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#196448 - 05/17/18 01:32 AM Re: Feeling overwhelmed! [Re: Vicky1]  
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 35
Vicky1 Offline
Contributing Member (25+ posts)
Vicky1  Offline
Contributing Member (25+ posts)

Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 35
Maine
Did you have to have your jaw wired shut after surgery? I googled it, and the images and information was overwhelming and scary. I'm going to avoid google from here on out.


My father's information:
64 years old
Former tobacco chewer- chewed from age 11 to age 63
Diabetic, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol
Diagnosed in February 2018 with Stage 4, N0 Verrucous carcinoma (VC) is an uncommon variant of squamous cell carcinoma
Mandibulectomy and free-flap reconstruction May 30, 2018
Diagnosis changed to SSC.
Began treatment of 30 rads and 5 Cisplatin Cycles on July 18, 2018
#196449 - 05/17/18 01:37 AM Re: Feeling overwhelmed! [Re: Vicky1]  
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 35
Vicky1 Offline
Contributing Member (25+ posts)
Vicky1  Offline
Contributing Member (25+ posts)

Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 35
Maine
Dad's getting more upset as we near the date. He's started saying stuff like maybe he should kill himself to avoid the surgery. His primary care doctor gave him some anxiety medication, but told him to take it only when he's feeling very anxious. It's making me more worried for the surgery and afterwards. It's been a rough couple of weeks.


My father's information:
64 years old
Former tobacco chewer- chewed from age 11 to age 63
Diabetic, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol
Diagnosed in February 2018 with Stage 4, N0 Verrucous carcinoma (VC) is an uncommon variant of squamous cell carcinoma
Mandibulectomy and free-flap reconstruction May 30, 2018
Diagnosis changed to SSC.
Began treatment of 30 rads and 5 Cisplatin Cycles on July 18, 2018
#196452 - 05/17/18 02:07 AM Re: Feeling overwhelmed! [Re: Vicky1]  
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 185
KristenS Online content
Senior Member (100+ posts)
KristenS  Online Content
Senior Member (100+ posts)

Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 185
alabama
Talk to your dad's doctor about the anxiety. Depending on what he's been given, it's possible he can take a lot more. I'm on pretty regular anxiety and depression medication, and my very sensible psych upped the doses for some of them during my cancer treatment, because obviously that's going to push the boundaries a LOT! If I can be prescribed as much as I get, you can certainly question if your father can be prescribed more regular or a higher amount dosing. If it's for anxiety or panic attacks, I find that by the time mine break through, they are a lot harder to stop, and it's better to keep them in check up front if possible. Cancer is scary. Might as well go ahead and get the anxiety under control if you can ... enough of the rest feels out of control as it is. I'm NOT a doctor, of course, but I've been dealing with panic attacks for near twenty years now, so I have some experience in this area. smile Ask. It is always worth it to ask.


Surgery 5/31/13
Tongue lesion, right side
SCC, HPV+, poorly differentiated
T1N0 based on biopsy and scan
Selective neck dissection 8/27/13, clear nodes
12/2/13 follow-up with concerns
12/3/13 biopsy, surgery, cancer returned
1/8/14 Port installed
PEG installed
Chemo and rads
2/14/14 halfway through carboplatin/taxotere and rads
March '14, Tx done, port out w/ complications, PEG out in June
2017: probable trigeminal neuralgia
Fall 2017: HBOT
Jan 18: oral surgery
#196453 - 05/17/18 02:13 AM Re: Feeling overwhelmed! [Re: Vicky1]  
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,051
ChristineB Offline
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
ChristineB  Offline
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,051
PA
As you have found out the hard way, Dr Google is NOT a good source for info! I always advise members to avoid using that. I tell people that if you put in enough info, even an 80 year old man will come up as being pregnant with twins. Of course Im joking!!! I just hate seeing patients and caregivers who already have enough on their shoulders learning from any number of unreliable sources. OCF is one of the few sites certified by Health on the Net to always provide up to date, correct medical advice.

The patients mental health plays a big role in how well they do with surgery and recovery. Im so very sorry your father is upset and talking about suicide! That must be very sad and scary at the same time. If your father is a danger to himself, thats way more than almost all caregivers are able to manage. If you have not notified all of your fathers cancer doctors about this, do so right away. They need to know about your fathers current state of mind and the change in his anxiety meds. Some of those type medicines take weeks until they are completely effective. Your father isnt on something like that, his is a more of a sporadic type of medicine. Sounds to me like your father would benefit from something taken daily even though most of those meds need a few weeks before it kicks in. Tomorrow morning start calling your fathers doctors.

Hang in there!!!


Christine
SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07
-65 lbs in 2 mo, no caregvr
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 xtended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line IV antibx 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3x in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile
#196454 - 05/17/18 03:08 AM Re: Feeling overwhelmed! [Re: Vicky1]  
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,105
PaulB Offline
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)
PaulB  Offline
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,105
NYC
Vicky1,

Depression, and even suicide is a major factor with head and neck cancer patients. I once read as far as cancers, suicide was 5th with Head and Neck Cancer patients, but recently read it’s second behind pancreas cancer, but regardless, all threats should be taken seriously. Maybe your father can see a therapist, talk to a friend or minimum tell his doctors!

Some anti-depression medications can even cause these thoughts with certain individuals with no history of this or even with this disease, it did with me. I contemplated this, still have a wrist scar, but attempted several times, other ways, which was all I thought about doing when I was hospitalized for 6 months in 2010, and paralyzed from the waist down or was just so weakened, with no good prognosis. The hospital and staff had no idea either! I told one friend who came to see me, who had convinced me that if i wasn’t successful, I could be permanently harmed, disfigured or paralyzed. That made me think, so at one point, I requested the hospital stop giving me anti-depression meds (only do this by dr request), but I don’t know if this was the cause or not, but haven't had this problem again, even after multiple cancers, but here I am still, cancer free, 9 years later.


10/09 T1N2bM0 Tonsil
11/09 Taxotere Cisplation 5-FU 6 Months Hosp
01/11 35 IMRT 70Gy 7 Weeks
06/11 30 HBO
08/11 RND PNI
06/12 SND PNI LVI
08/12 RND Pec Flap IORT 12 Gy
10/12 25 IMRT 50Gy 6 weeks Taxotere Erbitux
10/13 SND
10/13 TBO/Angiograph
10/13 RND Carotid Removed IORT 10Gy PNI
12/13 25 Proton Therapy 50Gy 6 weeks Carboplatin
11/14 All Teeth Extract 30 HBO
03/15 Sequestromy Buccal Flap ORN
09/16 Mandibulectomy Fibular Flap Sternotomy
04/17 Regraft hypergranulation Donor Site
06/17 Heart Attack Stent






#196494 - 05/24/18 02:40 AM Re: Feeling overwhelmed! [Re: PaulB]  
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 35
Vicky1 Offline
Contributing Member (25+ posts)
Vicky1  Offline
Contributing Member (25+ posts)

Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 35
Maine
We found out dad has diabetes today. We also went to a cancer support group at a nearby hospital. I think it bummed him out. It sounded like the three folks who were there have been coming for years. Two of them have terminal cancers of the prostate and of the lungs. They talked about a woman who died since their meeting last week. People cried. He did talk a lot about how angry he is about his diagnosis and how scared he is of the surgery, which might be good.


My father's information:
64 years old
Former tobacco chewer- chewed from age 11 to age 63
Diabetic, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol
Diagnosed in February 2018 with Stage 4, N0 Verrucous carcinoma (VC) is an uncommon variant of squamous cell carcinoma
Mandibulectomy and free-flap reconstruction May 30, 2018
Diagnosis changed to SSC.
Began treatment of 30 rads and 5 Cisplatin Cycles on July 18, 2018
#196745 - 07/11/18 01:46 AM Re: Feeling overwhelmed! [Re: Vicky1]  
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 5
LJM Offline
Member
LJM  Offline
Member

Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 5
MN
There really is a great sense of comfort in talking with others who have gone with similar situations. I would make sure his doctor knows he has talked about ending his life. I believe antibiotics might benefit him. I am sure the anxiety meds help but if he is suppose to only take them when things are really bad, that doesn't help him every day.

When I went in for my tongue & neck dissection surgery, one of the nurses had part of his jaw bone removed due to Oral Cancer. It was very inspiring to me that he was working as a nurse and had made it through his storm...at least for the most part wink


Lori
Biopsy 12/2017 microinvasive carcinoma measures 0.25 mm
Partial tongue removed & 29 lymph nodes neck dissection
Trying to accept my new normal
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