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brenda40's CancerCompass Friends

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About brenda40

Caregiver
Head and Neck Cancer, Tonsils Cancer
Acupuncture, After Treatment, Alternative Treatments, Cancer Nutrition, Cancer Prevention, Clinical Trials and Research, Conventional Treatments, Supplements, Support

11/4/2010- Just added a picture- Was taken last week on a trip to NYC. The man in the pic is my husband, Manjit. He sure doesn't look like what he's been through. He would disagree. His beard won't grow back after the radiation so he decided to grow a mustache. (I'm the blonde with him.) Here's the story. Manjit was diagnosed with stage IV tonsilliar cancer in Nov,08. The tonsil was surgically removed, chemo started. Then radiation as well as more biological (Erbitux) therapy. 1st post therapy PET & CT were clear in August, 09. Now 2 months later after continuous complaints about the sore throat, fatigue, raspy voice & increased dryness the ENT found a spot in the tonsilliar area that is suspicious & scheduled a biopsy for Wed 11/10/2009. We had received such a positive outlook from the oncology team that we never really thought about re-occurrence. Not really prepared. The cancer had travelled into 3 lymph nodes at the original diagnosis & we even considered the neck dissection. We were convinced that this was not the best treatment choice & trusted the team of professionals who treat this everyday? Any advice? Really scared! Please pray for this man that I adore for having the courage & strength to keep fighting this ugly disease. Thanks...Update. 11/4/2010-turned out that the biopsy was + again for SCC. Unfortunately, the PET showed nodes on the lung. Was given 6 months! We refused to accept that. Went to MD Anderson, Texas - they agreed! Well, by late November a Chest CT showed that the nodes were smaller & maybe it was infection & not mets to the lung. More anti fungal, anti bacterial & anti viral meds. They shrunk more. Great news but now we had to deal with the neck. 12/15/2009 had a selective Neck Dissection with 18 nodes removed. All - ! Thought it was over. Wrong- by Jan, 2010(1 month later) the nodes were back & growing. By April- much more & determined that it was definitely metastatic disease. We had the tumor tested in Dec. for the targeted therapy. Time to use it. The gene was positive for the Her2Neu gene. Currently on Tykerb (used for breast cancer) & it is working. Shrinking & no new disease. Unfortunately, it has returned to the same tonsilliar region again. Went to Sloan Kettering Memorial last week & met with 3 docs & got 3 different opinions. Actually, we came home confused & met with yet another doc here who can feel the actual tumor in the throat & feels he can laser it. Taking each day as a gift and trying to live it to the fullest!

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