I was determined to NOT to have a tube or peg during or after treatments. Eating, chewing and swallowing normal food was completely impossible but I was able to swallow liquids. Fortunately my GP is a weight lifter/body builder. He knew I would face a severe weight loss issue and recommended a health/fitness supplement, Serious Mass by Optimum Nutrition. With Erbitux chemo and seriously heavy radiation to my oral cavity plus multiple preemptive tooth extractions I was unable to eat normally. The Serious Mass is a high protein weight gain supplement. Simply mixed in 30 seconds I was able to down 3 servings daily of 900 calories per serving on a daily basis. I still use it once or twice daily as I regain my ability to eat conventionally. As such I was completely able to avoid the tube or peg to ingest all the necessary nutrients to literally stay alive and reasonably healthy albeit with all the other miserable side effects. Lost only 10 lbs from my normal weight. The Serious Mass was and still is a God send. Ensure, Carnation, Boost and the like are poor and ineffective treatment for serious weight loss and nutritional support.
Hello everyone, I hope this is the right place to post this, after navigating the site, it’s the only discussion related to my issue that I see, and was hoping for some advice, help, stories from others… My mom was diagnosed with stage T4b squamous cell carcinoma in her jaw and mouth in January. We were told surgery wasn’t an option. She went through chemo and radiation and rang her bells in March. While the treatments had visibly shrunk the tumor and the pain subsided for a while, it started getting worse again towards the end of June. Earlier this month she started bleeding from her mouth and we saw an ENT who performed outpatient surgery to stop the bleeding. After speaking with her, she suggested we get a second opinion and referred us to the head and neck cancer treatment center at MUSC.
Today the Surgeon there looked at her most recent PET scan told us the best option would be surgery. He did not sugar coat anything about the surgery, saying it was a really tough procedure, a 12-14 hour surgery, went into detail about what would be done, and said that would take easily 6-8 months to recover from. Then he said the % of T4b patients cured from the surgery was 25%. Looking at other statistics online, her type and stage of cancer has a survival rating between 22 and 34%… We don’t have other family in the state and I’m her only caregiver so I don’t have anyone knowledgeable or close to talk to about this. He said we could choose to continue with chemo or start immunotherapy, but surgery was the best option in his opinion. I know the idea of the surgery he explained to us terrifies her. And me for her.
My heart is breaking, and I can’t imagine what she’s feeling at this moment. Of course she should go through with the surgery, right? Or will it just bring her pain during what could be her last months/years? I don’t know what to do or say to make this better or easiernfor her, and I want to be objective and see other side’s to this. I want her to have it. I want her around, I want her to get better but if she just suffers… I don’t know what to do. We haven’t talked about it yet, she was tired and in pain, slept otw home, and asleep now. I was just hoping for some opinions so I could be more informed when we talk about it. Thanks so much for any help or advice you guys might could give…. I will say that this surgeon specializes in this type of cancer, and is incredibly qualified but that isn’t making this any easier.