I am a married, 65 year old, white male living in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

On Friday March 22, 2019, my ENT told me that I had stage III base-of-tongue cancer. To be specific, it’s T2 N2a M0. (Aug 23, 2019: Well, that’s what the ENT thought. My radiation oncologist later reclassified it as T3 N1 M0)

This blog will record my experiences dealing with having this cancer in the context of the public health care system in BC. I’m going to focus on recording the appointments that I have, the questions that arise from those appointments, and the answers to those questions.

I’ve discovered that there rarely are definitive answers; instead the answers usually are in the form of probabilities based on a variety of factors. What I’m trying to do is confirm that the people who will be providing me with services, i.e. the oncologists and the consultants they lean on, have been informed of all the relevant factors. The most notable factors, from my perspective, focus on Quality of Life (QOL). What I consider to be a very undesirable procedure (e.g. having a feeding tube placed through my abdominal wall and into my stomach, or having a perfectly good tooth removed), might not be thought of in the same way as an oncologist. The plan for my treatment must accommodate whatever strong desires I have.

This blog will record my efforts to identify the QOL issues that will be of concern to me, and how I resolve those issues. I’m maintaining the blog so that other patients facing base of tongue, oropharyngeal, oral, or head and neck cancer have a resource that might help them resolve the same issues.

Please, if you have information about any of the following, reply to the appropriate post, or contact me directly, to tell others about the information you have. This blog is intended to help others make good decisions when they have decisions to make, and your information might be very useful to someone else.

  • symptoms
  • diagnoses
  • possible treatments
  • actual treatments
  • cancer agency administration procedures
  • other blogs, sites, or pages that we should look at

Thanks for taking the time to look at this blog. If you are faced with base of tongue, oropharyngeal, oral, or head and neck cancer, please take the time to “follow” this blog. If you know of someone else that is faced with these cancers, please share this blog with them.