Fatigue, swollen sinuses, sore throat

JohnG Member Posts: 12
edited March 2014 in Head and Neck Cancer #1
In March, I completed six weeks of chemotherapy followed by seven weeks of radiation for nasopharyngeal cancer that had metastasized to the lymph nodes in my neck. My last check up was good (CAT scan, MRI, chest x-ray, and blood work showed no cancer). I am very excited and grateful about my progress, but I still feel completely without energy to do daily activities, my sinuses are so swollen from the radiation that I can no longer breathe out of my nose, and my throat remains so sore that I cannot eat much except smooth soups. Does anyone have any insight as to how long these symptoms are likely to last? My kids (2 and 4 years old) and my very supportive wife (and my business, too) need me back now, and with all my great news, they expect me back now, but although I'm more than ready to move on, my body apparently isn't. Any thoughts on how long these symptoms will last would be greatly appreciated.



  • steviet
    steviet Member Posts: 2
    I had somewhat similar treatment, almost five years ago; am very lucky, as my cancer has not returned. That's the important part! The radiation, as you know is very destructive, and in my case has done some permanent damage. You will continue to to get better in most respects. I didn't really gain much of the 45 pounds I lost till about a year and a half out from the radiation. This was a very slow process for me. At five years out, eating is still different, w/ out much saliva, but can eat most things. As for your energy level, it's hard to say; mine has never come back to what it was, butI'm in my 50s, too. I believe this has changed me physically pretty much permanently; I guess,though, I would say I was "back" in a couple of years. Be patient. You are still in the middle of the worst part of this thing. Better times are surely ahead. I've rambled a bit, but hope the info. has helped. If you have more questions feel free to shoot me a message.

    Good luck, Steve
  • tomalexander
    tomalexander Member Posts: 16
    Had same cancer and treatment. My effects were not as bad, but had to have my esophagus stretched several times because I had a terrible time swallowing. My last treatment was in July 2992, and still feel like there is a long way to go, but am getting stronger almost daily. Can swallow about anything, but have found I have to drink a liquid(milk usually) to help.
    If you are like me, ypo want to jet back to your old self right now, but I guess with the treatment regimen we have had to endure, that wont happen. You will continually get stronger.
    I still get tired more quickly, but that too is improving.
  • cbecker
    cbecker Member Posts: 88
    My husband had 40 aggressive radiation treatments to his neck, he had scc cancer of the piriform sinus. HE last radiation treatment was in July of 2002. He was on a feeding tube until December of 2002. He had several dilatation of his esph. and then was able to eat almost anything but with the help of milk or club soda because he will always have a dry mouth and throat. For the sore throat he tried several prescription but at the health food store I found some tea which is called Throat Coat. I found it on the ACS line and I put some honey in it, and it has helped alot for the soreness and to thin out the mucus. He is currently receiving three different chemos because of recurrence and it has caused radiation recall to his throat, just like being radiated all over again and this Throat Coat tea is helping that. He is back just on liquids again tho. As far as fatique, be patient, it takes almost a year and then some. Gradually take walks to build yourself up. But it will be quite awhile if any before you will feel like yourself again. After all you went thru hell and back and it takes awhile. Hang in there, Candy
  • JohnG
    JohnG Member Posts: 12
    Thank you all for your thoughts and encouragement.

  • garyr
    garyr Member Posts: 27
    I also had cancer on the back of my tounge that went to my lymph nodes. Had radical neck surgery on the left side and 63 radiation treatments. I was very tired all the time and of course had the terrible sore throat. That was 3 1/2 years ago and now at age 62, I have more energy than ever. I can play 2 hours of hard tennis in the sun and do whatever else I want. So just be patient, it will get better.