Welcome to OCF, Susan! You've found the best online resource to help you with info and support for your recent oral cancer (OC) diagnosis. We have been thru this ourselves as patients or caregivers, we can understand what you are going thru. Being recently diagnosed can be a very scary time. So much to learn and too often not enough info that really helps. I remember when I first got diagnosed as having a disease I never knew existed, all the info I found was about lung, breast or testicular cancer. Luckily I found OCF fairly quickly after my diagnosis. I was instantly embraced by total strangers who helped me thru some of the hardest times of my life. Sadly, many of these people are no longer with us and are missed every day. On the bright side, theres even more OCF members I am still in touch with 13 years later. These great people adopted me and made such a tremendous, positive impact on my life I know I wouldnt have survived without them.
You mentioned reading about ear pain happening when cancer has spread. With OC, this is not exactly how that works. Some patients have pain right from the start while other patients do not. Its different for every single person. I did not encounter pain with any of my 3 OC diagnosis. On the main OCF site (link is below) you can read thru hundreds of correct medical info from a highly respected source and learn about being diagnosed and symptoms that vary greatly. Comparing OC patients that seem similar isnt an equal comparison. Even when theres 2 patients who on paper seem to be identical, they're still individuals who will react to meds, treatments, procedures, etc in their own unique way.
When reading online, make sure the website you're using provides factual, up to date info. Unfortunately a great many sites accept advertisements so they promote those products to readers instead of what patients have actually used and found helpful regardless of if its advertised. Even worse are social media and/or almost all health related online message boards/public forums! They are not monitored so its an anything goes site full of false cures that take advantage of sick people at their lowest points. While using OCF, rest assured factual, only science based info is provided. We are Health on the Net (HON) certified, which is a high honor to achieve. OCF is one of the very few online cancer related health organizations able to consistently meet the HON's strict criteria. Theres also the distinction of winning Great Nonprofits year after year and a long list of other accolades over the years. Another important thing that sets OCF apart is the public forum is monitored 24/7/365 to protect our members from scams promoting fake cures and sales attempts from unscrupulous people/companies. Many sites will say they're monitored yet after reading a few posts of blatantly incorrect medical info thats posted on their site for weeks, months sometimes years before it is noticed by those sites "monitors".
As far as the Coronavirus goes, this is completely uncharted territory for everyone. The pandemic seems like it must eventually wreck havoc on the medical community but thats a logical conclusion but its still just my guess. None of us know or can predict whats coming next with the pandemic. Just remember cancer patients are treated by oncologists ... they're cancer specialists not dealing with infectious diseases like the Corona. The best thing all OC patients (or for that matter all patients regardless of their ailments) going thru OC during the pandemic is to depend on their medical professionals to answer their questions and determine whats in the best interest of their patients. As I just mentioned to another new member, this is a perfect time to seek out a second opinion preferably at a comprehensive cancer center (CCC) and to read about OC. Im reposting the links I gave to the other member as well. By learning about OC it will help to make the patient a strong advocate for themselves. Im not sure if thats what you are referring to when saying a stand alone cancer hospital??? Hopefully you are going to only reputable places and not "for profit" "hospitals" (usually heavily advertised on tv) who patient shop (choosing what cases they will take to skew their healed and/or deceased patient numbers) the cases they take. Sadly those types of facilities care about their numbers, bottom line and every other business type things before their patients well being.
Hang in there!!! If possible focus on what is within your control and stay super busy. Staying busy helps to distract from excessive worrying, at least it did for me. Reading a good book, starting a new hobby, reconnecting with long lost friends/family members are all positive options everyone can do. I used to clean out dresser drawers, then I moved on to do all the closets. By the time I ran out of things to reorganize, I was very happy to see a noticeable difference. By focusing on reorganizing it kept me too busy to worry about things I had no control over. Maybe this could be something you would want to try?
Feel free to ask questions and we will do our best to help you. Have a great day Main OCF Site, Understanding NCI list of CCCsUS News Best Hospitals List