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How long after finishing rads did you all try eating via the swallowing method???

pk's picture
pk
Posts: 192
Joined: Aug 2009

My hub finished rads a week ago and has more pain now than before. We know that this will subside in another couple of weeks. For those of you who have been there, how long after rads did you start swallowing something via the regular method??? And what did you find to be the best food to start with?????

BeenThereDoneThat
Posts: 29
Joined: Jul 2009

Congrats to your husband on completing his treatments. The road back is bumpy, but things will get better.

When I finished my treatments I was living on Boost. Lucky not to need a feeding tube. Unfortunately, the radiation zapped my esophagus and I couldn't swallow anthing bigger than a baby aspirin. I did find that I could enjoy some foods that went down 'easy'. Hot dogs and sausage were nice....plus they got my taste buds going. They were nice and greasy, and slid down OK. Stick with things that are moist and chewable. Puddings and applesauce were nice too.

One thing that stinks is that I had to chew everything 'like our moms taught us'.....but it took a long time to eat. At work, no one wanted to eat with me since I took so long! Don't rush it, though. Enjoy the food and the time.

I was also really helped by a dilation that was a piece of cake. Only took 10 minutes, and the doc 'stretched' me so that I could swallow bigger pieces of food. I've done it 2 times in 5 years. Hopefully your husband won't have the same 'shrunk' esophagus....but if he does, it can be taken care of.

Also, luckly my taste came back. That really helps with eating.

Good luck and keep us posted. A lot of people out here are rooting for you!

George

pk's picture
pk
Posts: 192
Joined: Aug 2009

Thanks for your reply. My husband is able to drink water and swallow his pills. He can also swallow soft foods but they still cause pain and taste terrible to him. He has actually had more pain this week post rad than before, but we know that this is normal and will get better. After next week he will try to incorporate some soft food. Your ideas are helpful and we'll try some of them. This is quite the journey, isn't it????
Take care - sounds like you are doing well. How is your energy level? Still tired? PK

pk's picture
pk
Posts: 192
Joined: Aug 2009

Thanks for your reply. My husband is able to drink water and swallow his pills. He can also swallow soft foods but they still cause pain and taste terrible to him. He has actually had more pain this week post rad than before, but we know that this is normal and will get better. After next week he will try to incorporate some soft food. Your ideas are helpful and we'll try some of them. This is quite the journey, isn't it????
Take care - sounds like you are doing well. How is your energy level? Still tired? PK

pk's picture
pk
Posts: 192
Joined: Aug 2009

Thanks for your reply. My husband is able to drink water and swallow his pills. He can also swallow soft foods but they still cause pain and taste terrible to him. He has actually had more pain this week post rad than before, but we know that this is normal and will get better. After next week he will try to incorporate some soft food. Your ideas are helpful and we'll try some of them. This is quite the journey, isn't it????
Take care - sounds like you are doing well. How is your energy level? Still tired? PK

pk's picture
pk
Posts: 192
Joined: Aug 2009

Thanks for your reply. My husband is able to drink water and swallow his pills. He can also swallow soft foods but they still cause pain and taste terrible to him. He has actually had more pain this week post rad than before, but we know that this is normal and will get better. After next week he will try to incorporate some soft food. Your ideas are helpful and we'll try some of them. This is quite the journey, isn't it????
Take care - sounds like you are doing well. How is your energy level? Still tired? PK

pk's picture
pk
Posts: 192
Joined: Aug 2009

Thanks for your reply. My husband is able to drink water and swallow his pills. He can also swallow soft foods but they still cause pain and taste terrible to him. He has actually had more pain this week post rad than before, but we know that this is normal and will get better. After next week he will try to incorporate some soft food. Your ideas are helpful and we'll try some of them. This is quite the journey, isn't it????
Take care - sounds like you are doing well. How is your energy level? Still tired? PK

pk's picture
pk
Posts: 192
Joined: Aug 2009

Thanks for your reply. My husband is able to drink water and swallow his pills. He can also swallow soft foods but they still cause pain and taste terrible to him. He has actually had more pain this week post rad than before, but we know that this is normal and will get better. After next week he will try to incorporate some soft food. Your ideas are helpful and we'll try some of them. This is quite the journey, isn't it????
Take care - sounds like you are doing well. How is your energy level? Still tired? PK

carolinagirl67's picture
carolinagirl67
Posts: 153
Joined: Jul 2009

Hey PK,

My husband is two weeks out of radiation. Next Tuesday will mark three weeks. Actually he was in more pain the first week than the entire time of treatment but is actually fine now. He talked his DR into taking out his feeding tube last friday and feels great. He is drinking about four to six ensure a day and eating soft foods such as half a banana, grits, mashed potatoes and soup. His biggest challenge is the texture of food. What is hurting in your husbands mouth. My husband has a sore on the side of his tounge which was his biggest complaint. The DR gave him a type of salve that numbed it and made the sore go away in about two days. The salt water rinse is the biggest help. Your husband will be over the hump before you know it. It is taking longer to get his energy back but we expected that. He said everyday he feels a little better. Peace!

ratface's picture
ratface
Posts: 1232
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi, I'm two weeks out from radiation and can swallow water, ensure, soup, soggy cereal, oatmeal and last night I had some pot roast which was cooked veryyyyyyy tender and mashed. Couldn't taste it. I do have some taste but no sweet yet. Salty was the first back. Enery started out very bad, do a little and sit down, do a little more and sit down. Naps during the day. No more napping now and can walk or work out lightly for thirty min. In fact I've been outside in the garage for the past five hours cleaning up and just now came in to sit and drink a can of jevity.

TIM_WWJD
Posts: 38
Joined: Jan 2009

I am three months out of treatment for stage four tonsil cancer. Like everyone my treatment was probably a little different but it did include 42 days of radiation. I was told to expect my neck to hurt for as many weeks after treatment as it didn't hurt during the beginning of treatment. For me it was three weeks into radiation before it was hurting and after treatment it was pretty close to four weeks before the burning stopped. I want to say things are so much better. I guess I was blessed because I still have one side of saliva glands and my "fuzzy" feet seem to be getting better. It is just as the doctors tell you time is the key, there are some medicines out there but they even need time to work and we're talking months not days. Trust me have have really had to learn patients.
Tim

BeenThereDoneThat
Posts: 29
Joined: Jul 2009

As for energy, I am pretty much OK today. I still love to sleep in on weekends (much to my wife's dismay!), and find that if I overdo it it takes me longer to 'recover'. I think some of that is just plain old 'age', but I still blame it on the treatments!

I should work out or exercise more, but I never did that even before my cancer.

I still rely on my coffee to get me 'going' in the morning. If you husband likes it, great. I did find that my taste changed, though. The brand I used to drink tasted awful. A Mountain Dew works for me, too! Again, maybe not the best thing to rely on caffein, but it works for me.

For me, I think my 'fuzzy' days are more mental than physical. I think that is something all of us deal with. I am much better now than before, but still have 'those days'.

Again, I am rooting for your husband and you. The best thing for poeple going through this is support. Sounds like he had that going for him with you.

George

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8057
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm 55 just recovering from Tonsil Cancer as well, stage III SCC HPV related. I finished 9 weeks of chemo and the 7 weeks of concurrent chemo and radiation (35 exposures)....finsihed those the 18th of June 2009.

I never had a feeding tube and only had about 4 weeks where the treatment really was bad, the last two weeks of the radiation and the following two weeks after that.

During the last 3 months I have had just "normal" fatigue, no taste, no saliva, and various aches, pains and discomforts in my mouth and throat.

The last few weeks of radiation and the first few weeks after, I didn't really take anything in but water and Ensure, and that was after taking some liquid pain solution to numb the throat.

One thing that seemed to be good and still actually is one of the better things that I like is the Delmonte Sliced Peaches in Light Syrup, the kind that's in glass jars. For whatever reason, that little bid of sweetness has lasted when nothing else has. Also canned spinach has seemed to retain it's flavor. I probably ate more of those two things than anything else, LOL.

Things that I ate and loved before and during chemo, but now have no taste or very little are pasta, rice and potatoes....not sure why, but they were all great durng chemo until my taste buds were burned out from the raidiation...now they are very blan and pasty....

Things will improve with time, it just is in weekly or longer spurts, definitely not daily...

Good Luck and God Bless,
John

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