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HOW LONG DOES RADIATION KEEP GOING

SPILLERCJ's picture
SPILLERCJ
Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2009

FEEL LIKE THE ENERGIZER RABBIT- DON'T KNOW IF IT WILL EVER GO AWAY- THEY SAY HAVE PATIENCE- HAD 33 RADIATION TREATMENTS -VOCAL CORD CANCER- JUST WANT MY VOICE BACK

Craig_Griffin's picture
Craig_Griffin
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2009

When I lost my voice I used some hand signals and most everyone was able to get the general idea. To strangers (postoffice, etc.) I would point to my throat and using a gesture to let them know that I couldn't talk. I had tongue base cancer at the back of my tongue. But my targetted area for it was up through my larnx for about 20% of my radiation pulses. My voice returned in about 3-4 weeks, and I was very grateful. Now 6 months later I have to concentrate on swallowing. It is not as involuntary as before cancer. The first thing that I was able to eat was scrambled eggs. I wish you the best in your recovery. -Craig

SPILLERCJ's picture
SPILLERCJ
Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2009

ONLY BEEN 5 DAYS SINCE TREATMENT ENDED=BUT STILL BURNING =SOUP AND YOGURT AND GRITS ARE MAIN MEALS. WANT TO FEEL UP TO GOING BACK TO WORK

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Bear in mind that radiation does not stop cooking immediately when the procedure stops. I was surprised to learn that it keeps cooking for quite some time after the last treatment.

Hang in there, keep eating, keep working on eating new things, and think twice about going back to work until you are really fit.

I went back way before I was advised to, and that was really a mistake.

Take care,

Joe

bonnie123
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2009

Hi Spillercj,

The only foods that worked for me when I was going thru Radiation was cold food, like potato salad, banana pudding & Ice cream, it seem to soothe the burning.

bogey4on17's picture
bogey4on17
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2003

It seems as though you're feeling the same thing nearly all of us who have been through radiation have felt. It's intuitive that once treatment stops we should begin feeling better. But, if you'll think back to treatment, you didn't begin feeling like crap on the very first day, nor did you lose your voice on the first or, even 10th, day. It was the cumulative effect of treatment that caused you to start feeling poorly, show signs of mucositis, lose your voice, etc. And that's exactly why it takes time to recover from treatment that can only be described as barbaric. The effects of radiation continue to intensify after treatment has ended and some of the side-effects will, in fact, carry forward the rest of our lives.

My rad onc, who has become a great friend, smiles at me when I complain about challenges swallowing, lack of saliva, or some other trivial matter, and then says, "ah, yes. Radiation. The gift that keeps on giving!" His way of reminding me that's it's because of the skillful application of this technology that I'm alive to complain. And to remind me that I'll always face a few minor inconveniences because of radiation.

I lost my voice for about 5 weeks late into treatment and found it absolutely terrifying! I communicate for a living and quickly extrapolated not speaking meant losing my job, which meant my inability to pay the mortgage, which meant living under a bridge, ad nauseum.

My voice did come back, as yours will. But it doesn't change the fact it's terrifying to lose the mode of communication we've used our entire lives.

"Have patience" sounds trite (and it is). So don't be patient. Look forward aggressively to the day you move your lips and sound once again breathes forth from your mouth.

Which it will.

All my best,

Jeff

Frank203
Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2008

My radiation treatment ended the beginning of Nov. My voice is back but I've had continuous pain in the throat that is as bad as it was during treatment. So far there has been no let up of the pain. The dr's just slough it off with "it takes time". It seems 6 mos. of severe pain is time enough. My wife says it's because I yell too much.

Frank

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5635
Joined: Apr 2009

Sometimes we need to listen to our wife’s, the blood vessels in your throat are very easy to break because of the radiation; dryness also adds to the pain. There is a mouth wash you can use to help numb the pain check with your doctor. How your taste, taste coming back is a sign of healing but is it a very slow process. I know where you are because I been there twice, just remember healing takes time, the pain will get better, don’t be alarmed if it does not all go away we learn to live with a new normal.

I wish you well and will be praying for you, drop me a line and let me know how you are doing.

Elizabeth 1978
Posts: 20
Joined: Jun 2012

Was there anything you could take to relieve or help the voice to come back.

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 1832
Joined: Jun 2012

I could not talk while I was hospitalized and my sis-in-law brought me a tablet sized dry erase board from the dollar store...a dollar well spent. Some days I shook so bad they couldn't read my writing so they wrote the alphabet on it and I pointed to letters until they figured it out. My Rad Onc told me I would cook from 2 to 8 weeks following tx. I progressively got better but really turned the corner at 5-6 weeks post.

Kent Cass's picture
Kent Cass
Posts: 1746
Joined: Nov 2009

The original question for this old post was a matter several years ago, and that's when we learned the rads actually stay with us for a couple years, as they gradually fade away. A head rad Dr was leaving to go to another hospital to be a head Oncologist, and was saying goodbye to his Patients, and the one who made the post, here, said this Dr had revealed that it was his experience that the rads do actually stay with us for a couple years, and that what is standard to tell Patients is not exactly the way it is. FYI.

kcass

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