I went for my annual throat checkup at my throat surgeon's clinic.
It was as painful, uncomfortable and torturous as usual. Nothing more, nothing less. The cameras up the nose and down the throat, the hold my tongue while you shove a couple of fingers down the sides of my throat and chastise me when I gag and almost vomit, the same old routine I've been through so many times over the past years. You can read up on my previous visits in the archives here.
But I was not prepared for the end of our visit. As I set at his desk he looked over my previous results, my PET scans, my evolution, ... Finally he looked at me and said that after 6 years of monitoring, and as the past 3 years have been stable, he considers me cured. He considers that I no longer need the regular exams and scans. He dictated a letter to my generalist and my original radiation therapist with an explanation and stating that I no longer need scheduled exams. We all agree that I should be extra careful and monitor my throat area myself. If anything unusual appears (loss of voice, voice change, long-lasting sore throat, any lumps anywhere, ...) I should call my specialist who will book me in for an urgent verification.
No more invasive throat exams? No more unbearably suspense-enducing PET scans? I can deal with that.
It appears as though my throat condition will no longer evolve. The state it is in now is the state it will continue to be in for a very long time. I've learned to live with the eternal dry mouth, thick mucus, sensitive internal throat walls, stiff side of the neck around the surgical scar area and even the loss of balance. I will continue to do so with the knowledge that, although it will most likely not get any better, it's not going to get any worse any time soon.
No more cancer? No more exams?
Best news... Ever!!!