Reaching out

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Hello everyone, 

I am reaching out to you all again as found your help and kind words so reassuring last year when my husband had his operation and treatment for tonsil cancer - thank you xx

At the same time as my husband was having radiotherapy my father was diagnosed with cancer in the roof of his mouth - a slow moving cancer which had been doing lots of damage over a long time. He went on to have surgery in December to remove most of the roof of his mouth and has struggled with recovery. After surgery there was no visible cancer left and as it was a slow moving cancer the likelihood of it coming back was quite small.

However he has been really slow to heal and recover and then he developed a hard lump in the right side of his neck.

We went back to the hospital on Weds for him to have biopsies, ultrasound and MRI done.

We went back yesterday to be told the cancer has returned rapidly around the area of the operation and into his lymph nodes. The oncologist said this is totally uncharacteristic of the type of cancer he had and is not sure why it has acted this way. We will get the biopsy results this week but he said that without treatment dad would only have a few months.

We are totally heartbroken.

The oncologist has offered radiotherapy but dad does not want this after watching my husband go through treatment last summer, he said he couldn't cope, and he is already so so weak.

I'm not really sure what I am asking of you all but I just feel like this is a place that I can say what's happening to us.

Paula xx

  • Hi Paula

    We are here to listen and give some words of advice if needed. 

    This is a really difficult time for you and your family, especially your Dad.  The choice, as I am sure you appreciate, is his to make and all you can do is support him as best as you can no matter the heartbreak his decision may bring. 

    Having just come out of radiotherapy I can understand your Dad's decision.  I don't know how old he is, but there is a time in life when one considers the quality of the time left rather than the quantity of time.  He has already had a very tough time of it.

    It may be that his oncologist will offer palliative (and not curative) radiotherapy to keep the pain in check.  The side effects of this are nothing like the full dose and so may be more palatable.

    Thinking of you and your family at this difficult juncture. 

    See my profile for more details of my convoluted journey
  • Thank you Peter, 

    Dad is 82 and up till now has always been so fit and healthy.

    He just wants to be at home with us around him. We will support him in whatever he decides - we just want him to he comfortable and without pain.

    Thank you for your kind reply,


  • Oh my goodness, Paula... I just wanted to reach out and say that I really feel for you. What a difficult time this must be for you and your family. And really, a lot on your plate with your husband and dad going through this. The Forum is great to just share how you're feeling, as well as get advice and support so do stay in touch. I'm thinking of you. Lx

  • Thank you Liesle, yes I can't believe how awful the last 18 months have been. Lucky we are such a close family and we are literally holding each other up.

    Dad and Hubby have always been healthy and fit so for both of them to get cancer within such a short time of eachother has been a shock.

    We call them Morcambe and Wise - they really have supported eachother as well xxx

    The drs and team know us so well now as dad is under the same ones as Hubby.

    I was hoping that this year was going to be easier but sadly I don't think so now.

    Thank you for your kind reply.

    Paula x

  • Sorry to hear your news  Paula.  We as a family are facing the same emotions you are going through.  I am an only child so my cousins are like quasi siblings.  We have just found out that one of my cousins who has had radiation treatment (about two year ago) for throat cancer has a reoccurrence and it has spread to  his lungs.   He has taken the decision he doesn't want to take the chemo treatment offered but wants to live his life his way.  As Peter has said your father has made  his choice and just try and make as many happy memories for the future.  Best wishes Michael.  

  • Thank you for your reply Michael, I'm sorry to hear you are facing the same pain as we are.

    Yes we will support my dad in his decision and give him as much love and hugs as we can.

    Love and strength to you and your family too,


  • Hi Paula. Just wanted to give you an hug snd your family. As others have said palliative radiotherapy could be offered to help ease his pain. Can understand his thinking my mother in law was 82 when she was diagnosed with lung cancer she chose not to have any treatment. We as a family stood by her decision it’s never easy. You csn rant on her anytime. 
    hugs Hazel. 

    Hazel aka RadioactiveRaz 

    My blog is  HPV 16+ tonsil cancer Now 5 years  post treatment. 35 radiotherapy 2 chemo T2N2NM.Happily getting on with living always happy to help  

  • Thank you Hazel, your words and advice really helped me last year with hubby's op and treatment xxx

    Thank you for your hugs now.

    Paula xx

  • Hi Paula. I’m late to reply. I saw your post which is heartbreaking and I was lost for words. So sad. I’m so sorry. 
    On a practical note. Have you contacted your GP to sort out hospice care? I say this a lot because people aren’t aware that Hospice can provide respite care not just end of life.

    You and your husband need to take care of yourselves too. 


    Base of tongue cancer. T2N0M0 6 weeks Radiotherapy finished January 2019

    I wrote a blog about my cancer. just click on the link below 

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

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