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Old lady chin :-(

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

About a month ago I noticed my chin getting more and more wrinkled. I'm 7 mo this out from treatment and it seems to be getting worse. I am pretty sure the rads just depleted all of my collagen in that area.
I'd really like to stop receiving gifts from rads. I still have Lhermitte's too and I thought that would be gone by now...it's been over 3 months. Maybe I'm not being patient enough with that. Now on to my dry mouth, I'm still hopeful that some of that will come back in time.
Ugh....ok sorry I just had to get that off my chest.
Billie

ToBeGolden's picture
ToBeGolden
Posts: 697
Joined: Aug 2010

Just to let you know I get some chance to still follow you. No advice on this issue. Day at a time. Rick.

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 3007
Joined: May 2012

Billie,

 

Welcome to the club, oh that is right you are already a member (radiation brain, because some here do not qualify Erbitux as chemo brain, so radiation brain).  I use to use neck skin to tell how old someone looked, now I know it lies because I look older than I am.  To top it off, I found a “bad mirror” at work, it makes me look like I just got in a car crash and I thought I looked pretty spiffy when I left home.  What are we (shallow) people to do?

 

Matt

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

You found that mirror too? I was shocked when I saw my chin! I swear it wasn't this way a month ago. I guess I am being pretty shallow but I just don't like what that damn cancer has done to all of us. Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful for the treatment that killed the cancer but man is it harsh and damaging.
Like you, I'm younger than I look now. It used to be the opposite, nobody ever believed me when I told them my age. Oh well, I guess I should count my blessings and not be so petty and shallow.

Billie

P.S. Matt...the nurses at the infusion clinic told me that Erbitux while not an actual chemical is still a chemo type treatment and in some cases can cause more annoying side effects than traditional chemo and it too can cause "chemo brain" so we are not crazy after all. We have "erbitux brain" :-)

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

Most of it will improve with time.  Lhermitte's will subside. 

Some of it, not so much. Got nose hair?

Deb

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3780
Joined: Mar 2012

who has wondered what exactly rads did to our skin....I swear I look 10 years older than I did when I was sick...most of that aging is around my chin and mouth!  I thought once I gained a little weight the wrinkles would fill in....so far, it's a no go! Smile  I still have the Lhermitte's, too....so that may be something that takes more time to go away...tho I must be getting used to it, because it doesn't surprise me anymore.  I keep in mind that it took John nearly two years to get back his spit and his taste...so basically, at under a year out of treatment, we're still babes in the woods....and I keep hoping that I'm just being impatient, too.  I can lick my lips tho, and that is an improvement!

What I really can't get used to is the neuropathy in my hands....I can live with it in my feet, but my hands drive me crazy.  That's supposed to improve some, too....another wait and see. 

LOL at Deb and the nose hair....THAT didn't come back, and I don't miss it...ha!  Neither did those pesky lip hairs that came with menopause....not missing them a bit either!  So I guess taking the good with the bad is the way we got to do it. 

It does help to get to say something about it, tho....doesn't it?

p

yensid683
Posts: 236
Joined: Apr 2012

I have the same issues, a whole lot more wrinkles than I anticipated, though I'll take them over the tumor!  I look in that  defective mirror and I see this old man staring back at me, especially if I'm tired!  I finally lost the turkey neck a couple of weeks ago, and I don't wake up looking so much like a chipmunk.  Lymphatic drainage must be re-establishing.  I got my sense of taste back just a couple of months out of rads and saliva might - MIGHT - be coming back.  Either that or I've gotten very adept at sipping just the right amount of water when I take a bite of something. 

I agree with you Billie, I'm being petty as the alternative to the side effects is the dirt nap, but it would be nice to just be able to pop a cookie or something into my mouth and not have to have my water bottle with me.

Life goes on, and life is good!  I have the love and support of my wife, my family and my CSN family.  I"m lucky!

 

NJShore's picture
NJShore
Posts: 411
Joined: Nov 2012

Billie,

i remember the day I had noticed a few grey hairs.. My dad told me they were worry greys. Again while Dan was going through treatment I looked in the mirror and noticed softness in my skin around my mouth.. Yep this one you all might share with caretakers! A freind of mine had some plastic surgery a year ago, he doctor says that the skin needs the smallest molecule moisturizer you can find - it will absorb what fits. So the use of serums is better if you want your skin to suck it up and fill in.

And I would not doubt, that even if each of you have "Old Lady Skin", we caretakers love that look, because you are looking back at us! Wear it with pride.

Kari

katenorwood
Posts: 1851
Joined: May 2012

Billie,

I love this site...because we can just be human !  Before surgery back in '11 I had almost a full set of teeth.  But because I was looking at rads., and I had the fillings from the 60's in my mouth and other issues I was advised they needed to come out.  So of coarse I did this !  Ooops couldn't finish rads....who knew ?  Yeap the mirror is a fun place in the a.m.'s.  But I remember my mother at 75, after tx's saying who in the heck is that person looking back at me in the mirror ?  I remember hugging her from behind and saying "the most loving caring wonderful person I could have in my life !"  So saying this my friends.....I repeat the same to each and everyone of you !  Life happens....and we've each faced the demon head on.  Love sent as always !    Katie

Laralyn's picture
Laralyn
Posts: 453
Joined: Apr 2012

I noticed some aging in my face after treatments too, but also realized I'd stopped using all my skin products (except moisturizer on my neck for radiation). Looking young(er) was important to me for my work, since I'm in a young industry surrounded by folks 10-15 years younger. My spouse is also 11 years younger than I am, so the combination of that plus work led me to investigate anti-aging skin care. :-)

There are some fragrence-free anti-aging creams that help fill in wrinkles, firm skin and restore collagen. It might be worth giving them a try for a month to see whether it helps. I use Philosophy products, and here's one of the moisturizers that might help with collagen: http://www.philosophy.com/skin-care-moisturizers/full-of-promise-restoring-cream,en_US,pd.html.

I'm 8 months post-treatment and the Lhermitte's is starting to fade. It's still there but only when I lower my head quite a bit. Like right now, I'm looking down to type this on my laptop and I don't feel it--I would have felt it a couple months ago. So it does start to fade, and I bet it's one of those things where it's so gradual you don't even notice it's gone for a while. :-)

I'm trying to remember to massage my neck because I do have turkey neck and I think some swelling. I definitely still have some tenderness in my neck. I think losing a lot of weight so quickly made it worse!

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8094
Joined: Sep 2009

Billie Girl....and others

Hopefully in time, most of what you describe will fade away..., and improvements on the rest. 

Best ~ John

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

I know I'm just being shallow and petty. There are many others here who are dealing with real problems and that makes me sad. I was just having a pity party.
Laryn, thank you for the suggestions. I will look into the products you mention. By the way, are you down here in LA yet? If solute know if you need any referrals for ENT, onc. Or speech therapist, I love all of mine!

Thanks again everyone!
Billie

Laralyn's picture
Laralyn
Posts: 453
Joined: Apr 2012

We've been through a lot and it has changed us. I'm pretty sure chemo put me into early menopause and while I was pretty sure I would never have kids, and I was running out of runway for it anyway... I wasn't thrilled to have the runway unexpectedly and completely removed by cancer treatments. So yes, it ages us, but I look at it as the opportunity to continue to age. :-)

I got to LA a couple weeks ago, and we're settling in. I'd love referrals! My radiation oncologist in San Francisco (who is AMAZING) recommended Dr. Lee at UCLA.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8094
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm gonna be there near the end of the month...

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

John, where exactly will you be when you come here?

Laryn, I actually go to USC Head & Neck for my ENT/surgeon and I see Dr. Markarian....(323)442-5790. I absolutely love him! He is very good at what he does and he always has a big hug for me and always takes as much time with me as I need. I did go to UCLA for a second opinion when I first started this journey and I didn't see Dr. Lee but I wasn't happy at all. It just could have been the dr I saw but I wasn't even that impressed with the facility (as far as Head and Neck goes). My son goes there for urology and I love that dr but not so much the H&N unit.
My rad onc is Dr. Hovenstine at Torrance Memorial Hospital (310)517-4675.
I know it's more important that we keep up with the ENT but just in case you want to see or need to see the onc he is really nice. I actually have had to see a couple of his associates a couple of times and they were equally as nice and comforting. The staff at both of these offices are the best!
What area are you in....as you know, LA is huge!
Billie

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8094
Joined: Sep 2009

Actually flying into SF on the 21st, staying in Inverness (just North of SF), then flying out on the 24th...(my birthday).

My son is getting married, they were up in SF for several years, but he and his fiancee' have been down in Venice Beach for a year or so now...

Going to try and hook up with Steve (Hawk711) while there.., would love to get together if I can squeeze it in... I know it's quite a haul from LA area though.

JG

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

I'm much much closer to Venice. SF is about 7 hours from me and you'll be even more north than that. Too bad you are not going to Venice :-(

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8094
Joined: Sep 2009

Sounds like I'm going to need a future visit, LOL....

Actually my wife has never been to California, so that might work out.

I went to school in your area (somewhat), as a very young child...K, and 1st grade... We would go to Huntington Beach back then..., or I should say "Tin Can Beach:..

JG

Laralyn's picture
Laralyn
Posts: 453
Joined: Apr 2012

We're right next door, almost literally--Marina del Rey! :-)

The radiation oncologist I was seeing in SF was awesome. I got really lucky that there was a recognized H&N expert who happened to practice (at the time) at a regional hospital. He knows the head of the department of the cancer center of UCLA, and said he thinks they do great work. Maybe it's worth going there once to see how it feels?

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1270
Joined: Dec 2012

in case I'm down due to chemo rounds, swing by, 6pack on the porch (anchor, pyramid, lagunitas, your call) :-)

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

John, if you can break away from the city, I'd love to take you out to lunch... perhaps the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite?

Deb

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