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what does your neck feel like???

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2924
Joined: May 2012

Hi Everyone,

Now I want you to know I searched through the SUPER THREAD before coming here.

What exactly does your neck feel like???

I am about 13 weeks post, 35 rad treatments plus Erbitux, lateral juggler dissection (left side).

What I am feeling is (no whiskers of course), slight thickening along sides of esophagus and under jaw. No lumps, no soreness and no stiffness.

Until this thickening began, it felt like a nice healthy and quite smooth neck. I am not trying to borrow trouble, just wondering what to expect.

Thanks,

Matt

P.S. My ENT told me not to rub my neck to much and nobody recommended neck exercises.

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3685
Joined: Mar 2012

but am 18 days out of radiation that included my neck....to pet it, it feels like lizard skin...the sides where my two lymph nodes REALLY got radiated do have a thicker feel...I know this isn't particularily helpful, because I'm so early in recovery from rads...I have a feeling tho, that radiation healing takes a really long time...

p

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8071
Joined: Sep 2009

Fibrosis after the radiation is not that uncommon after all of the radiation we have had, actually it's quite common.

More than likely that thickening and stiffining of the skin is fibrosis.

Just another of those hidden little gifts that the radiation keeps on giving.

JG

tommyodavey's picture
tommyodavey
Posts: 353
Joined: Nov 2011

I still have some edema below my left chin and some numbness on my upper neck and lower lip. My lower chin is now sensitive to the touch but I think that is from getting some feeling back. It's been since January that I had my neck dissection.

The scar turned out almost invisible as he cut me along my lower neck line. The Adams Apple looks funny and is wrinkled. That is a weird one. Most everyone says they don't notice my neck. It may or may not get better and I'm fine with that.

My wife who is in skin care gave me some nice neck cream called StriVectin-TL. On the jar it says it is a neck tightening cream. Time will have the final say of that claim.

I'll have to ask my doctor if I am supposed to massage my neck or not. So far I've read two different things.

Tom

Tom

Tim6003's picture
Tim6003
Posts: 1490
Joined: Nov 2011

My oncologist told me to massage under my chin daily?? He said the lymph nodes now do not drain down the neck as they should, thus the "waddle" under my chin (which is still there but better).

My wife does a pretty good job of making sure my neck (all around) as well as under my chin and shoulders get rubbed often.

My neck is certainly "thicker" down the path my jugulars run ..and the back of my neck is thicker as well as mildly numb.

As always...be sure and share your symptoms with your onc. / doctor...but I would venture to say it sounds much like, wait for it....what John (skiffin) hates to hear ..."THE NEW NORMAL" ...(lol at John).

Best,

Tim

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8071
Joined: Sep 2009

Tim, LOL....

You need to get your terminology correct....

That "waddle", as you call it is known here as;

Welcome to the "Turkey Neck Club"......gobble, gobble....

LOL, most here have gotten it, and it usually goes away for the most part between the first 6 -12 months.

As your MD stated, it's from the damage to the lymph drainage paths. Through massage (detailed by MarineE5 and a link on...where else, but the SuperThread), most will go away.

We'll tell you about that itch you can't ever scratch and the bald spot, you wish you never got later..., LOL (j/k).

Best,
John

katenorwood
Posts: 1821
Joined: May 2012

Matt,
Question, why did ENT tell you not to rub your neck, and was this recently ? It was actually my radiation oncologist that sent me to pt for my lymphedema 3 wks after resection. Man I thought I would go through the roof the first time someone rubbed the chin and resect area. Still am numb along jaw, down chin area to collar bone. I had 6 maybe 7 lymph nodes removed from neck, so fluids don't move through system like they should. I think we all end up with scar tissue too...just a wonderful part of treatments. Good luck with this, and let us know if drs., are saying its normal for your type of treatment. katie
And yes I still have the lyphedema...and doing the exercises...daily, lol.

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2924
Joined: May 2012

Hi Katie,

I had to round-up my brain cells (radiation brain) and try to remember what the ENT said about my neck. After contemplation I want to revise my earlier statement and revise the ENT as saying “don’t overly rub the location where the lymph node was removed” . Reading between the lines, I guess he didn’t want me to over do it.

After I have my next ENT visit I will find out what I really heard and repeat it back here. You see, I only live 5 minutes from my ENT and went to the appointment without my wife. Hence, selective hearing kicks in and I am not sure what was said (I’m bad). That’s my excuse, I better not drive the bus anymore.

Thanks,

Matt

Rick2924's picture
Rick2924
Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2010

That's what my surgeon calls it. I had a dissection and 7000 grays on the left side 3 1/2 years ago. The fibrosis has gotten to the point where I have trouble turning my head side to side and up and down. I have had physical therapy over the last year for myofascial release. The therapist have me a series of massage techniques which I continue to do. It has helped some, but not significantly. It has gotten to the point where I do feel an interference with swallowing.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8071
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm pretty sure that's what they use to call it, not so much these days..

One of those politically correct things I presume...., LOL.

I too tend to have more discomfort turning my head to the side that I had the cancer and which was hit hardest between the rads.

Like you, I had 7000Gr on that side (right for me), and another 6000Gr on the other side...just for good measure.

Not problem swallowing, and my belly confirms that...

Best,
John

KTeacher
Posts: 926
Joined: Jan 2011

Hard, tough and lumpy, but the doctor says I look good--I guess that he is comparing me to last year after surgery.
Seems like the area gets dry so a few nights a week I rub Bio oil on it seems to help. I do put face cream on my neck daily in the a.m. after shower.

Crazymom's picture
Crazymom
Posts: 295
Joined: Nov 2011

Mine looks fine, but some days the muscles are sore and some days they are not sore. I am post 12 weeks and did not have a dissection. I feel like there is some thickening on the inside around the esophagus, but you cannot tell from the outside. Again, it seems to come and go with me. I just had the Pet Scan and everything looks great. I would not worry.

Ann

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