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Tammy’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Salivary Gland Cancer, HER2 +, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety, Depression, Panic Attacks)

Tammy's Story Salivary Gland CancerI saw my amazing chemo oncologist physician’s assistant today. I was diagnosed with acinic cell carcinoma of the parotid gland, HER2 receptor positive, in April of 2010. I had 35 radiations, 25 weekly carbo and Taxol treatments, and 1 year of weekly Herceptin. I was allergic to all of the drugs, so I took heavy pre-meds. I was given Flexeril for the horrible stiffness and almost constant muscle spasms from my last surgery on my lower left side of my neck to remove the cancerous lymph nodes. I took it just a bit ago, and I can tell a difference, finally!!

I will also be getting Herceptin weekly for as long as my body can handle it, so that might be a week, a year, 10 years, or the rest of my life. 🙁 All nine of my doctors agree this is what is keeping the cancer from spreading to my other organs. They are talking to a doctor in Charlotte, NC, which is 3 hours away, about immunotherapy. He really wants me in his study, but the doctors are concerned about how quick and aggressive my tumors are when they show themselves.

My sixth PET scan will be in a few more weeks to allow me more time to recover from surgery and not have it all light up from post surgery healing. I go to UVA on August 21st to see Dr. Christophel about surgery to connect muscle from my temple to my upper lip muscle to help me have a smile and prevent further drooping as I age. It already interferes with my eating, drinking and talking, even more so when I am tired. I have constant sores on the inside of my mouth because I keep biting it.

My doctors at Mt. Sinai are getting stains from my latest tumors for extensive deep genetic testing, and hopefully they’ll find some chemo or drug for me to take to finally do away with this damn cancer. They say I need to be cautious about stress levels to avoid my high chances of stroke. Umm, ok, are you kidding me?! Stress and anxiety have been my middle name for a few years now. Ugh!

Tammy
Virginia
Submitted 07/30/2015

The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

One comment

  1. Stay strong Tammy!

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