So, I am going to simply share some of the lingering "effects" of my particular experience with the cancer and my course of treatment, in case it helps anyone else or inspires sharing of remedies, mutual commiseration or just a touch of sympathy
In no particular order:
1) Tinnitus: Even 6 years out, fairly severe, have about 22% total hearing loss, R side slightly more. Have tried dozens of OTC supplements, etc. For me, no solution. Had a 2 hour consult with Dr. Robert W. Sweetow 4 years ago. Am considering Pawel J. Jastreboff's retraining therapy. Some days are very bad, I can't even use the phone, but most of the time I am able to mostly not think about it.
2) Acid Reflux / Heart Burn : Got this REAL BAD early on in treatment and it's never gone away. Have tried maybe 10 different drugs. The only meds that work for mine are Aciphex, or Dexilant. Both of which make my insurance company squirm.
3) Stiffness, tenderness, bizarre "eruptions" (6 years later!?) , strange tightness, weird looking neck area from MRND and Radiation, with some transfer to my R upper arm/shoulder? soreness, trouble sleeping on R side due to pain/discomfort which "seems" related to the neck. Nothing (so far) that I can't live with. Some discipline and/or physical therapy and/or better nutrition and/or actually doing a little exercise would likely go a LONG way in this arena.
4) Decreased saliva. I hesitate to even mention this, since so many fellow survivors have a horrific challenge in this arena. Mine is very minor and less than 10% overall loss I'd estimate at this point.
5) Some minor "chemo brain" (or just getting old?) and not likely directly related to cancer, (but maybe linked with the tinnitus somehow) MAJOR ADHD, what was I saying? Oh yeah, super major ADHD.
6) An extra belly button. Well, not exactly, a small dime sized circle scar in the middle of my stomach from the feeding tube. No big deal, especially since that tube saved my life!
7) My thyroid was toasted. Not sure what happens inside me with a dead thyroid slopping around inside my neck, but the end result of the missing organ (gland?) is a precisely calibrated dose of the fake stuff once a day. My morning reminder that radiation is powerful stuff and a good sounding excuse when someone calls me on my weight issues.
Did I mention I am alive? Bring it on.
I'll take these any day for the high-value exchange of survival.