Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy New Year... And, a Brief Health Update


I had a Head & Neck CT scan and a follow up visit with my oncologist on January 5th. The radiology report was finalized today and all systems are clear. No new evidence of disease and my anatomy, when compared to my last CT scan in June, appears stable. So, all good news.

On the subject of improving my speech and swallowing functions (see background from December 2 2010 blog entry), the news is disappointing. I visited with my reconstructive surgeon and his physician assistant on January 3rd. It had been over three years since I had last seen him. We spent a very high quality hour together going over my options. I won't get into the detail here, they are just not that interesting to anyone but me. The bottom line was... make the best of what I have; surgical treatment is not a viable option due to the treatment risk of performing surgery in an irradiated area. In early December I was in touch with the UC Davis physician who did the implant on the head and neck cancer patient in Uruguay to help with his swallowing function. I may still schedule a consultation with him, but I have to be cautious. For me, even a minor surgery in an irradiated area may lead to long term disastrous complications.

Happy 2011. Stay healthy.