I'd say it took about a month for my tongue to heal to the point where I was comfortable talking again, although I was still a bit worried for a while that, if I laughed too hard or sneezed, my flap would break off and the left side of my tongue would fly across the room. I also had an NG tube and trach for about a month. The worst part was the several-times-daily trach cleanings that my poor mom had to performed.
Immediately after surgery I felt FANTASTIC! For the first time in a couple of months my ear didn't hurt (referred pain from the tumor in my tongue that felt like a letter opener had been shoved into my ear canal). Plus, I was on some really nice pain killers for the first few days post-op.
My surgery included a modified neck dissection. My neck was opened from about the front midpoint to nearly my left ear. As far as I can tell, the work was done through that incision (that could explain why my doctor needed to replace the floor of my mouth on that side). I've subsequently read how a hemiglossectomy used to be performed (as recently as the 1980's) and it involved breaking the jaw. Where is your dad's tumor?
i find this a bit confusing.why is your dad having such extensive surgery if he has been told he only has six months to live?
Radiotherapy alone is an unusual course of treatment,as most people have surgery ,radiotherapy and possibly chemotherapy.
If your dads cancer is not curable,i would have expected them to go down the road of palliative chemotherapy and pain management.the pieces of this jigsaw dont quite fit.If life expectancy is short then quality of life should be the next consideration,and i think it is a lot to expect your father to cope and recover from such invasive surgery,if he knows it is not going to cure him.
Have you talked this through with his doctors?
those questions are really hard to answer without specific information of what surgery your dad is going to have.
Robin had a radical bilateral neck dissection and removal of parotid gland tumour,and he was in hospital for three days.If your dad is having his jaw broken and a skin flap and possibly a tracheotomy then he will be in hospital for possibly a couple of weeks.wether or not he can talk will depend on wether he has a tracheostomy.Robs first operation was to remove part of his tongue and he could talk fine straight away.
well thats a bit more information and hopefully tomorrow you will have some more.
A tracheostomy is a hole cut in the wind pipe ,with a tube inserted i to it.This is to keep the airway to the lungs open as there will be a lot of facial swelling.and his breathing may become difficult if the swelling is severe,It should be temporary and when every thing settles down hopefullythe tube can be removed.If he has very extensive surgery you are going to find it very frightening when you go to see him,so you must prepare yourself.Just remember it is not permenant and he will look much better after a couple of weeks,so be strong.
your best bet is to read some of the case studies here on the site.your dads treatment is not unusual and someone here will have gone through it.Yes a traceostomy will chnge his voice ,but then radiotherapy will do that as well.it is a very small price to pay for a cure my love.
p.s. Im sorry if these messages are all over the place, its because i have so many thoughts its just very confusing.
I got tongue cancer. This was treated by surgery and radiation. I think I am now cured. The surgery involved removing the tumour and some more of the tongue as well. The radiation required the removal of teeth. After about two years I was given some false teeth. It began in 1997 when I was 59. I live in Yorkshire, England..."
Link: EXPERIENCES > ANANTH'S STORY
p.s. Thank you Dr Joshi
Your father will be under pressure and concerned about the side effects of surgery regarding his voice and his ability to speak.His docotors I am sure will have gone through all this with him and I am sure they would not be going down this road if they felt there was no benefit for your dad .He will be feeling frightened and concerned, but inside I feel sure he feels he needs to do this and that is why he has consented to have operation.
Cookey is right, read through the experiences of other patients case studies as this will help you to unnderstand that although there may be a change in his voice given time he will get his life back and enjoy his family all though there may be a few changes .
Unfortunately cancer and treatments do leave the patient with unwanted legacies in most cases especially head and neck .Given time and everyone in the family adapting then can be managed and a quality of life achieved .
Your concern and worry is normal .Reading past case studies will help you understand what your dad will experience and in turn help you to cope with your fathers outward behaviour till he gets through his operation and into recovery.
Thinking of you and your family ,be strong .
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