At the start of last month I was presented with another cancer problem but I decided not to publish the details because I was concerned that my history may prompt newer members to think that a cancer diagnosis is the start of an endless string of re-occurrences. This happens in only a small number of cases, the norm is:- problem>>>Treatment>>>five years monitoring>>>Cured.If there is any doubt about this take a look at the other postings in this section, for example, Shirl 5 years clear,Russ 8 years clear and Hagg 15 years clear and many more.
I have been prompted by a couple of people to make this posting and having given it considerable thought I have reached the conclusion that there may be some merit in illustrating that it is not only possible to survive multiple doses of cancer it is also possible to get on with,and enjoy, life in between treatments which I most certainly do and will strive hard to continue.
I put this posting in "Survivors" because that is how I see myself, I am now the survivor of 21 procedures from major operations through intermediate to minor events such as biopsies, which represent a little more than half of the total.
At the start of last month I found a lump in my neck, at the opposite side to the neck resection of nine years ago,two needle biopsies confirmed that the problem was SCC. An MRI scan of the head and neck confirmed the biopsy result and a whole body CT scan revealed no remote metastases so the staging was T2 N2p M0.A planned three hour procedure was carried out 23 May but in fact took seven hours, I was home after five days, tired and with a sore neck and facing the prospect of Chemo and thirty sessions of RT. I have an appointment on Friday at the Bexley wing St. James hospital Leeds to discuss the forthcoming treatment details. Friday is the longest day of the year and also the day before my 77th. birthday.
The Bexley wing is recognised as a European centre of excellence for cancer treatment and St. James hospital was the venue for the TV series "Jimmy's'"... I think I would have preferred to watch an episode than be a participant.
A few years ago NICE rejected the drug "Erbitux"(Cetuximab) for use by the NHS in head and neck cancer treatment, Dr Joshi decided to appeal this decision, I and three other mouth cancer patients joined him in the appeal procedure which was heard at the headquarters of NICE in London. The hearing was in the form of an inquisitorial court procedure presided over by Prof. Sir Michael Rawlins and proved to be quite intimidating. We won the argument, I would regard it as poetic justice if Erbitux was the Chemo part of my treatment, it would also be more comfortable than the alternative.
This posting should not be seen as an attempt to solicit sympathy. I mentioned earlier that I was undecided about making the posting or not, If anyone has an opinion on that I would be pleased to hear it.
Now it is approaching lunchtime and it is my turn to do the cooking today so I had better make a move.
Keep Smiling
John
Original Post
Hi John,
I am really sorry to hear of the problems you're having at the moment. I follow your posts regularly and enjoy the way you put things into perspective, and put people in their place when necessary! I'm a 5 year survivor and like you, had radical surgery followed by chemo and RT. I also live life to the full, despite my limitations and try not to think 'here we go again' every time I have a sore mouth or a pain in my neck - but once you've been there, it can be difficult not to worry at times! I have to say John that you are such an inspiration to people like me and I look forward to your posts and take encouragement from them regularly.
I wish you all the luck in the world John and I will look forward to hearing of your progress. Good luck and lots of love xx Dian
Hi John.
I think you were right to post this one. Dian is right, you are an inspiration to so many people and you truly do prove that you can have a life, despite the odd setback here and there.
Hang in there my friend and as you always say, keep smiling.
Good Evening friends,
Thank you for your words of support.
Dian, it is good to know that some of my postings have a positive effect.
The Bexley wing may have an excellent reputation for the practical side of their work but they have things to learn when it comes to administration; I rang today regarding the time of my appointment and the lady said I will send you a letter, I pointed out that a letter was unlikely to reach me by tomorrow and she replied Oh! you are not on tomorrows list it will probably be next Friday.I suppose they know what they are doing.........but I have yet to figure it out.
Keep Smiling
John
The 33 sessions of RT are now behind me, not much fun is it?
I seem to have experienced all the usual discomforts made more unpleasant by the fact that I had Lymes disease at the start and managed to get ,what was described as a nasty chest infection half way through. The antibiotic chosen in each case had an adverse effect. I was an in inpatient for between three and four weeks and can not complain about the standard of care with the exception of food and drink... NG...and IV !
It is clear that recovery will be slow so I have set my first target at enjoying some semblance of Christmas lunch and a glass or two of red.I will rejoin the MCF activities when I have recovered mentally ad physically, in the meantime I wish you all well
Keep smiling
John

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