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Dr. Report
Had an "official" follow up appointment today with my favorite head and neck specialist. It was good; positive news all around. Here are some things I learned.
->We are calling me "cancer free"!!!  I will still need frequent follow ups (once a month for the first year), but the chemo and radiation have done their jobs. There is no blood test (like with prostate cancer) or magic scanning technology that can distinguish cancerous lumps from other lumps. So at my follow ups I get checked visually with this gnarly long scope that is inserted through my nose and down to my throat.  A blood test would be nice, but it doesn't exist yet.
->Surgery may be in the future. The lump on my neck has shrunk dramatically, but is still noticeable. The procedure would entail removing it and many other lymph nodes after opening the side of my neck up. The side effects are most likely permanent numbness on that part of my neck and jaw and some possible stiffness. It is likely that that lump to be removed is completely a dead mass, so I am not in any hurry to add more side effects.  I'll live with it for now. It will be a few months before we make any decisions anyways.
->My doctor is a good man and I am grateful he is in charge of treating me.  Kaiser has been GREAT through this whole ordeal as well.
All in all, a good day.

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Wonderful, wonderful news!!!! I am so happy for you and your family! Hugs to all!

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