I wanted to introduce myself now before I bombard you, the experts, with my questions. I am the daughter (that why I say "patient by proxy") of a 71-year-old woman who has been diagnosed with squamous cell cancer of the soft palate. We do not know staging yet as her first oncology appointment is June 5th. I do know it is more than just the soft palate as I can see it creeping down her throat.
I cannot tell you how sad I am for her and myself, as I am still trying to recover from losing my husband to lung cancer in Dec. 2000. Then my dad got sick in June,2001 and passed away Nov. 2001. So, my mom and I became the "Merry Widows" only to have her be diagnosed with cancer.
Having been through this journey, I know too well the battle my mom is in for and my biggest concern is whether she can fight this. She has had little appetite in the last year and weighs all of 106 pounds.
I have read all the responses to your posts and am armed with the information I think we need when we see the oncologist. I am trying to get her prepared, which annoys her because she can only deal with one thing at a time. But my previous experience taught me that you have to try to be as knowledgeable as possible. So far I have learned that if possible, surgery first, then radiation. We will discuss the use of Amifostine (injection) and that the feeding tube should go in BEFORE radiation begins.
So, for now I am waiting for this to sink in for my mom, which I expect will happen this Wednesday.