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Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma

A Two Time Survivor, 12/09/08

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I am a 28y/o mother of 4 beautiful children. I have been diagnosed with two different types of cancer!

I began nursing school in September of 2005 and discovered a lump in my neck. The lump was thyroid cancer. I had a total thyroidectomy in December of 2005 and completed treatment with radioactive iodine. I was not going to let cancer stop me from becoming an RN so I stayed in school.

I soon became pregnant with my forth child and was excited to find out it was a boy. Not long after that discovery and seven days before graduation I sneezed a tumor out of my nose. The tumor was adenoid cystic carcinoma. To remove the remaining tumor I had to have a craniotomy and rhinotomy, while I was pregnant. The baby did fine through the 9 hour operation. I carried him until 35weeks. He was born July 16, weighing 5lbs 5oz. His Name is Evan.

I waited till Evan was born to start radiation. I had 26 treatments of IMRT to the face. That was very rough. I have completed radiation and I am now doing follow-ups every three months which includes MRI's and chest x-rays every year. My battle now is making sure this cancer does not come back. I did graduate nursing school and I passed boards.

I have just had to have two more operations, nasal reconstruction. The radiation burned all the tissue on my nose, which has caused the bone graft to die and expose the metal plates in my nose. After seeing several doctors I found one, in Virgina, who felt comfortable and upbeat about my procedures, even though I am a very difficult case. Before the surgery I had 20 treatments of Hyperbaric oxygen, to hyper-oxygenate the tissue, following 10 more after the surgery. The nasal reconstruction consisted of a forehead flap, cartilage from my ear, and another calvarian bone graft. The surgery did go well, but since then my nose has begun to sink in again and the skin is very thin.

This has been a very rocky road, but I have continue to try and think positive and pray that this all will end very soon. My friends and family have stood by me and have helped me through this all. I am still trying to win this battle. So the fight continues. Now I leave my life in GODS hands and pray that he will heal me.