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Radiation Induced LARYNGITIS -

Tim6003's picture
Tim6003
Posts: 1497
Joined: Nov 2011

Hi All -

Had my ENT visit today and all looks good (scope and finger exam).

He certainly heard my voice and agreed it sounded pretty bad, I have been fighting this very weak and hoarse voice for about 2 weeks + now.

During the scope he said to the nurse (who was taking notes) "extremely dry vocals". Nothing on them, they looked clean for cancer....then he asked if I was taking any "prohibitors, steriods" and something else he asked if I was taking (can't remember) I said no.

He said I had "radiation induced Laryngitis".

But when I left, he gave me NO presscriptions or said anything else???? I'm confused. I told him my voice is my job and my voice is critical to me (I oversee two hotels in a resort town as well as an RV Park and work with 20-40 employees depending on the season)...gosh, I gotta have my voice or I can't perform my job.

So I looked online found the following article (old one) see link below (I googled "radiation induced laryngitis" and this article came up

http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/xmlui/handle/123456789/9152

However, living in a small town (3,000 people) I'm sure we don't have a HYPO chamber and all my docs / treatment places are 100 miles south of me.

Soooo...any suggestions on what to try first? Steriods, proton pump (whatever that is)

Also, in full disclosure I want to add the following:

I have been cutting wood for my fireplace for the winter for the last two weeks in the forest using a chainsaw. Almost every-other day. It has been quite smokey in our town the last 3 weeks as apparently every forest is on fire here in Idaho :) There is a 10,000 acre fire 20 minutes north of us now. I have been using the fireplace at night (and boy does it get hot and dry in the house with that thing fired up) and I have been driving my Scout II with no top on it all summer everywhere I go (dry wind in my face) ...so as you can see, unknown to me I might not have been helping myself here ...but I love going and doing and certainly don't want to stop that!

Thanks all...

Best,

Tim

alligatorpointer's picture
alligatorpointer
Posts: 131
Joined: Jul 2012

It is good to know that hyperbaric treatment helped someone with that problem and will bookmark the link you provided in case it is needed in the future.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8104
Joined: Sep 2009

That is for acid reflux.., a group of drugs.

I take Protonix, another is Nexium...several out there.. My acid reflux got worse after chemo, but I guess it could also have something to do with the rads.

I'm pretty sure through time and more healing your situation will improve.

The rads damage can go on for several months or even a year or two.

Hang in there, and communicate with your MD.

JG

fisrpotpe's picture
fisrpotpe
Posts: 1344
Joined: Aug 2010

i suggest you put a cold water vaporizer right next to your bed, lay close to the edge and let it blow right in your face.

i know your not going to like this but being in the bright sun with the radiation you have had does not help, either stay out of sun, reduce the time, wear a bigger wide brim hat, long sleeve shirts, anything to reduce more radiation. it will get better but the first couple years are the worst.

wear a mask with smoke in the air

try to breath thru the nose, when you work hard like cutting wood we tend to breath thru the mouth and that will dry the area out faster.

maybe try some sugar free candy to keep moist your mouth and throat.

all small things, but they might help.

i know i have a much harder time when i am in smoke or near it.

john

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2012

Hi Tim,

If I can get John to help me I think we could build you a hypo chamber, even put it on wheels for your wood cutting adventures. I know I have some scrap metal and some 24” diameter pipe and John (skiffen) probably has a line on some old boat parts, yes I think we could do it.

If not, John (fisrpotpe) sounds like he has some good ideas.

My voice is still raspy; the ENT said something similar about my vocal cords and said it was the side effects of radiation.

Maybe you will have to develop better facial expressions to get your thoughts across without talking. Start by practicing at home on the wife and kids.

Best,

Matt

George_Baltimore's picture
George_Baltimore
Posts: 303
Joined: Jun 2009

Tim, I hate to be a wet blanket but I think you need to get used to the hoarseness. My voice started going about a year and a half after my radiation was over. It never got any better even after a total of 120 HBO dives. The raw feeling in my throat got better but not the voice. At first, it was difficult for people to understand me on the phone. After awhile, that got better but the hoarseness never went away completely. Good luck.

VanessaSLO's picture
VanessaSLO
Posts: 280
Joined: Jul 2012

I don't have any smart advice since we're not that far yet to cope with post tx troubles. But listen to all good advice you're getting here and take care of yourself!! If we want to admit it or not, life after this heavy and hard treatment is really not the same anymore and we have to slow down a bit and "smell the flowers" :)). I hope you're gonna be better.
Try to use inhalations (i don't know if it is the correct word).

Tim6003's picture
Tim6003
Posts: 1497
Joined: Nov 2011

What? Get used to it? ....jeeez....I need my voice (listen carefully and you will hear me whining)...but you are correct...if that is the new normal, I will have to accept it.

What's so funny is I just got over a constant (I was concerned it would be a chronic pain issue) and stopped taking my Ultram just a couple of weeks ago when I noticed my throat did not hurt so much ..I was so excited, it actually did not hurt at all...but at the same time I noticed it getting weaker / hoarser. I told my wife, dog-gone-it ...I just get past one thing and another pops up :)

Well, if my voice does stay this way, the owner whom I work for is going to have a problem and I can't blame him. All my life I have wored in management, over people, with problem units / locations (problem = they are either not making money or their guest service is terrible or both) ...how I make my living is "correcting that problem" ...can you imagine me giving a "oral report" in front of a management company or the owners sounding like this??? Eeegads! Worse, a phone conference call!!!! Oh my.

I joked with my wife yesterday ...but was kind serious....I told her I will go to school to be an Oncologist!! - but then that ceratainly requires talking alot too ....hhmmmm I can't bear to think of myself as a data entry person in some cubicle ...oooohh, that would drive me nuts...now maybe a lumber jack :)

Thanks George for shooting straight ...and thank you all for your feedback...let's hope this is just a temp bump and the voice comes back, SOON

Best,

Tim

osmotar's picture
osmotar
Posts: 956
Joined: Jul 2011

Tim,

My voice, us certainly different since rads, there are days when I talk a lot that by the time I go home it's raspy and I'm hoarse. Like you my ENT has scoped my throat every 6 weeks and all looks good, I saw him last week and mentioned how hoarse I had gotten after a full day of meeting and he said to expect that as it was a side effect of the rads..the gift that keeps on giving. It is what us and something I guess I'll get used to.

Linda

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8104
Joined: Sep 2009

You could always develope a grimace.....

Clint Eastwood has made a very good living with his raspy voice, but it does take a bit of a grimace to pull it off.

Best,
John

George_Baltimore's picture
George_Baltimore
Posts: 303
Joined: Jun 2009

Skiff, you always know how to put a humorous spin on subjects. If I ever get my hoarse voice back again, my first words will be, "Go ahead, make my day!"

George_Baltimore's picture
George_Baltimore
Posts: 303
Joined: Jun 2009

I didn't mean to take any hope away. Î'm just afraid your hoarseness will not go away completely. It will get better as far as people being able to understand you. It certainly should not affect your job as far as reporting to your supervisors. Communicating with the public might be a little problematic. When I was talking on the phone, my first question to people was, "Can you hear me?". No, I didn't do commercials for Verizon. It was my way of saying, "Can you understand me?" I was always told they could. Perhaps it just warned people to listen to me a little more carefully. Don't give up. With practice, your voice will get better.

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

I've been dealing with my voice for quite some time now. I've been seeing a speech therapist and she is helping me to get thru the mess that rads did to my voice. So I'm doing therapy, protonix(PPI) humidifier ar night and following a strict GERD diet. It's helping a lot. I'm a Pre school teacher so I rely on my voice too. Good luck to you :-)
Billie

Grandmax4's picture
Grandmax4
Posts: 597
Joined: Dec 2011

your vocal cords to make them strong....my voice was so raspy and weak after surgery, no one thought it would ever come completely back ( and my hubby was fine with that haha) anyway, 10 months out, my voice is strong and clear. My vocal cords were bowed out during surgery....please, do this..it will help
hum the letter m~~~~~
mmmmmmmmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
mmmmmmmmay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
mmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
mmmmmmmmooooooooooooooooo
Hold these sounds as long as possible, I do them everywhere, in the shower, driving, etc

next~~~~~~
swallow very hard and hold the swallow when it gets to your chin

when I first started these, It was just a raspy whisper coming out, now, it's clear and strong

All the other advice, mask, etc should also be heeded...Good luck

Tim6003's picture
Tim6003
Posts: 1497
Joined: Nov 2011

George, no problem, I really took your post well, not negative...I thank you for candor and upfront opinions anytime is better than fluff and puff .... :)

Linda...you want me to do what??? (just kidding) ...

...however, before I start those voice exercises I better tell the wife and kids what I am doing or they will think I am taking pain meds again (I'm not) and too many at one time..... hahahahahaha...

...and at least I don't have to worry about the neighbors HEARING me!!! :) :)

Tim

Grandmax4's picture
Grandmax4
Posts: 597
Joined: Dec 2011

referring to me, when you say Linda? My name is not Linda...but, I've answered to worse, I guess haha.

I am serious about the the exercises, this is free information from the speech therepists at one of the top rated cancer centers n the States..The James, Columbus, Ohio :)

Tim6003's picture
Tim6003
Posts: 1497
Joined: Nov 2011

Yes, I was referring to you but don't know why I typed Linda? Chemo brain is the first excuse I will use (ha).

I took you seriously, just wanted to have a little fun with you too. I was actually doing them today, but in the auto rather than the shower :) Seriously.

Thanks for the info...

Tim

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2012

Hey Tim,

I‘ve got all these supplies together and I am getting started on your hypo chamber. Does this thing need a window?

Matt

nick770's picture
nick770
Posts: 195
Joined: May 2012

Tim, there is lots of good advice here, i can undstand your concerns i am 3 months out of rads and i sound like im going through puberty again. I also need my voice for my job.
It sounds like you need to protect your self when your outside a little more and perhaps a humidifier and speech excercises might help ( im gong to try them my self, thanks grandmax i also see speech therapist at the James in Columbus Ohio but they have only worked with me on swallowing )
Tim best of luck to you i hope that you get your voice back loud and strong.

Tim6003's picture
Tim6003
Posts: 1497
Joined: Nov 2011

Nick...my kids probably hope it stays a little weak :) ...thanks for the well wishes...glaad to see you posting more as well.

We found an old vacation tape the other day and were watching it ...and of course on the tape daddy was talking ...and my two oldest immediately said "Dad, that's you?" ...they had already gotten so used to the new voice, they had forgotten the old...kids adapt so well..

Tim

Tim6003's picture
Tim6003
Posts: 1497
Joined: Nov 2011

YES!!! Must have a window.....you have no idea how much I have a hard time with tight and / or confined spaces ...really struggled with the mask and being bolted to the table during rads,,,,everyday I would ask the team "you will be watching me closely right?" and of course they would say yes as long as a football game was not on (such kidders) ...and I would spell all of my kids name and say their birthdays ....then the 10 minutes would go by quicker :)

Tim

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8104
Joined: Sep 2009

My facility would always have juices, yogurts and snacks sitting out for patients... Of course, that didin't do me much of any good.....ummmpppfff.

One day near the end of rads when the saliva and taste were completely gone..., I walk in on a Friday just around 1:00 or so, and they are having a pizza party lunch... Damn, it smelled so good...so of course I'm a littley pissy since I can smell it, but not have a single taste, my throat was pretty much like hamburger by then anyways.

Several months after I came in for the six month check/consult.

I was giving them crap about eating in front of me that day....

LOL, justice was served they told me... Apparently they all got sick because something apparently was bad on the pizza's.....

So anyways, we all had a good laugh.

Best,
John

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