I survived Cancer Treatment :-)

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Contributor

I survived Cancer Treatment :-)

Hi all – I MADE IT!!  Week 7 is officially done and dusted, I’m through my second round of chemo-radiation treatment for throat cancer and will soon be on the mend and starting to get back my mojo, with only time sitting between me and a confirmed cure.

 

The latest update of my vlog can be found at https://youtu.be/6bSK0K2bjSY

 

 

In this episode I talk about side effects at end of treatment and 3 tips to help you get through.  Most important of all - caring for your carer!

 

Hope this helps a few of you navigate along your own journey.

 

Shane

11 REPLIES 11
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Super Contributor

Re: I survived Cancer Treatment :-)

Hi Shane,

 

Congratulations on completing your treatment.

How long do you have until you are "confirmed" cured?

The waiting can be difficult, I recommend you find something to occupy your mind especially as you close in on that date.

 

-sch

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Re: I survived Cancer Treatment :-)

Hi SCH - my follow up ET scan is planed for lat January 2020 - however the lump that led to the surgery and this second round of chemo/radiation didn't appear in PET scans so I think I'll be waiting for a while.  I was 2 years post original treatment when this latest finding "reset my clock", so cancer free time is the only proof I think I'll trust.  But yes, plenty of distractions planned (-:  We have an overseas trip in Feb '20 that was postponed, we were supposed to be just getting back but had to push it out to undertake this treatment.

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Occasional Contributor

Re: I survived Cancer Treatment :-)

Hi Shane,

congratulations on finishing your treatment. Hoping for good news for you when you have your follow up scans. 
Hubby finished his treatment for head and neck cancer 3 weeks this Friday. The first two weeks post treatment were horrendous for him, constant vomiting, gagging, on the mucous etc. slightly better this week but still happens at times. Feeding tube was removed today so that’s a step in the right direction but think it will be quite some time before he can have more than liquid drinks. 
He has scans 12th Dec, results 17th so fingers crossed. It was very similar to your cancer, tonsil and multiple lymph nodes. HPV. 
anyway best wishes again. 
Julie

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Contributor

Re: I survived Cancer Treatment :-)

Sounds like he's through the worst of it now Joolz, I'm not sure if it would be harder to endure that phase as the patient or carer!  Best of luck on the 12th.

Shane

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Contributor

Re: I survived Cancer Treatment :-)

Hi all who may have followed my vlog last year.  I thought I owed you all an update for following along.

 

Unfortunately the news is a bit poo - last week I had my follow up PET scan and yesterday we learnt that the cancer had been quietly threading down a lymph chain behind my spine and has metastasised in my right lung.  Two rounds of radiation with chemo, immunotherapy for a year plus neck dissection surgery have failed to kill the cancer (or me) which means we've lost opportunity for a cure - next Monday I go in to discuss palliative treatment options with my oncology team.

 

A scary thought but something we'll face up to again - plan is to keep this cancer curse on a short leash and bring it under control sufficiently to get a few life experiences ticked off.

 

Keep well out there through this coronavirus craziness, I'll let you know my next steps when I learn more.

 

Shane

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Super Contributor

Re: I survived Cancer Treatment :-)

Hi Shane,

 

shit mate, I'm sorry.

Keep us all posted please. We're all here for you and following your story.

Your attitude in the face of all this is amazing.

You should be proud and hold your head high for the amazing example that you've set for everyone else.

Best of luck for Monday.

 

-s

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Occasional Contributor

Re: I survived Cancer Treatment :-)

Hi Shane, 

 

I'm so sorry to hear. That's the worst news especially amid the world in free fall with Coronavirus.

I have followed your story since my husband started his journey in August 2019. Your positive attitude to life kept me going through the worst of his treatment. Thinking of you and your family as you face the next chapter of your journey.  Please keep us posted when you feel you can. 

Julie

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Cancer Council Team

Re: I survived Cancer Treatment :-)

Hi Shane,

 

I am so very sorry to hear that!

 

Let us know how you go tomorrow after your appointment, feel free to vent or whatever you need to do here ❤️

 

My thoughts are with you,

Kate

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Re: I survived Cancer Treatment :-)

Hi all, I'm really humbled by the kind and caring messages you offered.

 

My oncologists' team were really disappointed by the news and one was visibly upset, we've been through a lot together and my combination of age, fitness and P16+ status were supposed to set the stage for a cure.  But as we know this insidious disease doesn't follow such rules.

 

I've been put straight onto Nivolumab immunotherapy and started Monday - we were lucky that this recurrence was found within 6 months of my last chemo by a matter of days which means we get PBS funding and treatment will be bulk billed, if it was found later by a week or two we'd have the awful decision whether to self-fund the $10k/month or go without.  Nivolumab was chosen because my cancer may have become chemo tolerant and we want to avoid the toxicity of long term chemo exposure (because I still plan to be around a long time ;-).  I was also getting strong reactions to the Pembrolizumab during the clinical trial and apparently that is a sign that immunotherapy is likely to be effective.

 

It will be a monthly IV treatment, so not regular enough to need a portacath or PICC line, something I'm very happy about.  They still have trouble getting canulas to hold in my veins as they've hardened from treatment, but its worth persevering to avoid a permanent device that stops me swimming or exercising.

 

Plan is another PET scan in 3-4 months to gauge whether treatment is controlling spread, from there decide whether treatment is maintained or intensified.

 

Doctors won't commit to timelines this early in the peace and thanks to COVID-19 we can't get out to take advantage of the time left.  So for now I'm tapering out of work and tidying up our camping gear, we're also looking seriously at a new camper trailer!! 🙂 

 

Our strategy is plan for the best but have a contingency if fate delivers something less.  Thankfully it looks like our income protection insurance will reopen our claim, removing one source of stress and enabling us to get out and squeeze as much from life as we can (well... after lock down anyhow).

 

I wasn't planning to make treatment vlogs this time, but will definitely post some videos as we celebrate living (even if it is with cancer).

Thanks again for all your support.  I'll check in soon

Shane

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