The Surgery
The Beginning
Post Surgery Pics
Feeding Tubes
Dental Prosthesis
Dental Care
Radiation Pics 1
Radiation Pics 2
The Head and Neck Cancer site is a labor of love. Cancer first reared it's head (just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak) in January of 2001 when Michael, my husband, noticed a lump on the left side of his neck. Here is a chronicle of our "adventures".

Winter 2001 - The Beginning
Spring 2001 - The Discovery
Summer 2001 - The Surgery
Fall 2001 - The Radiation
Winter 2002 - The New Beginning
Spring/Summer 2002 - The First Anniversary
Fall 2003/Winter 2004 - The Continuation
Spring/Summer 2004 - The Highs & The Lows
Fall 2004 - The End  11/30/04

Click to see all Post Surgery Photos

Back again on June 19th (6 weeks from the date of the first scan). The CT scans were repeated in the morning and we met with the ENT surgeon that afternoon. Good news! The spots were either unchanged or smaller. Surgery was rescheduled for Monday, July 9th.

Once again we made all our arrangements and headed to Buffalo the day before the scheduled surgery. We checked into the hotel, called our home voice mail and found three urgent messages from the surgeon -- due to weekend emergency admissions there was no available ICU bed for Mike. The surgery was cancelled again.

Click to see more post-op pictures Finally on July 25th Michael had his surgery -- a palatectomy, partial pharyngectomy, and instead of a modified radical neck dissection, a comprehensive radical neck dissection. The surgery was about 8 hours long with no major complications other than the change from a modified neck dissection to a radical. It seems that two more lymph nodes had been rapidly growing and were wrapped around the spinal accessory nerve and other areas.

Click to see more feeding tube (PEG) pictures After less than 2 days in ICU and 9 days on the floor, Mike came home -- much stronger than we anticipated and sporting a temporary tracheotomy and stomach feeding tube (PEG). The temporary tracheotomy was removed during his first follow-up visit, happily since he really hated it. Solid food was slowly added but eating and especially drinking were major challenges. Our hope was that swallowing, eating, drinking and speech would improve once he received his prosthetic device.

NEXT: Fall 2001 - The Radiation

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