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Wendy Sheep’s husband went through almost exactly what my grandfather went through. Same about the doctor dismissing the harshness and loss of voice (although he was already on cpap), same location of growth, and about the same type of pain, too, right up until the treatment — he turned down any surgical options (except for the trach, which was considered an emergency surgery) and he did do two different radiation treatment plans. The 1st one helped tremendously, the 2nd one didn’t do much (probably because what the first bout didn’t get was that much stronger). He had decided that he was more interested in quality of life rather than curative treatment.
He had to use a feeding tube because he would aspirate too often while drinking anything too thin (like water, coffee) and most foods were too thick (mac n cheese and pudding was great for him). First the feeding tube was in his nose but it ended up causing an ulcer in his esophagus and some scary bleeding before we understood what it was and switched it to his stomach.
After a while, he completely lost his sense of smell, and taste. It became too difficult and painful for him to swallow so he had stopped oral food anyway.
The cancer continued to spread into his lungs and had progressed around his neck and down over his collar bone. It was growing out of his neck, as well, into the skin. That didn’t cause him as much pain until much later. Eventually, he was so tired all of the time. His body was weak and the pain in his neck became evident. He was prescribed various pain killers like morphine and fentanyl but he didn’t want to miss out so much on clarity or have any uncomfortable digestive issues because of the pain killers so he really stretched it out and dealt with the pain until the very end.
He got his affairs in order, saw his show car get back into working order, taught my husband and I how to take care of things around the house (etc) and handle grandma, and eventually died this past July after 17 months. He was 77 years old.
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