Around mid-August I noiced that one of my lymph nodes had become slightly swollen. After a few weeks, when it obviously was not going to shrink on it's own, Deanna convinced me that I should go to my GP, Dr. Robert Barron http://www.cassidymg.com/physicians/barron.htm and have him take a look at it. He gave me a 10 day prescription for a strong antibiotic thinking that it could be a bacterial infection. The lump didn't shrink, so he told me that I should see an ENT specialist at UCSD.
The ENT, Terence Davidson http://drdavidson.ucsd.edu/ , took some biopsy samples from the swollen node then immediately sent them to the lab for analysis. About 20 minutes later he told me the results were in and that the node was cancerous and most likely started in my swollen right tonsil. He told me that it appeared to be early, small, and treatable. I was then scheduled for a CT scan, and then surgery to remove my tonsils and and undergo a full laryngoscopy.
The tonsillechtomy and subsequent recovery has been about par for the course - from what I've gleaned from the internet. About 2 days of "wow, that wasn't so bad" to 5 days of "is it time to take my vicodin yet", then slow steady progress toward being able to swallow some solid food.
Following the surgery I was told that my right tonsil was the "primary" cancer site - where it started. The swollen lymph node is also cancerous and is described as the "secondary" site. Dr. Davidson told me that he would recommend radio and chemotherapy for the remaining cancer in my neck. He referred my charts to the UCSD "tumor board" http://oto.ucsd.edu/Default.aspx?tabid=112 for a treatment recommendation A couple of days later the board reviewed my charts and confirmed Dr. Davidson's recommendation of radio/chemo.
I have an appointment with the UCSD oncologist, Dr. Loren Mell http://radonc.ucsd.edu/FandS/physicians/Mell.asp Nov. 17th. I'm hopefull that I will get some idea about what the next couple of months will be like.