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Finished up Brechytherpy radiation

rmkbrad
Posts: 177
Joined: Dec 2009

So I finished up my brechytherpy with hypothermic treatment this week and the side effects or pain is much greater than I had hoped for. I had two hypothermic treatments then directly to the brechytherpy machine for treatments there. A total of 6 brechytherpy treatments with the two heat treatments. My poor tongue is in so much pain and it must have got my esophagus because swallowing anything with any texture is dang near impossible. They want to do a partial neck dissection to cut out three lymph nodes in two weeks; I don’t feel that I will be physically or mentally ready for surgery so soon. I would like to heal enough that the pain is gone and I am able to eat somewhat solid goods again. If any of you that have had the partial neck done, how was it, pain, swelling and the ability to eat. Now it looks like I have a big fat bag under my chin from the swelling, I can feel the tumor which was really small until the treatment and now I have the worst taste in my mouth, one of my doctors said it is probably from all the cell that were killed and the fat bag, as I call it is inflammation, my body is trying to was all the dead cells away. What supplements has anyone taken to help with the removal of dead cancer cells.

Brad

Hal61's picture
Hal61
Posts: 656
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Brad, sorry to hear you're in pretty good pain bud, you've been through it. The dead cancer cells will slough off and exit your system over time. I don't know of any suppliments other than diuretics of some type that would speed the process. Just keep drinking lots of water because you need to keep things moving and the pain killers will slow down the system and it's ability to get rid of waste. I had a partial neck dissection about six or seven months ago. I had 15 nodes removed on the left side. Pain was never too bad. I still have numbness on part of my neck, and my muscles and bones in my shoulder are still out of whack from it. Your picture is pretty scince fiction Brad, you look like you're ready to enter one of the pods in the Matrix. I know it's temporary, and I'm hoping your next two weeks will bring you relief and strength. I'll be thinking of you.

best, Hal

Goalie's picture
Goalie
Posts: 184
Joined: Sep 2010

Darn, second time around on this as I lost it after completing the first time.

Anyway, the neck dissection is the only part of your questions that I can comment on as I am less than two weeks out from one. It was a modified one in which he only took the lymph nodes on one side (about 26 in all). (BTW, everything came back negative or dead so I am finally, officially, really and truly cancer-free.)

They did the neck dissection Tuesday, took the drains out Friday, and then last Wed took the stitches out. The drain tubes were more psychically than physically bothersome though they would pull and pinch when lying down for example. (Can link to a yucky pic of neck with these). Stitches are stitches and I looked like Frankenstein’s monster. Now, without anything, I just have a crease across my throat and a good bit of fluid build up below chin and on neck. I do have good motion up and down and both ways, and feel good enough that later this week I will start to play hockey again. It helps to be a lunatic, of course.

So, what is not positive? My jaw hurts a great deal and it is very hard to eat with a lot of chewing. It feels like a TMJ injury. This may be from holding me open for the throat scope they did, they are not sure. I am also numb from my ear down my jaw on that side. He says he didn’t cut the nerves to these so it may be just from having to move things around and that in the coming weeks this will fade. It is not bad; just like coming back from the dentist.

All in all, I would rather be recovering from this than from the rads and chemo which I already did. They did give me two months to recover and get back weight and all before this operation and I am glad they did. So, that’s my experience such as it is. I know others have had different ones but others have had more extensive work done as well. I hope this helps, Doug

Greg53's picture
Greg53
Posts: 830
Joined: Apr 2010

Hey Brad,

Sorry this has been a rough one on you. Hang in there, pulling for you to get through your recent effects ASAP. As Hal and Doug mentioned, I don't know of any supplements, but others might.

As for the neck, I had a radical neck dissection where they took 63 nodes, muscle tissue, several nerves and my jugular vein. I don't know if I was lucky or what, but dissection was easiest part of all my treatments. I had tonsillectomy also and that was much worse. I don't think the dissection affected my eating at all (tonsillectomy affected eating for a couple weeks though). I did PT a couple months after treatment ended and within 6 months after dissection everything was 95% normal that had to with neck surgery (shoulder, movement, etc.). I'm 10 months post treatment and 1 year out from my neck dissection and I'd call it 100% of what it was prior to dissection.

Good luck, pulling for you!

Greg

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1533
Joined: Jan 2010

Brad

I don't have a whole lot to offer except healing thoughts. Sending them your way every single day. Here's to better days ahead.

Deb (waves 'hello'from the other side of the hill.)

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

Brad,
Glad to hear you are through and sorry to hear they want another piece of you.

You may want to look at a serious Detox diet to help clear all the crap our of your system and also a heavy dose of antioxidants. THis would include 'lots' of raw vege juices, wheat and barley grass ++

Your liver and kidneys will have and will take a further beating so extra support for those organs is advisable. You probably should do all this with professional guidance to make sure you get all balanced up properly. I would find a good Naturopath. The benefits are worth it.

Stay with it Brad.

Scam

Jimbo55's picture
Jimbo55
Posts: 572
Joined: Jun 2010

Wow Brad, so sorry you're having such an ordeal to go through. Can't help answer any of your questions, but wanted to send my best to you and yours. Sure hopes things improve and improve quickly for you. CHeers

Jimbo

connieprice1's picture
connieprice1
Posts: 299
Joined: Oct 2010

I hope the pain subsides for you quickly Brad. I can't help at all regarding your questions but I do hope when you are feeling better you might explain the treatment you are doing and how well it works and all the side effects. My brother had surgery 20 years ago for throat cancer and his neck & chin swoll up bigger than yours, his swelling subsided after a few days. Goodluck with your treatment, Homer & Connie

rmkbrad
Posts: 177
Joined: Dec 2009

The procedure is to insert probes directly into the tumor and hook up a radiation source that will radiate from the inside out. Since I had the IMRT last year it was not an option again. With the probes in they would hook up heaters to every other one and tempature proves into the others and heat the tumor for about 1.5 hours to above 110 degrees F. this is the hyperthermic part. the brachytherapy part is the tan lines you see coming out of my neck are hooked to a machine "the radiation source" this robot moves the radiation source from location to location the whole procedure for this part only takes about 20 minutes from getting on the gurnery to getting off. My tumor is at the base of my tongue so the probes went into the base of my tongue and this is probubly why I am in so much discomfort. Time will tell if it works, all the reasearch I have read about says it has abouve a 90% sucess rate. As with any radiation I am sure that I am still cooking, as with the IMRT I did last year it took a month after before I felt anything on the positive, but I am hoping with this procedure that the recovery time will be shorter. Anyway thanks for your support and for posting to my post. Everyone stay strong and God Bless

Brad

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