No voice

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meaganb
meaganb Member Posts: 244 Member
Hey guys! I finished 30 Rad treatments on Monday of last week. On Tuesday, my voice was gone. I mean....I can get a whisper out, but when I do that I feel like I'm straining. So now, I'm going on 5 days with voice. My throat is not sore although my mouth is still pretty tender and I do have a lot of mucus. Any body else have the same problem? It's starting to worry me since it came on so suddenly and has lasted so long.

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  • meaganb
    meaganb Member Posts: 244 Member
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    I guess I should also
    I guess I should also mention that I have a pretty wicked cough. RO prescribed tussionex it's really not doing a lot for me so I guess that could be contributing...I'm just concerned that my voice went away all of a sudden...
  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,723 Member
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    meaganb said:

    I guess I should also
    I guess I should also mention that I have a pretty wicked cough. RO prescribed tussionex it's really not doing a lot for me so I guess that could be contributing...I'm just concerned that my voice went away all of a sudden...

    who's speaking
    Hi meaganb,

    On 2 ½ weeks post my voice started getting raspy. I was concerned and called my ENT. He saw and examined me at 4 weeks post (scoped down my throat, palpitated all around my neck, felt my tongue, pulled on my tongue made me say ahhhhh). He said everything looked great and it was just the affect of the radiation had on my throat. Now it is 12 weeks post and my voice is still raspy. It actually comes and goes, sometimes I think it will be fine but it is not. It gets very interesting when I answer the phone; I haven’t a clue who is going to speak, normal Matt or Frogman Matt.

    If you are worried go see your ENT, for good measure.

    Good luck,

    Matt
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    Same Same
    Like Matt mentioned, my voice was raspy, and would come and go....

    Even after three years it'll get raspy sometimes..

    Like he also mentioned, if it will give you a confidense build, go see your ENT.

    JG
  • George_Baltimore
    George_Baltimore Member Posts: 303
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    Skiffin16 said:

    Same Same
    Like Matt mentioned, my voice was raspy, and would come and go....

    Even after three years it'll get raspy sometimes..

    Like he also mentioned, if it will give you a confidense build, go see your ENT.

    JG

    Raspy voice
    I hate to say this but...I finished radiation TX May 2004. In Aug. 2005, my voice started getting "raspy." It got a little better but never did get back to normal. I kept at it and finally got people to understand me over the phone. It's just another gift radiation treatments gives you as a "gift."
  • Tim6003
    Tim6003 Member Posts: 1,514 Member
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    Raspy voice
    I hate to say this but...I finished radiation TX May 2004. In Aug. 2005, my voice started getting "raspy." It got a little better but never did get back to normal. I kept at it and finally got people to understand me over the phone. It's just another gift radiation treatments gives you as a "gift."

    Hi Meagan ...
    Same here. My voice got very weak and raspy on May 1st....my last rad was on Januray 20th ...so I was initially very concerned something was wrong...but 1 PET/CT scan and two more scopes (one month apart) and all looks good. Just the radiation for me.

    See your ENT. Now I may be wrong here...but I flat out asked my ENT if he would be doing monthly scopes and finger / oral exams ...and he said yes. And that is just the way I like it.

    Best,

    Tim
  • josh r.
    josh r. Member Posts: 264 Member
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    Voice, the coming and going of...
    Hi Meagan (C-Matt and G-Baltimore) and so many others,
    I have had a "love-anger" relationship with my voice ever since my last Rad-Chemo in November of 1991. My voice was and still is essential in my line of work let alone an every day gift of my Higher Power. I had a struggle at the beginning and still today there are times when I wonder where did my voice go? I don't mean that I can't be heard but what seemed to be be "normal" now is raspy and frustrating. Liquid, gum and the inevitable "clearing" of the throat usually gets me "close" to normal. Then there are those stretches where I want to audition to make the "Three Tenors" a quartet! Perhaps it has been a blessing of sorts in that I now think a bit more often before I speak than I use to. There are probably many in my small circle that are happy for that. I think I am learning a bit more from talking less and listening more.

    Have patience and I pray that you'll find you voice. Josh r.
  • Sam999
    Sam999 Member Posts: 319 Member
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    josh r. said:

    Voice, the coming and going of...
    Hi Meagan (C-Matt and G-Baltimore) and so many others,
    I have had a "love-anger" relationship with my voice ever since my last Rad-Chemo in November of 1991. My voice was and still is essential in my line of work let alone an every day gift of my Higher Power. I had a struggle at the beginning and still today there are times when I wonder where did my voice go? I don't mean that I can't be heard but what seemed to be be "normal" now is raspy and frustrating. Liquid, gum and the inevitable "clearing" of the throat usually gets me "close" to normal. Then there are those stretches where I want to audition to make the "Three Tenors" a quartet! Perhaps it has been a blessing of sorts in that I now think a bit more often before I speak than I use to. There are probably many in my small circle that are happy for that. I think I am learning a bit more from talking less and listening more.

    Have patience and I pray that you'll find you voice. Josh r.

    This is scaring me. Did not
    This is scaring me. Did not realize this can happen. Do they make a mistake and direct radiation towards voice box?

    Sam
  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
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    Sam999 said:

    This is scaring me. Did not
    This is scaring me. Did not realize this can happen. Do they make a mistake and direct radiation towards voice box?

    Sam

    I don't think that's it Sam....
    ...that someone made a mistake....radiation hits your whole throat area, some is bound to leak towards your vocal cords affecting them to some degree. Plus many people had tonsils out, too..(I got mine out when I was 18, and my voice changed permanently at that time)...

    How is your voice today? Have you noticed any changes?

    p
  • George_Baltimore
    George_Baltimore Member Posts: 303
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    Sam999 said:

    This is scaring me. Did not
    This is scaring me. Did not realize this can happen. Do they make a mistake and direct radiation towards voice box?

    Sam

    Sam and Meagan
    They say the newer machines can pinpoint the areas better than the older ones. My tx was 8 years ago so I am sure they have made advances. It's not that they "misdirected" the radiation, it's just that my cancer (base of tongue) was close to the larynx area. Actually, the radiation has affected my whole neck. The tissue is becoming rather hard.

    And Meagan, the whispering to the best of my recollection shouldn't last a whole lot longer. I too, went through that phase. It's frustrating but it will end. The raspiness however, may not. Good luck!
  • meaganb
    meaganb Member Posts: 244 Member
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    I don't think that's it Sam....
    ...that someone made a mistake....radiation hits your whole throat area, some is bound to leak towards your vocal cords affecting them to some degree. Plus many people had tonsils out, too..(I got mine out when I was 18, and my voice changed permanently at that time)...

    How is your voice today? Have you noticed any changes?

    p

    I'm still about the same. My
    I'm still about the same. My husband seems to think my cough is the reason my voice is taking a hiatus. On another note, hubby got me really upset today about something and in the midst of "raising my voice" so to speak I got above a whisper. I think my body is just trying to tell me to take it easy for a few. It's just really frustrating because I haven't been able to talk that much since week 3 of radiation because my mouth hurt so much and was so swollen. Now my mouth isn't hurting as much but I still have no voice.I'm just in that place where it seems like the side effects are never going to end. Patience's not really a strength of mine (reference back to my husband making me upset today) :)
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    meaganb said:

    I'm still about the same. My
    I'm still about the same. My husband seems to think my cough is the reason my voice is taking a hiatus. On another note, hubby got me really upset today about something and in the midst of "raising my voice" so to speak I got above a whisper. I think my body is just trying to tell me to take it easy for a few. It's just really frustrating because I haven't been able to talk that much since week 3 of radiation because my mouth hurt so much and was so swollen. Now my mouth isn't hurting as much but I still have no voice.I'm just in that place where it seems like the side effects are never going to end. Patience's not really a strength of mine (reference back to my husband making me upset today) :)

    Slow Process...
    One step forward, two steps back....LOL

    I'm sure if you think back, you'll see where we have made references that the healing is a very slow process... One measured in weeks and months, definitely not days and weeks....

    Also, again..radiation is the gift, that keeps on giving.

    You'll get through this, most all of us have, unfortunately it's just part of the process.

    You'll start having less and less side effects, and they'll spread out far in-between. But, you are going to have various aches and pains for a long time...as in years more than likely.

    Nothing major, just little annoyances that keep you on your toes.

    Again, pretty much something most of us go through.

    Best,
    John
  • Marty36
    Marty36 Member Posts: 84
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    Skiffin16 said:

    Slow Process...
    One step forward, two steps back....LOL

    I'm sure if you think back, you'll see where we have made references that the healing is a very slow process... One measured in weeks and months, definitely not days and weeks....

    Also, again..radiation is the gift, that keeps on giving.

    You'll get through this, most all of us have, unfortunately it's just part of the process.

    You'll start having less and less side effects, and they'll spread out far in-between. But, you are going to have various aches and pains for a long time...as in years more than likely.

    Nothing major, just little annoyances that keep you on your toes.

    Again, pretty much something most of us go through.

    Best,
    John

    Thanks for the reminder
    I've been really frustrated lately. Voice has gotten very hoarse, having swelling from lymphedema and edema, talking has gone downhill, neck/back pain, tough time sleeping. I kept thinking that once I was a month out from second round of radiation/chemo, things would be improving but sometimes it seems worse even though I'm three months out.

    But I keep having to remind myself--and be reminded--that I've put my body through hell over the past year and it will take time. Some days will be better than others, some weeks worse than others. And every ache and pain and swelling and hoarseness doesn't mean something bad is happening, but instead I'm just continuing to recover.
  • noelle_21
    noelle_21 Member Posts: 4
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    meaganb said:

    I guess I should also
    I guess I should also mention that I have a pretty wicked cough. RO prescribed tussionex it's really not doing a lot for me so I guess that could be contributing...I'm just concerned that my voice went away all of a sudden...

    Lost my voice too, could
    Lost my voice too, could only whisper. A few weeks later I progressed to raspy which stayed with me for 6 or 7 months - a very slow & gradual improvement. It also tended to be worse in the mornings. I did a lot of texting, still do.
    I'm one year out now & all is normal now.
  • tommyodavey
    tommyodavey Member Posts: 727 Member
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    Marty36 said:

    Thanks for the reminder
    I've been really frustrated lately. Voice has gotten very hoarse, having swelling from lymphedema and edema, talking has gone downhill, neck/back pain, tough time sleeping. I kept thinking that once I was a month out from second round of radiation/chemo, things would be improving but sometimes it seems worse even though I'm three months out.

    But I keep having to remind myself--and be reminded--that I've put my body through hell over the past year and it will take time. Some days will be better than others, some weeks worse than others. And every ache and pain and swelling and hoarseness doesn't mean something bad is happening, but instead I'm just continuing to recover.

    Good to know
    It is great when others post questions that are also affecting yourself. My voice has been raspy since I was done with the RT on April 3rd. I've also used more Magic Mouthwash and Lidocaine lately then I did during treatment.

    My next appt. to see the ENT is in three weeks and can't come soon enough. It feels like my left tonsil is on fire whenever I eat most foods. Also during the day when nothing is irritating it. Keep in mind that for one, I don't have any tonsils left. They were taken out in '68. And my tumor was BOT on my right side so this has me a little concerned. I know it's just the radiation doing its thing but I want the Dr. to say that. And of course no one can say when it will go away so I just wait and see.

    Oh, and on another note, my radiation Onc said that the rads do travel a bit so that would explain the raspy voice.
  • DrMary
    DrMary Member Posts: 531 Member
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    Good to know
    It is great when others post questions that are also affecting yourself. My voice has been raspy since I was done with the RT on April 3rd. I've also used more Magic Mouthwash and Lidocaine lately then I did during treatment.

    My next appt. to see the ENT is in three weeks and can't come soon enough. It feels like my left tonsil is on fire whenever I eat most foods. Also during the day when nothing is irritating it. Keep in mind that for one, I don't have any tonsils left. They were taken out in '68. And my tumor was BOT on my right side so this has me a little concerned. I know it's just the radiation doing its thing but I want the Dr. to say that. And of course no one can say when it will go away so I just wait and see.

    Oh, and on another note, my radiation Onc said that the rads do travel a bit so that would explain the raspy voice.

    GERD?
    Our oncologist reminded us yesterday that hoarseness (especially in the morning) can also be a sign of acid reflux - something to think about since many folks develop acid reflux after chemo.

    Hope the voice improves - not being able to speak up easily can be very frustrating.
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    DrMary said:

    GERD?
    Our oncologist reminded us yesterday that hoarseness (especially in the morning) can also be a sign of acid reflux - something to think about since many folks develop acid reflux after chemo.

    Hope the voice improves - not being able to speak up easily can be very frustrating.

    Definitely....
    I have always had a bit of acid reflux...

    After treatment it increased a lot. To the point that I take Protonix now frequently to help control it. Pay more attention to what I eat later in the evening and the times.

    I also have to get an Endoscopy every two years to keep an eye on it, as Barrett's is always a concern.

    JG
  • Grandmax4
    Grandmax4 Member Posts: 723
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    I was just thinking
    No one has mentioned exercising your vocal cords. My vocal cords were bowed during surgery, speech therapists had me say these vowel sounds with humming before, hold as long as possible~~~mmmmmmmmaaaaaaaaaa
    mmmmmmmmayayayayay
    mmmmmmmmmooooooooo
    mmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeee
    Also, she had me read paragraphs with many m's, example My mom makes money..hum the m's and try to get the sound coming from your nose instead of throat

    These worked for me, my voice is back strong and clear, tho when I'm tired or have talked a lot it sometimes gets a little raspy....I do the humming vowels all the time, my little 4 year old Grandson does them with me lol
  • meaganb
    meaganb Member Posts: 244 Member
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    Grandmax4 said:

    I was just thinking
    No one has mentioned exercising your vocal cords. My vocal cords were bowed during surgery, speech therapists had me say these vowel sounds with humming before, hold as long as possible~~~mmmmmmmmaaaaaaaaaa
    mmmmmmmmayayayayay
    mmmmmmmmmooooooooo
    mmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeee
    Also, she had me read paragraphs with many m's, example My mom makes money..hum the m's and try to get the sound coming from your nose instead of throat

    These worked for me, my voice is back strong and clear, tho when I'm tired or have talked a lot it sometimes gets a little raspy....I do the humming vowels all the time, my little 4 year old Grandson does them with me lol

    My voice is somewhat better
    My voice is somewhat better today. I can definitely get above a whisper, although I'm trying not to overdo it. I think I just had laryngitis from the Rads. It was concerning for me because I'm 27 and I've never had laryngitis before. I was telling a friend of mine today, I've never had lots of normal ailments, like bronchitis or the chicken pox so all of this has been a huge slap in the face. I hardly ever went to the Dr when I was younger and now I've seen them more than I ever want to. Anyways, I think my voice will return, as long as I have patience and give myself some grace every now and then. :) thanks for all the tips though friends!
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    Tim6003 said:

    Hi Meagan ...
    Same here. My voice got very weak and raspy on May 1st....my last rad was on Januray 20th ...so I was initially very concerned something was wrong...but 1 PET/CT scan and two more scopes (one month apart) and all looks good. Just the radiation for me.

    See your ENT. Now I may be wrong here...but I flat out asked my ENT if he would be doing monthly scopes and finger / oral exams ...and he said yes. And that is just the way I like it.

    Best,

    Tim

    Tim6003...
    Great advice on the scopes and hands on approach...though my ENT did the scobes and exams every three months the first year.

    JG