Impatient and scared.

hello. I'm 36 yrs old and I was diagnosed in June with stage 4 head and neck cancer.  I finished up all the treatment last week but.... I'm either in the ER or back at the Dana-Farber for IV. 

The pain in my throat is ridiculous. Nausea is all the time. I cannot even swallow my own spit. Way too much phlem.  Why??? Does anyone know how long this last? 

 

Comments

  • debbiejeanne
    debbiejeanne Member Posts: 3,102 Member
    kathy, at this point u will

    kathy, at this point u will need a lot of patience.  you have some time b4 u really start to recover.  u didn't say but i'm guessing u had chemo and rads.  u also didn't mention what type of h&n ca u had.  if u can provide this info u will get much better info.  i'm sorry u r going thru this but u r thru the tunnel now.  just give it some time and u will start 2 feel better.  best wishes for a quick recovery.

    dj 

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,698 Member
    you are in the roughest time right now

    Kathy,

    Welcome to the H&N forum, congratulations on finishing treatments (I feel your pain).

    At one week post, I was in the middle of neck burn.  As Skiffin mentioned you will need to make friends with time.  Especially, right now when you are so fresh out of treatments.  I was a big magic mouth wash user, it helped me a lot through mouth, throat and tongue discomfort.

    Remember to keep sipping water as swallowing is so important.

    You should start to feel better soon just hang tough and take any meds you might need.

    Matt

  • lornal
    lornal Member Posts: 428
    IVs after treatment

    I had tonsil cancer in 2007.  After my 2nd (of 3) chemo, I had IVs for hydration for a couple of months after- as I wasn't eating or drinking.  Treatment ended 12/22.  Had IVs every day or every other day through Febrary.  Many times I had potassium as well.   (I didn't have a port, so they stuck me just about every time)

    I tried drinking - but it tasted so bad, I couldn't do with without throwing up. 

    Eventually, I was able to hold down a spor

    ts drink that had potassium.  (That lasted until my taste buds started working again, and I found out just how bad it really tasted!)

    If you need IVs - then do it. Eventually you'll be able to drink (assuming it is just the radiation pain that is keeping you from drinking)

    Good Luck!

    During most of this time, folks at my church made me soups!  Eventually I was able to get those down too.

  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
    Kathy....

    you are still cooking, like John said, and you will be for at least another week....THEN, you're going to start to see small improvements....all measured in weeks and months, not in days.  At this point, every bit of hydration you can get in is GOOD, even if it's via an IV...the more hydration the better you're going to feel.   Dehydration makes us feel all kinds of things....weak, nauseous, light headed, tired.....you name it.....it makes us feel everything except thirsty (haven't figured that one out yet).

    You don't mention any details....like do you have a tube?  You can get a lot of liquids via that....milk, water, ensure, koolaid if you want Laughing.  If the mucous is too bad, some folks get a suction machine, if they have too....insurance will pay for it.....or keep a case of kleenex around the house and get a bucket to spit in.....I've heard the club soda will break up that crap and make it easier to get out. 

    In the meantime, keep your focus on the fact that treatment is over....and things are going to start getting better.....two weeks from now, you're going to start noticing small improvements.....and in this cancer business, small is always BIG....hang in there, girl....

    p

  • Duggie88
    Duggie88 Member Posts: 756 Member
    Kathy

    As all the rest have stated........it all takes time. The folks on here have gone through it all and can coach you through the Super Bowl when it comes to throat cancer. Congrats on getting through the treatment. Your all but through the hardest part.

          Jeff

  • fisrpotpe
    fisrpotpe Member Posts: 1,349
    diddo

    what all have said before me

    problem for most all is the recovery is not like having the flu and a few days later your doing very well

    reality is it continues to get worse for weeks following teatment and then very slowly and i mean slooooooowly it will get better

    recovery for everyone is never fast enough

    please know and hang on to it, at some point it will get better.... just not fast enough

    hang on

    john 

  • robswife87
    robswife87 Member Posts: 209
    fisrpotpe said:

    diddo

    what all have said before me

    problem for most all is the recovery is not like having the flu and a few days later your doing very well

    reality is it continues to get worse for weeks following teatment and then very slowly and i mean slooooooowly it will get better

    recovery for everyone is never fast enough

    please know and hang on to it, at some point it will get better.... just not fast enough

    hang on

    john 

    almost 4 months out

    and still healing. More the body. The fatigue and muscle loss are where we are at.

    Hopefully in another week you will start to turn that slow corner. You will not heal in leaps and bounds but baby steps.

    Rob told someone today, he doesn't feel any better than yesterday but a lot better than 2 weeks ago. These are baby steps and then you will walk. You will make it.

    Sandy

  • Hummingbird3
    Hummingbird3 Member Posts: 67
    Prayers your way

    Hi Kathy,

     

    i am so new to being done with radiation myself that I can get you feedback on time Hun.  However,  I will be sending you positive thoughts and lots of prayers you can get some relief.  I know this is a process as time is our friend right now along with patience.  Although sometimes easier said than done i know.  I am thankful the treaments are behind.  Many  blessings to you for a full recovery.

    Christie

  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,304 Member
    Welcome Kathy

    Well unfortunatley time is the one thing that more than likely is going to heal you... and more than likely (you didn't mention it), but I presume you had radiation...?

    If that's the case, more then likely you're looking at around 3-4 weeks post treatment befoe you start seeing very slow improvements.

    Myself and others went through a lot of the same, though we did have some type of pain management that we kept using... Either liquid magic mouthwash type thick lydocaine based solutions, liquid oxi or hydrocotin, etc...

    The saliva and taste will come eventually, but for most it takes anywhere from a few months, to almost two years to completely get most of that..., but many get a huge portion back within six months.

    As for the WHY..., again if from rads, it's because you are actually still kind of cooking..

    Hydration and calories are key.., especially hydration.. Again, most of us had a bottle of water 24/7...

    Hang in there, each day though you might not realize, you are closer to recovery...

    Best,

    John