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Joined: Nov 2015
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Hi everyone. I don't want to get into the details, but the short version is... My husband was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma on his tounge in September of 2010. He has mentally and physically battled with this ever since. Upon diagnosis, surgery was performed to remove the tumor from his tongue as well as a bilateral dissection of the limphnodes in his neck. He leans more towards homeopathic resources rather than modern medicine. He has experienced several scares of possible reoccurrence over the past 5 years, yet is always in denial that he ever had cancer to begin with. I have faith in modern medicine, which is our relationships major shortfall, as we take different approaches to diagnosis, care, and treatment. Right now, I am concerned that the cancer is back... Too many details to get into here. I feel like he isn't willing to fight...I'm scared and feel so alone. How can I convince him to see a real doctor again? We are young- 36, and have young children. I'm scared that he will avoid treatment and then options will be reduced and survival rate will demisnish.


Wife of a stubborn survivor
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Only modern medicine will save his life if he does have a recurrence. Unfortunately belief in homeopathy and denial are strong emotions and not easily overcome. You can tell him people here have had recurrences and are still fighting fit if a little battle scarred. I've had two. The cancer has to cut be out and usually zapped to make sure it doesn't come back again. Letting the cancer run it's natural course (because alternative treatments won't stop it) will lead to an unpleasant demise. What can you do to get him to a doctor? The only thing I can think of is to show him how deeply concerned you are. Have a meltdown, show him that you are heartbroken and beg him to go for your sake. Ask him to see a cancer counsellor of some sort.

I wish you all the best.


1996, ovarian cancer surgery + cisplatin and taxol.
September, 2007, SCC of left lateral tongue. Excision.
October, 2009 recurrence in scar tissue, T1NOMO. Free flap surgery from left wrist - neck dissection. 63 year old New Zealander. No chemo, no RT.
February, 2014. New primary in left buccal mucosa. Marginal mandibulectomy, neck dissection, right arm free forearm flap. T1N0M0 but third occurrence and some areas of concern: RT started 8 April and finished 19 May.
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Welcome to OCF. Im so sorry to read of the other battles besides cancer you are having. Being in denial is a common issue with many patients especially when facing recurrences. Oral cancer is a horrible disease that is curable when found and treated. The earlier its found, the easier it is to treat. Delaying treatment only causes it to be more difficult to treat causing more side effects and a much harder road for the patient.

The only way that has been scientifically proven to eliminate oral cancer is thru surgery and radiation with or without chemo. Nothing else will get rid of the cancer no matter how much faith anyone has in their other "options". There isnt a single patient who wanted to go thru cancer treatments but in order to survive we all have done what was necessary. Time also plays a role in this. The longer someone pretends there is nothing wrong the more time the tumor has to grow. As a parent, ignoring the symptoms is putting the childrens futures in jeopardy. Im a single parent and almost chose to do nothing when diagnosed with my third round of cancer within 3 years. But the wonderful members of this forum helped me see the bigger picture. They helped me understand by letting nature take its course and think I could prepare my children better for my death than to try and fighting I was basically quitting before I even tried to beat it. Denial was what it really was, I didnt want to believe I was sick again. I hope your husband will wake up and see the bigger picture of what would happen to the family if he ignores the chance of having cancer again and i runs it course, ultimately taking his life. If he cant do it for himself, the least he could do for the family is to see a doctor and get a biopsy to know if he is sick and needs to get treated. Oral cancer can grow and spread quickly, especially in cases of recurrence. There are also hundreds of scam artists out there who make promises of easier ways to treat cancer with other "natural" (and usually lesser known) remedies. I dont mean to sounds harsh, so please understand I always have the best interests of each and every member in mind when I make my replies. This is a life or death situation and the longer its put off the higher the chances of not getting thru this are. There are many, many patients who sought other avenues to rid themselves of cancer only to realize too late that only conventional treatments like surgery or radiation will do the job.

I wish you and your husband all the very best with everything you are dealing with.


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
Joined: Jun 2007
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Im putting this on another post in case you would like to print the above reply.

I feel so bad for you. The situation really stinks!!!! Being a caregiver is difficult enough without having a stubborn patient. You really have your work cut out for you. Many caregivers have found that by printing out posts and leaving them laying someplace where the stubborn patient can "accidently" find them has worked. This way its not a battle, the printed posts will do the work for you and hopefully get your husband to seek out treatment instead of doing nothing and ignoring the situation. Ive seen this trick work many times with patients who were being stubborn.

Ive seen patients who have been in denial for months then to go for some type of alternative treatments. Unfortunately those patients realized when it was too late that the cancer can only be treated by the conventional methods. I hope your husband will understand that being in denial can be seen as being very selfish and in the end its harming everyone close to him.

As a caregiver, you have a hard job. Be kind to yourself. You have your hands full. Stop back often and know we are always here for you to lean on.

Good luck with everything!


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
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,024
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Boy, this is a terrible situation for you.
Your Husband needs to realise that alternative Medicine just won't cure a cancer.
If mine had behaved like this, I would have been furious with him and would have let fly. How dare he be so selfish. He has a wife who loves and wants him and young children who need him to be here to parent them. Keep stating that to him.
Does he want to see his children grow up? How difficult does he want your life to be?
I would also make sure he knows that untreated oral cancer leads to an awful death, a horrible death.
When my husband was told that he would need to have his entire tongue and his voice box removed to save his life, well, he initially refused. He asked how long his life would be without treatment. He was told less than a year. Fortunately the surgeons also told him he would die an awful miserable death. I then spent some time talking to him. Reminding him of all the good things in life, all the good things to live for. To see our sons all grown and married. Eventually to be a grandparent and all the joys that go with that. How different , difficult and lonely my life would be without him. It took less than 5 minutes to change his mind. This was also a recurrence and he had stated after his previous radiation and chemo that he would not do that again.
You need to really talk with your Husband. Pour your heart out. Cry. Be honest with your feelings. Stress how much he means to all of you. Tell him that you do not want to see him die in this terrible manner . Maybe you need to research untreated oral cancer and let him read about it. Let him see the awful pictures of huge exploding tumours, gaping holes in the face, neck etc. let him read of bleeding out from tumours that erode blood vessels such as the Carotid artery.
Graphic? You betcha. Make it so to get your point across. He needs to get this treated. Life can be and indeed does continue to be great. He needs to fight, with your support and love .
Oh, I wish you the best.
Tammy

PS; you dont yet know that he does have a recurrence. Only a biopsy and scan will tell you that.


Caregiver/advocate to Husband Kris age 59@ diagnosis
DX Dec '10 SCC BOT T4aN2bM0 HPV+ve.Cisplatin x3 35 IMRT.
PET 6/11 clear.
R) level 2-4 neck dissection 8/1/11 to remove residual node - necrotic with NED
Feb '12 Ca back.. 3/8/12 total glossectomy/laryngectomy/bilat neck dissection/partial pharyngectomy etc. clear margins. All nodes negative for disease. PEG in.
March 2017 - 5 years disease free. Woohoo!
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Thank you all for your kind, supportive and "real" responses. I was very hesitant to join this forum, and now, I am really glad I did. I have broken down, lost my cool, and expressed my extreme concern for my husbands health with him. I see now that I must continue all of these things until he finally see the bigger picture. With your suggestions, I have a few more tricks up my sleeve.

Yesterday was a very rough day. I was being the supportive wife, and tagged along to an apt with the homeopathic "dr". When we finally went back to the patent room, and in just one moment I knew I was in for the fight of my life. The "dr" prescribed a yeast cleanse, and some other herbal treatment. He also suggested a finger prick blood view for analyzing for a viral infection. HE NEVER EVEN LOOKED IN MY HUSBAND MOUTH!!!!! HELLO???? Don't you think any "professional" should at least look at the area of concern???? I then had thoughts of just giving up, and letting my husband make all the decisions himself, that we were no longer a team. Your posts have reminded me that I can't give up on him, on us, on him for our kids, and our futures. I will continue to fight, I will continue to nag, and push and push until he goes to see his actual DOCTOR. He needs a biopsy done to verify our fears of a reoccurrence or not. He has not followed the post opporative appointment and preventative care appointments since his original diagnosis, which makes things harder. At an appoinment two years ago, he was recommended to have a second surgery to assist the cell structure regrowth since things had already started changing at that time. He never went back to the doctor after that appointment. The preventative surgery was never done.

Thank you all again for your support. I needed it more than you all know. In this very scary situation, I now have the strength to continue the fight. Thank you for that. I know I'm alone in this battle with my husband, yet with your responses, I see that I am not alone in this battle of supporting my husband...THANK YOU!!!


Wife of a stubborn survivor
Scared of the unknown
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,671
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I'm so glad you found this great place to be! - there are so many knowledgeable, compassionate people here to give you and your husband support and information. It is so heartbreaking to see someone you love so much just giving up. When I was at that point with my son, someone told me I needed to put my "nurse from Hell hat on" and tell him what's what. So I did, I went through all the things mentioned about family, but what clinched it was the mention of his 5-year-old daughter and what would happen to her should he lose his battle against the cancer beast. That did it. So keep going . . . The sooner your husband gets a biopsy to tell for sure what is happening, the sooner you can relieve the stress of not knowing,and imagining the worst. And whatever the outcome, you can start taking active steps to do what needs to be done. Stay close to us here, and let us know what's happening. Don't forget to take care of You, too.


Anne-Marie
CG to son, Paul (age 33, non-smoker) SCC Stage 2, Surgery 9/21/06, 1/6 tongue Rt.side removed, +48 lymph nodes neck. IMRTx28 completed 12/19/06. CT scan 7/8/10 Cancer-free! ("spot" on lung from scar tissue related to Pneumonia.)



Joined: Jun 2007
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Im so glad you found all the responses helpful. Since your first post, you are part of our online family. We will help get you both thru this (even if your husband is stubborn). Hang in there and push him to do whats best for your whole family. Im sure this will bring conflict but if you dont make him face reality then he wont be around to have these choices to make. Thats something he must come to terms with, oral cancer is a very serious life threatening disease that will progress weather he acknowledges its existence or not. Im sure he will put up resistance to your suggestions but you must push him for his own good. Its better to have an angry husband than one who isnt here. Maybe he needs to hear that to snap him out of his fog?

Im hoping a biopsy gets done quickly so you will know what you are dealing with and can get moving on taking care of it. Even more Im hoping its not cancer so you dont have to go thru everything again.

Please keep posting, we understand and have your back.



PS... Im not aware of any herbs that have been scientifically proven to eliminate oral cancer. I agree with you that something isnt right when the doc doesnt even look at in your husbands mouth but recommends a cure. Sounds to me like this is one for Quackwatch.


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
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 18
Member
OP Offline
Member

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 18
Hi all. I have finally convinced my husband to go in for a biopsy. The apt is tomorrow. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow and for the next several days until the results are in. I am praying that the results are negative and all is ok.
I will update you all when I can.
Thanks again for your support!!!!!


Wife of a stubborn survivor
Scared of the unknown
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,024
"OCF Kiwi Down Under"
Patient Advocate (1000+ posts)
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Patient Advocate (1000+ posts)

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,024
Hello, I have been wondering how you both were.
I'm really happy to hear that you have managed to persuade him to see a Dr and get a biopsy.Well done you.
I'm sending you heaps of positive vibes and thoughts. Please let us know the outcome.
Tammy


Caregiver/advocate to Husband Kris age 59@ diagnosis
DX Dec '10 SCC BOT T4aN2bM0 HPV+ve.Cisplatin x3 35 IMRT.
PET 6/11 clear.
R) level 2-4 neck dissection 8/1/11 to remove residual node - necrotic with NED
Feb '12 Ca back.. 3/8/12 total glossectomy/laryngectomy/bilat neck dissection/partial pharyngectomy etc. clear margins. All nodes negative for disease. PEG in.
March 2017 - 5 years disease free. Woohoo!
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