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#195581 - 01/06/18 01:41 AM Tonsil Cancer Survivor  
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 15
BryanB Offline
Member
BryanB  Offline
Member

Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 15
Gun Barrel City TX
Hi everyone...I'm Bryan and I'm a cancer survivor since 2002. I was diagnosed with stage 3 squamous cell carcinoma. My primary source was located in my left tonsil. I didn't even know you could get cancer in your tonsils. I received a left neck dissection, removal of teeth, and 38 radiation treatments. I called them "turn and burn" sessions. Any way everything was good up until 2011 when I began having trouble swallowing and aspirating. After fighting that battle in 2015 I got my peg-tube. I'm now a official tubie! In 2016 I had to have trach put in because of the excess scar tissue in my airway caused by the radiation. Now I'm an official "neck breather'. It may sound bad, but it really isn't. I feel blessed to be here. The road can be a little rough and the trip is not something I would wish on anyone. I joined this forum not as an expert but as someone who has been down this road. If I ever can be of any assistance to anyone please do not hesitate to pm me. Also in 2016 my wife was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. I'm happy to say "so far, so good'!

Blessings,
Bryan


15 year survivor of tonsil cancer. In 2002 I was diagnosed with Stage III squamous cell carcinoma. I had a left neck dissection, teeth removed, and 38 radiation treatments. In 2015 I received a feeding tube and in 2016 a trach, both due to radiation side effects. But I'm happy to say that life has been good to me!!
#195586 - 01/08/18 01:31 PM Re: Tonsil Cancer Survivor [Re: BryanB]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 108
WZ Offline
Senior Member (100+ posts)
WZ  Offline
Senior Member (100+ posts)

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 108
Kansas
Hi, Bryan

I am also a tonsil cancer survivor from 2002 and have problem with swallowing and aspiration since 2012. My ENT doctor has recommended me to put in tube for many years, but I am still hesitated. While I was unable to swallow solid food anymore, it seems that I can take liquid food (such as Fiber Source HN or ISO Source etc.) I am wondering have you tried to take liquid food by mouth before you decided to have the tube? Also, in recent years, I have experienced constant sore throat and started to have speech problem, I complained to my ENT several times he thought it was radiation's side effect. Do you have constant sore throat and speech problem?(10 years post radiation treatment)


Thanks a lot!

Last edited by WZ; 01/08/18 05:10 PM.

WZ | Stage 4, Tonsillar Cancer Aug, 2002
#195587 - 01/09/18 12:58 AM Re: Tonsil Cancer Survivor [Re: WZ]  
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 15
BryanB Offline
Member
BryanB  Offline
Member

Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 15
Gun Barrel City TX
Hi WZ,

My decision for the feeding tube was the aspiration issue. I started by being restricted of thin liquids (water and ect) and was moved to what they call nectar thickness and I was soon aspirating that as well . Then I went to honey thickness and finally to pudding which I could not swallow with out the help of some thinner liquid. So it was determined for me the best alternative was a feeding tube to get the needed nutrition and to eat safely. I hate to say this but for me my voice is pretty well shot. There was considerable damage done to my vocal cords during radiation. I never really had a normal voice since, but I could use it. I was a youth pastor for 5 years following the treatments and you have to be loud to talk over teenagers! smile In April of 2016 I had a trach put in. The speech therapist said that my air pipe through my vocal cords was the size of a coffee straw. Next time you see one pick it up and breath through it. You can get air in but not out, which makes less room for getting more air in. My voice now is very intermittent and often nonexistent. I use a electo-larynix around the house sometimes. At this moment I'm transitioning to real food through my tube and let me tell you...it is so much better for me. I have been on IsoSource 1.5 for a little over 2 years. Almost forgot....no I haven't had a sore throat since radiation and the times when I would choke and strain it during eating.

Hope this helps...great talking with you,
Bryan


15 year survivor of tonsil cancer. In 2002 I was diagnosed with Stage III squamous cell carcinoma. I had a left neck dissection, teeth removed, and 38 radiation treatments. In 2015 I received a feeding tube and in 2016 a trach, both due to radiation side effects. But I'm happy to say that life has been good to me!!

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