Over the past three years I’ve been living with cancer, a story that is roughly broken into four periods.
i – after being mis-diagnosed in 2016 we identified a T4N2c P16+ cancer at base of my tongue that was treated by radiation and chemotherapy in 2017. I was also involved in a number of clinical trials during treatment and had a few complications along the way.
ii – 2018 was mostly spent recovering from treatment and settling into the “new normal” of life with treatment side effects.
iii - In 2019 we noticed a small lump near my collar bone which turned out to be a lymph node holding cancer cells that escaped the initial treatment, this led to neck dissection surgery to remove all lymph nodes from left hand side of my neck.
iv – The lymph node removed during surgery showed evidence of extracapsular extension, basically it had signs of failing to contain the cancer cells which are now potentially moving through my body. I have just entered another round of radiation therapy and chemotherapy to intercept these cells before they lead to metastatic cancer.
Unfortunately, these experiences leave me reasonably well qualified to talk about how cancer impacts on your life – although normally a private person I’ve decided to share some of these experiences.
Living with cancer VLOG
Although a little awkward, I’ve decided to keep a video log (vlog) of my latest cancer treatment and show some of the everyday aspects of living with cancer. Hopefully this won’t scare my family and friends too much (sorry mum and Shaz!), but I hope it will help answer some of the questions facing other people entering cancer treatment.
Rather than let me talk to myself please send me any questions that you might have about entering and enduring cancer treatment, or even share your own experience via this channel. Just pop your question in the comments section on YouTube and I’ll work it into a future vlog.
Hi Shane, wishing you all the very best for the 7weeks of treatment, will be following your Vblog. My husband (a fellow Aussi) was diagnised with a stage 1 HPV related base of tongue cancer in june this year and he is currently completing this 7 weeks of chemo and radiation, has 1.5 weeks to go. We live in New York.
His biggest issue currently is mucosis and a comlete loss of appetite, getting calories into him is a struggle. But mucosis is a hard thing to cope with, keeps him awake at nights as he constantly needs to clear his throat and the amount of phlegm produced by his throat is massive, like a factory down there.
We are trying all sorts of things - salty gargles, Mucinex, humidifyer etc. So far not much is helping. Thanks, M
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