We have some preliminary confirmation from radiation oncology that this is in fact a squamous cell carcinoma originating at the root of the tongue now with a massive tumor invading his throat, the muscles of his jaw and nymph nodes. He also according to the PET scan has metastasis to the liver and right femur (large upper leg bone).
This correlates to his complaints of pain with chewing, excruciating headache with his “dizzy spells” and “arthritis” in his right hip.
A tracheostomy and feeding tube will be needed to get through chemo and radiation since his throat is likely to get swollen before any decrease in the size of the tumor happens.
I admire the very young radiation oncologist who looks him in the eye with a gentle pat on his hand and says “This will not cure your cancer, it will only alleviate some some of your symptoms by shrinking the tumor”
This job is going to age her quickly.