoking or drinking. My world was turned upside down and still is because of swallowing problems. But with the support of my family I am being strong and have kept a positive attitude. I still have a spot in my lungs which the doctors a keeping an eye on and I was told today that I may have to get that remove if it is cancerous. I haven't recovered from my last operation let alone go through another one. You will get through this one step at a time. You will be in good care. Wish you all the best Natalie
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Re: Just diagnosed with throat cancer.

Hi Paul, My name is Natalie I am new here, I found out I had Thyroid cancer two years ago which was really shocking being vegan, not smoking or drinking. My world was turned upside down and still is because of swallowing problems. But with the support of my family I am being strong and have kept a positive attitude. I still have a spot in my lungs which the doctors a keeping an eye on and I was told today that I may have to get that remove if it is cancerous. I haven't recovered from my last operation let alone go through another one. You will get through this one step at a time. You will be in good care. Wish you all the best Natalie
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Re: Just diagnosed with throat cancer.

Hi Paul, I hear where you're coming from, mate. I was 43, married with a 6 yo, when diagnosed with a squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue, which had already spread into my lymph nodes. I've seen some of your posts, and it would seem that you need some support. I am on-line now, you have my undivided attention if you want to post or message me. Sorry I couldnt respond earlier - been busy with work. Regards, Mark.
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Re: Just diagnosed with throat cancer.

Thanks for that , I am online sporadically as I still have the same family responsibilities and even some work responsibilities. Life still goes on. Plus I do feel very tired sometimes ( comes over quickly and also hot/cold ). More waiting now for the oncology people probably Monday. At least I know what to expect and compared to a lot of what I have seen it is not so bad but that doesn't make it any real better. Even if the news is relatively good and they are hoping for a first time cure with 80% plus chance , this strangely doesn't make it any better. Maybe I am just some morbid bastard wallowing in self pity. Anyway I do have good support with family / friends etc but there is a limit to what support can do although I have witnessed some people go through this alone and come out the other side physically cured but mentally not a nice person. Fortunately that is not me as I am focussing on my two young daughters to give me a purpose. Thanks again.
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Re: Just diagnosed with throat cancer.

Thanks to everyone. I just realised another thing today as I was replaying Friday's phone call. My " file " has now officially gone from ENT to Oncology. I have made the big time. My wife is worried I may not return to my job as I told her I am a new man. She actually prefers the new me ( no anger/grumpiness etc ) just not the cancer. I hate my job but the money is good. Everyone likes the new me. Mr Empathy. Has anyone else ever held a wake for their former self ??
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Re: Just diagnosed with throat cancer.

Hi Paul, A few observations from the information you've posted so far, and some questions: First and above all: I could not advise you more strongly to AVOID GOOGLE LIKE THE PLAGUE. Others on this site will say the same, almost without exception. Your information MUST come from YOUR specialist doctor/s. Even my GP at the time gave me wrong information - told me I was stage 3 of 4. WRONG! No, sub-standard information is not just the way things work in the public system. Communication can break down in any system, any time. You just need to advocate for yourself. You would be a CAT A patient (maybe a different name in states other than VIC), and resources will be made available to you. You are entitled to seek explanations, and they must be provided. You are entitled to question stuff that doesn't make sense, and again, explanations will be provided. If you cannot get an explanation, my advice is to calmly and politely escalate until somebody in authority is found to provide the information. Sometimes they don't have the answers, but when that happens, they should tell you. If you are calm, polite and explain yourself clearly, the clinicians will treat you with a great deal more respect, and will actually warm to your desire for knowledge. All of my advice comes from my own experience. I won't bore you with the details of those experiences unless you ask me to. I'm happy to explain if you ask me. 1. Is your tumour a SCC (squamous cell carcinoma? 2. Do you know if there has been any spread into the lymph nodes? My cancer had spread, but I still beat it. 3. Do you know what your official staging is? For example, mine was T2N1M0. The T N M will be the same, with different numeric values in between. 4. I too was a non-smoker, a very light drinker, and HPV negative. You're right, the pool of people from this demographic is getting larger, and they don't really know why at this point. 5. You need to make sure that all your treating professionals are aware of your pre-existing anxiety, and any other mental health issues (depression, etc). 6. This phase you are in now, between diagnosis and a detailed plan, is BY FAR the worst period psychologically of the whole process. See your GP and obtain some medication to get you through this phase. I was given valium - worked like a charm. Discuss with your doctor. 7. I too, wrote myself off. I didn't tell anyone at the time. I thought that the treatment might work initially, but that the cancer would eventually come back and I would die. Then, out of the blue one day, about 2 weeks post-diagnosis and about a week before surgery, it hit me: what if they take it out, and it doesn't come back? 8. My major operation was Feb 5, 2012. I am now officially CURED. 9. I have few minor side-effects, a far better outcome than predicted. I'm nothing special, Paul. I engaged with my clinicians, took their advice, asked questions, challenged them to explain, reported all information to them, and carried out my end of the plan. They did the rest. You can do it, too. Regards, Mark.
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