Head and neck cancer survivor story

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Head and neck cancer survivor story

Hi guys my name is Lisa I am a 2 time head and neck cancer survivor.


My Story I was diagnosed when I was 30 with squamis cell carsinoma at that time they removed my right eye and surrounding area . No chemo or radiation at that time I went through numerous surgeries to have implants put in for a prosthetic to be held in well years of doing this I never got it completed. I am now 52 I have wore a bandage all that time.


A year ago I had a lymph node swell in my neck I went in right away they did a needle biopsy it was negative 3 weeks after it was the size of a grape back in I went at that point they did another more aggressive biopsy it was positive went for a pet scan and the whole right side of my face lit up IT Was back . They took me to surgery quickly it was stage 4  they ended up over 20 hours in surgery had to remove the side of my face roof of my mouth ect they removed bone from my shoulder graft off my leg I was a mess . I went through chemo and radiation together it was not that bad in the beginning them baam it hit . And was not fun at all I lost 89 lbs didn't eat for 3 months had mouth blisters radiation burns on my neck and very sick my pick line failed so i was having to get ivs put in 3 times per week for chemo and iv fluids .


After treatment was done I had and still have fatigue weakness ect my life has totally changed now I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism side affect of radiation so on more meds I go I struggle to get through everyday the worst for me is the public I have a bandage over the side of my face every time I go anywhere it's always comment. To me good and bad I'm already so self conscious it's unbearable . I just stay on my farm as much as possible my husband dogs and horses and family don't judge me and I can be me . Without the constant stares and comment s but I'm alive and thankful for my circle of people around me I just wanna be normal . But I will never be again and that's almost unimaginable .with all that being said I realize there are people alot worse than me any I pray for them every day and pray no one ever has to go through this hell.


If I can help anyone please ask I will give honest answer s even if it's not what you want to hear I think people need to be aware of good and bad I wish I would have known

Valued Contributor

Re: Head and neck cancer survivor story

Thank you for sharing your story with us @LisaMurray Heart

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Super Contributor

Re: Head and neck cancer survivor story


gee what hard time you have had over the years, and then a reoccurrence of cancer,it’s good that you have a great circle of people around you,it is a shame that you can  be judged on appearance instead of what is actually inside a person,kindness,love and good deeds,our animals don’t care what we look like, only that we look after them with love ,kindness and care for them ,I am sure your animals are well treated,my granddaughter has a dog and a 16 year old horse they are treated like royalty,horsey people tend to be like that with their animals.


To have been through all you have over the years and still be around looking to help other sufferers ,says lots about the kind of person you are,your courage,strength ,will to live ,and compassion for others.


Re: Head and neck cancer survivor story

Thank you for sharing your story Lisa. It must have been difficult.

I don't have a lot of information right now on my own head and neck cancer because it was detected by imaging and the oncology unit hasn't yet contacted me to arrange an appointment, but if surgery is an option it will be extensive like the surgery you had.

I really appreciate you being so honest. My own head and neck cancer (maxillary sinus) is relatively rare and that means there aren't many personal stories around of people who've gone through treatment for it.

I hope you continue to heal both physically and emotionally.
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