Friday, January 29, 2010

Head & Neck Cancer Resources

I spend my fair share of time on the www. I have come across two websites recently that have stood out above the fray. One is dedicated to head & neck cancer; the other is for a wide range of cancers.

The first is the Oral Cancer Foundation at…

They have the most complete site dedicated to H&N cancer for everything from diagnosis to rehabilitation. The section on “Emotional aspects” and within that “Survivors – What Now?” is what caught my attention. Here’s a link directly to that section (it has 2 parts)…

Until one goes through this experience, it is difficult to fathom the impact it has on one’s psyche. This section resonated with me and confirmed that I am not overreacting to my current circumstances. I found it helpful and wanted to pass the information on to others.

The second site is CancerCompass at…

They have an active forum (message board) section covering 35 different cancers. The direct link to this section on their website is…

In reading the posts and responses for head & neck cancer, this site has quickly grown an active and knowledgeable community that has been there and done that. I can’t speak directly for the other cancers, but I doubt you will be disappointed. Again, it covers the gamut from diagnosis to rehabilitation. There are also caregiver perspectives.

Dealing with cancer is tough. But, these sites make it a bit easier.

Take care.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Quick Health Update

Happy New Year 2010!

I had a blood draw, head & neck CT scan, and clinic visit with my oncologist on 12/30/09. My health remains stable. My doctor used a term in his follow up written clinic report with which I was not familiar. He said I was in "clinical remission." Up until this point, I had been in a state of "no evidence of disease (NED)." I can not find an exact definition of clinical remission, but I infer from my Internet searches that it means the following: as a result of my ongoing treatment, my disease is not detectable. He has left me on a daily chemo drug, 100 mg of Tarceva. There are limited guidelines as to how long I should continue this treatment, but since I am tolerating it well, the risk of a cancer recurrence outweighs the current side effects. My next scheduled visit is in three months.

As to my psychological state, I feel trapped, both physically and mentally. I could write about this, but for now, I'll leave it at that.

Take care and great health during this new decade.