Patient / Survivor Header
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#29861 - 11/24/02 09:25 PM Long Time Survivors
digtexas Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Registered: 09/06/02
Posts: 632
Loc: Houston, Texas
I sure would like to hear some stories of long time survivors. Do any of you fit that description? Do you know any stories, even anecdotal, about people who have survived oral cancer for 20 years?

Danny G.
_________________________
Stage IV Base of Tongue SCC
Diagnosed July 1, 2002, chemo and radiation treatments completed beginning of Sept/02.

Top
#29862 - 11/24/02 10:07 PM Re: Long Time Survivors
rosie Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Registered: 10/19/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Pennsylvania
I also would like to hear some long term survivor stories. Even 10 years would be nice to hear about.

Rosemary
_________________________
Was primary caregiver to my daughter Heather who had stage IV base of tongue SCC w/ primary recurrence. Original diagnosis August 21st, 2002. Primary recurrence March 18th, 2003. Died October 6th, 2003.

Top
#29863 - 11/24/02 10:17 PM Re: Long Time Survivors
Brian Hill Offline
OCF Founder
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 4637
Loc: Laguna Niguel, CA
They are out there, though the numbers are not as high as we would all like. Read Rick's story in the people section of the web site.... now 20 years and counting.

http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/rick.htm
_________________________
Brian, stage 4 oral cancer survivor. OCF Founder and Director. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.

Top
#29864 - 11/27/02 09:31 AM Re: Long Time Survivors
PJ Offline
Member

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 17
Loc: Texas
When I went to Houston to have my biopsy (was not cancer), my Head and Neck Dr said he has a patient in the town where I live (400 Mi from Houston) who is a 20+ year survivor. In fact, the man had just been in the day before for his annual checkup and my Dr had released him..no more checkups needed.

Top
#29865 - 11/28/02 02:05 AM Re: Long Time Survivors
Brian Hill Offline
OCF Founder
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 4637
Loc: Laguna Niguel, CA
PJ... we sure would like to have that long time survivor come to this board and post a message to the people that read it. He is a beacon of hope to all. Perhaps you could have the doctor contact him and refer him to us, I would also like to tell his story in the patient story area. Your help in locating him and having him contact the foundation would be helpful.
_________________________
Brian, stage 4 oral cancer survivor. OCF Founder and Director. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.

Top
#29866 - 11/29/02 06:58 PM Re: Long Time Survivors
digtexas Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Registered: 09/06/02
Posts: 632
Loc: Houston, Texas
When I first got diagnosed I began searching around on the web and originally found SPHONIC and contacted their local guy. After a few emails I realized that we knew each other. I am a criminal defense lawyer and Bill used to be a Spanish/English interpreter at the U.S. Court House. Over the years he assisted me many times in court or in the holdover cell where I needed to consult with a client and my Spanish was just too limited. He was always kind and considerate, not only to the lawyers, but also to the unfortunate souls who were in chains. I don't know how many of you have ever spent time around the criminal justice system, but many people who work in it are not pleasant to the defendants.
Bill always wore an eye patch and had obviously had some kind of facial surgery but I never knew what from. I thought perhaps he was shot in Viet Nam or something. Well it turns out that he was diagnosed with oral cancer and had surgery back in the early 80's, perhaps as long as 20 years ago. He has had a recurrence and has recently retired, and gone throuh a couple of serious surgeries, including the type where a leg bone is used to make a new mandible. Bill conducts the local SPHONIC support group. For all that he has been through his attitude is absolutely wonderful. He just returned from one of his annual trips to Central America where they take doctors down there to care for the medically needy.
The good news is that I have bugged Bill to join OCF and he informed me that he signed up last week. Now I will attempt to get him to write his survivor story here. The guy is pretty amazing..throughout all this stuff he still goes out and runs long distances.
I hope that you will hear from him soon.

Danny G.
_________________________
Stage IV Base of Tongue SCC
Diagnosed July 1, 2002, chemo and radiation treatments completed beginning of Sept/02.

Top
#29867 - 11/30/02 06:36 PM Re: Long Time Survivors
William A. Phelan Offline
Member

Registered: 11/26/02
Posts: 1
Loc: Magnolia, Texas
I want to thank Dan G. for his kind words about my long-time survival with head and neck cancer in my oral cavity. I would also like to introduce myself and, in time, come to know all of you who are "veterans" on this web site.
I am a 4-time cancer patient who has managed to survive since 1980. In that year, while finishing my doctoral program at the University of Notre Dame, I was diagnosed with a mucoepidermoid adenocarcinoma of the hard palate. I was only 33 years of age at the time. Needless to say, my wife and I were devastated with the diagnosis. Little did we know that it would be the first step in a long and arduous journey our family was to take.
To treat the malignancy, I underwent surgery and radiation therapy. In the aftermath, I suffered the consequences so common to those two treatments, especially the latter. Left with a hole in the roof of my mouth after my partial palatectomy/maxillectomy, I was fitted with a prosthesis which allowed me to eat and speak relatively well. By the end of 1981 I had graduated from N.D. and was well on the way to recovery, looking forward to my five-year goal of survival. Unfortunately, not all was to proceed as I had envisioned.
In 1985, a few months short of my 5-year anniversary, I was diagnosed with an osteogenic sarcoma in the upper jaw (maxilla). I was told later on that the malignancy in the bone had been caused by the 1981 radiation treatments. After more surgery and the further removal of my palate and maxilla, I tried to get on with my life. But within one year (1986), cancer struck again in my oral cavity. This time I lost the rest of my palate and maxilla and also had to have my right eye removed because the cancer had invaded the orbit around the eye. After more surgery and radiation, the doctors removed bone from my right hip in order to implant it into my maxilla, in effect making an artificial upper jaw with the inevitable prosthesis that allowed me to eat and speak at about an 80% level of competency.
Things went well after this third occurence of cancer. I moved to Houston, TX, and began working at the Federal Court. It was during this period of time that I met Dan G.
After a decade or more of being cancer-free, I thought my life had returned to normalcy and that cancer was a thing of the past. But, as you know, cancer is a persistent and persevering adversary that strikes when least expected. In 2000 I was diagnosed once again with the same malignant tumor I had had 20 years previously. The tumor forced me to retire from my job and concentrate full-time on my struggle with the disease. From 2000 until the present, I have undergone 7 surgeries. At first the doctors removed the fibula (one of 2 bones that attach the knee and ankle) from my left leg to rebuild my maxilla since the hip bone implant had been compromised by the tumor. After the operation I was in bad shape. I could not walk for a few weeks until I began using crutches. And I did not have a prosthesis yet, so I had to rely on a feeding tube in my stomach. My speech was horrible and people had a hard time understanding me. My facial deformity became worse as did all the emotional and psychological problems that go along with facial deformation. But afetr a few months I was beginning to recover well. It was at that time that the fibula implant in my maxilla died due to a lack of blood supply. Back to the operating room! This time I had the fibula from my other leg removed and implanted into my upper jaw. To the present time, the implant has not been rejected by my body and I am now waiting for a prosthesis to be made.
This is a brief review of my experiences as a long time survivor of cancer in the oral cavity. It does not go into many aspects of my experience such as how I dealt with the 4 occurences, how my family has coped, etc. I hope to talk about these aspects in future discusions with all of you. If there is one thing that I have learned over the past 22 years in my fight against this insidious disease, it is that one's attitude is extremely important in fighting the disease. The fight against cancer has to be waged on the physical as well as the mental level. It is an unceasing fight. Once a cancer patient, always a cancer patient. But the experience of having cancer is not all negative. It can provide the patient with different perspectives concerning those things in life that are deemed important. It can also unify families against a common enemy (as well as throw families into complete disarray).
I hope this brief insight into my cancer experience will prove worthwhile to those of you who read this. I would be glad to receive reaponses from you at your convenience and look forward to your support as well as offering my own to you.
Stay healthy,
Bill
_________________________
william a. phelan

Top
#29868 - 12/04/02 11:57 AM Re: Long Time Survivors
Donna Offline
Gold Member (100+ posts)

Registered: 03/20/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Plymouth, Minnesota
William.........Thanks for sharing your incredible story! I can only imagine the struggles each new cancer diagnoses brought to you and your family. Hopefully, you've had your last surgery and are on the road to a long healthy recovery! Look forward to more chatting in the future.....Sincerely, Donna
_________________________
SCC first time 1989, with a diagnoses of 'cancer in situ' removed lesion, no other treatments.
SCC recurrence 1997 of tongue and floor of the mouth. Stage III /IV Hemmiglossectomy (removed over 60% of tongue/ floor of the mouth), free flap, modified neck, RAD and Chemo(cisplatin, 5fu) simutainously.
Cancer free 6, yes, six, years!

Top
#29869 - 12/04/02 01:24 PM Re: Long Time Survivors
kcdc Offline
Platinum Member (200+ posts)

Registered: 08/25/02
Posts: 246
Loc: Boston, Ma
Bill:

Welcome to the board-any friend of Danny's is a friend of ours! Thanks for taking the time to share your story of great courage. My partner, Dave, is currently recovering from a neck dissection(Sept.) and 6 weeks of radiation treatment for a tonsillar tumor(finished this week).

I confess, I got a bit nudgy when I first read your post because Dave and I are just coming off the active treatment phase. I'm learning that the lurking fear of more cancer is real but can't be an all-encompassing thought that rules your life.The radiation oncologist told him this week "any reoccurence is likely to be in the first two years" and although I know that fact objectively, hearing it pushed a panic button in me that is easily activated these days.

In the effort to settle myself down,I've been trying to get in touch with the fear instead of letting it own me. I'm not sure if it's worked yet, but it's my current strategy.

So, upon reading your post a second and third time, I could gradually see past my own fear and recognize your bravery in the face of a what could have appeared to be insurmountable circumstances.I would appreciate hearing how you kept yourself emotionally intact in the face of your fear.

So, cheers to you and thanks for helping me with my mindset.

Best,

Kim
_________________________
kcdc
Wife of Dave,diagnosed with Stage III Tonsillar SCC,August '02
Modified radical neck dissection followed by radiation therapy
'There is glory and radiance in the darkness and to see we have only to look"

Top
#29870 - 06/02/03 05:19 PM Re: Long Time Survivors
eakern Offline
Member

Registered: 06/01/03
Posts: 5
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia
I have survived since 6/12/98. My 5 year mark comes up very shortly. I was 32 when diagnosed with a stage 4 tumor of the mandible/floor of mouth. My 1st free flap (from leg) failed and I was recontructed with a pectoral graft five days later. The pectoral graft was successful. I have had 5 surgeries since for follow-up reconstruction. So, far cancer free and hope the very best for others as well !
_________________________
StageIV SCC(mandible & floor of mouth) survivor since 6/12/98

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >


Support OCF
Shop Amazon and Help OCF Help OCF
Who's Online
1 registered (AnitaFrances), 48 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
9740 Members
23 Forums
15552 Topics
176607 Posts

Max Online: 141 @ 05/15/13 10:09 AM
Top Posters
davidcpa 8035
ChristineB 7937
EzJim 5260
Brian Hill 4637
Cheryld 4593
April
M Tu W Th F Sa Su
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30
Newest Members
Heike, martie_2014, bfbf, Keleigh, lssiii
9740 Registered Users