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Voice

MLC53's picture
MLC53
Posts: 109
Joined: Sep 2007

Hello all, just wondering...how long did it take to get your voice back to normal. When i talk it feels like I'm talking from my chest and not my diaphram. Did any of you have that problem? I'm sure everyone's voice gets back to normal or near normal at different rates, but I'm just asking each person to give me the story on their own situation. Thanks!

be4man
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2007

I am anxious to see the responses you get as I have asked the same question. I am a little over three months post treatment and still have only a whisper to speak. Saw my ENT yesterday and he wants to wait two more months before going to the next phase, Hyperbaric Oxygen. My throat hurts when I swallow still. The good news is that cancer seems to be gone and just treatment effects left to be dealt with.
Good luck!

jkinobay's picture
jkinobay
Posts: 245
Joined: May 2007

Remembering that no two patients treat or respond the same, here's some things I tried and they seemed to have helped. FYI: Now 58, my cancer was SCC primary left tonsil, metastazized to lymph node left neck (original discovery). I am about 4 months out having had 35 IMRT to 6 zones each side of neck, concurrently I had 7 weekly low-dose Cisplatin chemos. Surgeries were fairly minor (1 lymph node, left neck, 2 inch incision, healed immediately) (next was T&A July which at age 57 was rough) (third was PEG placement Sept which was toughest of all). AS FOR MY VOICE, it is much much better now but still a little froggy at times. I would say during month 1 post treatment my voice was 30% of normal, month 3 it was 60% of normal and now month 4 it is about 80% of normal.

1) IN MY CASE, mucous seemed to be most of the problem with my voice, which dissappeared totally for weeks 4-7 of treatment. From what I read and was told by other survivors, mucous is a huge problem since your body's defense mechanism is to double or triple coat everything that got bombarded during treatment. For that I rinsed/gargled several times a day and night with a small glass of as hot water as I could stand containing 1/4 tsp. baking soda and 1/8 tsp. salt. My Oncology Dentist told me this would contiuously alter the PH in my mouth and throat and reduce mucous while at the same time help to reduce bacteria and prevent Thrush (which I never had, thank God and Miracle Mouth Wash). I also rinsed/spit with Biotene mouthwash every time I walked past the bathroom (many times day/night). You might be able to buy it from your dentist by the gallon ($30) which is much cheaper and lasts quite awhile. With all this rinse/spit/gargling I only had one or two mouth sores throughout which really amazed my Chemo and Radiation Oncologists. In fact, they asked me to write an oral hygiene protocol for them to give to future patients.

2) For sore throat, inflammed vocal chords, etc., to expedite tissue healing and regeneration I took/take L-Glutamine (not Glucosamine) morning and night. It is a tasteless white powder easily dissolved in water, juice, whatever that you can get from most health food stores and many pharmacies. Cancer survivors in my support group in AZ. told me about it and their experience with it. It is an amino acid essential for tissue repair and post treatments your body likely will not be able to produce it quickly enough to address all the areas of healing.

3) Also, for all of the side-effect/symptoms, get a humidifier. Mine is warm mist but I am told cool mist units work just as well. I have used mine every night since probably week4 of treatments and still do.

4) One more tip for mucous that greatly helped me was Mucinex timed release 12 hour tablets. Until very recently I took one at least once a day before bedtime. Sometimes on problematic days I took 2 a day. It helps tremendously to thin and dissipate the mucous. I still take one maybe once a week when that "ball of stuff" seems to be a little more prominant. I describe it as a wad that won't come up and won't go down. I also have noticed that the "wad" seems to fluctuate in direct proportion to my Turkey Neck Waddles which I am sure you have. All due to inflammation which my Docs say should be gone by the 6-9 month mark. But it all takes time.............as with everything we are going through, patience is priority One.

Hope these help. Feel free to email me directly or respond here. Again, I can only speak for myself but I know that in just 4 months or so I already feel better than I thought I ever would again. I owe that to my Docs, certainly my Angel of a wife and to all the supportive survivors that took me under their wing.

Get well..............stay well..............JK

Deb333
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2008

I read with great interest your reply concerning excess mucos that you have been dealing with. My husband had cancer of the trachea and thyroid and had extensive surgery in Nov. 2006. He is still bothered with this mucos in his throat which he can not get to come up or go down. He also is taking Mucinex which seems to help some. I think after all he has been thru in the past year this is the most troubling. I cannot find many people who have dealt with this. Thanks for the info.

jkinobay's picture
jkinobay
Posts: 245
Joined: May 2007

SORRY-MAY HAVE PLACED THIS IN THE WRONG PLACE

Remembering that no two patients treat or respond the same, here's some things I tried and they seemed to have helped. FYI: Now 58, my cancer was SCC primary left tonsil, metastazized to lymph node left neck (original discovery). I am about 4 months out having had 35 IMRT to 6 zones each side of neck, concurrently I had 7 weekly low-dose Cisplatin chemos. Surgeries were fairly minor (1 lymph node, left neck, 2 inch incision, healed immediately) (next was T&A July which at age 57 was rough) (third was PEG placement Sept which was toughest of all). AS FOR MY VOICE, it is much much better now but still a little froggy at times. I would say during month 1 post treatment my voice was 30% of normal, month 3 it was 60% of normal and now month 4 it is about 80% of normal.

1) IN MY CASE, mucous seemed to be most of the problem with my voice, which dissappeared totally for weeks 4-7 of treatment. From what I read and was told by other survivors, mucous is a huge problem since your body's defense mechanism is to double or triple coat everything that got bombarded during treatment. For that I rinsed/gargled several times a day and night with a small glass of as hot water as I could stand containing 1/4 tsp. baking soda and 1/8 tsp. salt. My Oncology Dentist told me this would contiuously alter the PH in my mouth and throat and reduce mucous while at the same time help to reduce bacteria and prevent Thrush (which I never had, thank God and Miracle Mouth Wash). I also rinsed/spit with Biotene mouthwash every time I walked past the bathroom (many times day/night). You might be able to buy it from your dentist by the gallon ($30) which is much cheaper and lasts quite awhile. With all this rinse/spit/gargling I only had one or two mouth sores throughout which really amazed my Chemo and Radiation Oncologists. In fact, they asked me to write an oral hygiene protocol for them to give to future patients.

2) For sore throat, inflammed vocal chords, etc., to expedite tissue healing and regeneration I took/take L-Glutamine (not Glucosamine) morning and night. It is a tasteless white powder easily dissolved in water, juice, whatever that you can get from most health food stores and many pharmacies. Cancer survivors in my support group in AZ. told me about it and their experience with it. It is an amino acid essential for tissue repair and post treatments your body likely will not be able to produce it quickly enough to address all the areas of healing.

3) Also, for all of the side-effect/symptoms, get a humidifier. Mine is warm mist but I am told cool mist units work just as well. I have used mine every night since probably week4 of treatments and still do.

4) One more tip for mucous that greatly helped me was Mucinex timed release 12 hour tablets. Until very recently I took one at least once a day before bedtime. Sometimes on problematic days I took 2 a day. It helps tremendously to thin and dissipate the mucous. I still take one maybe once a week when that "ball of stuff" seems to be a little more prominant. I describe it as a wad that won't come up and won't go down. I also have noticed that the "wad" seems to fluctuate in direct proportion to my Turkey Neck Waddles which I am sure you have. All due to inflammation which my Docs say should be gone by the 6-9 month mark. But it all takes time.............as with everything we are going through, patience is priority One.

Hope these help. Feel free to email me directly or respond here. Again, I can only speak for myself but I know that in just 4 months or so I already feel better than I thought I ever would again. I owe that to my Docs, certainly my Angel of a wife and to all the supportive survivors that took me under their wing.

Get well..............stay well..............JK

be4man
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2007

JK,
That was a wonderful and informative post. Thank you, it helped me.
Barbara

BugHunter's picture
BugHunter
Posts: 152
Joined: Oct 2007

My voice barely changed at all and went back to normal a few weeks after treatment. There was a long stretch of time that I didn't want to talk because it would dry my mouth out that much faster.(I never saw Jane so happy!)

BILL

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