| OP |
Wondering if anyone has had recurring problems with lymphadema? My husband had surgery back in May 2019 then radiation and chemo wrapping up in August 2019. He had been having lymphadema therapy for his neck and doing really well. But right around Christmas, he started having some issues. His voice is muffled and much higher pitched, his neck is swollen and he is having pain and tightness in the neck. His range of motion has gotten really bad and his speech is much more difficult to understand. He, of course, is convinced that the cancer is back, but I'm just curious if the lymphadema could be causing some of these problems. He has an appointment with the nurse practitioner tomorrow but I just wondered if anyone else dealt with anything like this so I could maybe put his mind at ease maybe. He tends to believe everything you all tell me!
Your husband is correct to have it checked out. Their first priority is to rule out cancer or a recurrence. After that, if it’s ok, they can also send your husband to see a Speech and Language Therapist who can help with exercises to improve on any deficiencies. In my case, the SLP was in the head and neck cancer department.
10/09 T1N2bM0 Tonsil
11/09 Taxo Cisp 5-FU, 6 Months Hosp
01/11 35 IMRT 70Gy 7 Wks
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 Wks Taxo Erbitux
10/13 RND Carotid Remove IORT 10Gy PNI
12/13 25 Protons 50Gy 6 Wks Carbo
11/14 All Teeth Extract 30 HBO
03/15 Sequestromy Buccal Flap ORN
09/16 Mandibulectomy Fib Flap Sternotomy
04/17 Regraft hypergranulation Donor Site
06/17 Heart Attack Stent
02/19 Finally Cancer Free Took 10 yrs
Eileen, glad to hear your husband is getting seen today by a medical professional! It’s probably nothing serious but you just never know so it’s always best to err on your be side of caution and get checked out.
Since your husband finished chemo/rads last August he’s still actively recovering and has at least another year and half to go until he will hit his final post cancer capabilities. ArounAugust of 2021 he will probably notice a few remaining mild issues sevthat have not gone back to how they were in his pre-cancer life. This is 100% normal. It’s actually pretty rare for OC patients/survivors to return exactly to their former selves. A complete recovery takes 2 full years. Most will have a few setbacks during their recovery phase.
Your husband currently could be due to a minor setback on his road to recovery. It could be nothing serious but because of its location we all always fast forward to the worst case scenario. That’s also very common! After what we have all been thru surgeries, chemo, rads we all have no desire to go thru anything else so we all fear recurrences. For me, I was soooo freaked out by every lump/bump I avoided reading any post that had anything to do with recurrences. Of course that’s just silly but it’s a huge fear for almost every one of us.
Hopefully he just has the beginning of a cold or something minor which is causing a little swelling which you both are noticing. Most post rads minor issues now take a longer to heal when that area has been radiated. Even the surrounding mouth/throat tissue has picked up scatter rads affecting their ability to heal as well. If no improvement within 2 weeks or so another recheck should be done. Please let us know how your husband makes out at his appointment. Don’t e surprised if doing a biopsy gets mentioned. It’s all part of being on top of everything to ensure your husband is ok. I’ve had at least 15
biopsies over the past 12+ years with most being negative due to my doctors being so cautious.
Best wishes with everything!!!
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
Jan 16th, 2020