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#121525 - 09/09/10 03:52 AM Realistic Recovery Time
2stonesthrow Offline

Registered: 09/09/10
Posts: 8
Loc: Texas
My husband finished 35 rads/3 rounds Cisplatin for stage 4 SCC of Tonsil 3 weeks ago. Life is still very rough. I'm hearing anywhere from 1-2 years for recovery. What is realistic for an active quality of life of work, family, and really living again? We knew this wouldn't be an easy or quick road. Thoughts?

#121529 - 09/09/10 04:02 AM Re: Realistic Recovery Time [Re: 2stonesthrow]
SusanW Offline
Gold Member (200+ posts)

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 235
Loc: NYC
My husband finished mid May and I've been pleasantly surprised at how he is coming along at this point.
While there are on going issues like not eating as much as he used to he is putting weight on. His energy is lower but he is working, gardening, doing some wood working and walking the dogs every day. His concentration is much better as his is mood.
So, while there is certainly more stuff we want to see improve and everyone is different I don't think you'll have to wait a year to see improvement.
The first month after treatment sucked and after that I could literally start to see the improvements in him!!!
CG to Spouse BOT, Chemo and radiation started on March 29,2010
Ended on May 14,2010. LET THE HEALING BEGIN!!!

#121533 - 09/09/10 06:00 AM Re: Realistic Recovery Time [Re: SusanW]
sharon503 Offline

Registered: 01/16/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Oregon
I had the same treatment as your husband and I started back to work part time (four hours/day) 7 weeks after treatment ended. I was quite apprehensive about it but it turned out to be really good for me. Made me feel more "normal" since going to work every day is what I've always done. I am lucky to have a very understanding employer and I was allowed to come and go however/whenever I needed for as long as it took.

At this point (five months post treatment) I'm working full time and doing just about anything I would have done before treatment. I still have to watch what I eat (nothing too acidic, salty, spicy or with black pepper, and nothing too dry) but I'm getting used to it. Subway sandwiches are my new favorite (flatbread is thin and soft and for calories and moisture I have them add smashed avocado and oil) - I never ate "fast food" before treatment and didn't like sandwiches - but things change. It isn't necessarily bad, just different.
SCC BOT HPV+ diagnosed via neck bump and directed biopsy's January 2010. PEG in 2/2010. Finished 35 radiation treatments and 3 doses Cisplatin March 29, 2010. PEG out 6/2010.

#121540 - 09/09/10 12:43 PM Re: Realistic Recovery Time [Re: sharon503]
davidcpa Offline
Administrator, Senior Patient Advocate
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 09/28/06
Posts: 8311
Loc: Gulfport, Florida
Each of us can respond differently but 1 to 2 years is kinda the norm with the 1st year being the most challenging both mentally and physically. I was back to riding with a vengeance 9 months post Tx and maybe could have done so sooner but tax season got in the way. This recovery is not fun but it was soooo much better than that damn Tx. lol

Age 58 at Dx, HPV16+ SCC, Stage IV BOT+2 nodes, non smoker, casual drinker, exercise nut, Cisplatin x 3 & concurrent IMRT x 35,(70 Gy), no surgery, no Peg, Tx at Moffitt over Aug 06. Jun 07, back to riding my bike 100 miles a wk. Now doing 12 Spin classes and 60 outdoor miles per wk. Nov 13 completed Hilly Century ride for Cancer, 104 miles, 1st Place in my age group. Apr 2014 & 15, Spun for 9 straight hrs to raise $$ for YMCA's Livestrong Program. Certified Spin Instructor Jun 2014.

#121552 - 09/09/10 03:12 PM Re: Realistic Recovery Time [Re: davidcpa]
JScott Offline

Registered: 08/20/10
Posts: 10
Loc: Mooresville NC
I have started getting back to normal just recently after 14 months, but my case isn't norm as I also have MS which made recovery much slower and the dr has just confirmed that my thyroid is damaged which is probably causing the weakness I am experiencing, have been on meds for it for 3 weeks now and am starting to feel a difference. I have played more golf in the past 2 weeks than I have in the past 3 or 4 months. It is slow but it is great when it happens.
54 yr old male, Tongue and neck cancer , left side of tongue base and 1 lymph node on carated artery on the same side.Cells checked and they were HPV virous Positive. Dx 4/09 finished treatment in July 09, Clear cat scan and pet scan in june 10, also have MS Dx 8/08 and am type 2 diabetic.

#121555 - 09/09/10 04:08 PM Re: Realistic Recovery Time [Re: JScott]
ChristineB Offline
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 9428
Loc: PA
I began to feel better after 3 weeks post treatment. My fatigue was still a problem and it took alot of work to make it thru a full day without taking naps. I returned to my office job part time 7 week post radiation/chemo. It took me til I was 4 month post treatment to return to working full time.

Alot will depend on your husbands age, physical condition before treatment, type of work, normal energy level, and frame of mind. Best wishes for a quick recovery.
SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07, no caregiver
Clear PET 1/08
4/4/08 recur L chk Stag I
surg 4/16/08 clr marg
215 HBO dives
3/09 teeth out, trismus
7/2/09 recur, Stg IV
8/24/09 trach, ND, mandiblctmy
3wks medicly inducd coma
2 mo extended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line w/ IV antibiotics 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3 times in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile


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