Thursday, May 24, 2007

one more thing

Two days ago, and again today, I felt a very weird lumpiness in my throat. It's on the right side (of course), but not down near the thyroid bed, it's about 2 or 3 inches below my jawline. It wasn't there yesterday, but back again this morning.

Could have something to do with the exercises, but I wanted to make a note of it in case it doesn't go away. I do have a sore throat, too, but it looks like my usual post-nasal drip rather than anything strep-related. I'm finally off the antibiotic for that last sinus infection, and back on my iron, and I don't feel quite so exhausted the past few days. (Tomorrow, all best are off, since I'm up late doing this. Idiot!)

1 comment:

Alive said...

Hi, I was directed to your website when searching for post-op images on the web. I too am a cancer survivor, but I prefer the term A Liver rather than survivor. I hope that you are well and feeling better. I also had a neck dissection , which included the removal of 100 lymph nodes, and a right partial glossectomy of 40% of my tongue due to squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue. Whoa! I was 29 when I had the operation now I am 31. On the brighter side, I am alive and most of the time happy or at least reminding myself to be happy :)
I would like to share some information with you that I think you may find helpful.

Post-op scars: Most scars seems to diminish with time with the exception of keloid scars. The neck dissection can result in many other surgical sequela as well such as muscle damage, nerve damage, atrophy, mobility issues, chronic pain, tension headaches, fatigue, and depression. The scar itself can be very painful as I am sure you are well aware with pain, tenderness, swelling, and redness around the site. As far as the physical discomfort I have found exercise and physically therapy to be helpful, but more remarkably I had the most success with corticosteroid injections. At first I was very uncomfortable with the appearance of the scar, so I sought the help of a plastic surgeon. My doctor recommended corticosteroid injections ( 1 year post-op ) to help diminish the bulky, uneven, bumpy appearance of the scar. After the first couple of series of injections I noticed a remarkable diminishment in pain, followed by increased mobility, and less tenderness, redness, and swelling. A year later with regular treatments my scar has diminished by more than 50%. I am simply grateful that it has helped with the pain. I have photos if you are interested.

Re: Swollen lymph nodes in neck- I also keep daily track of the health of my lymph nodes in my neck and clavicle region since any head and neck cancer can cause problems with nodes in this region. If is doesn't go down you know the drill-get it checked out.

Lymphatic massage by a licensed professional helps with lymphedema related to cancer operations, neck dissections, and chemotherapy. If you have had lymph node removal, or chemo check out the National Lymphedema Network.

I hope you feel better. Thank you for sharing your story I wish you the best.