getting voice back after radiation and chemo

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How long will it take to have my voice back after radiation and chemo. My radiation and chemo will be ending on July 11. The primary site was the soft pallet and before my treatments started I had surgery to remove  all the lymph nodes on the left and some on the right for a total of 75. My mouth and throat is so sore that I had a feeding tube put in this week. When do you start feeling you have turned the corner and you see a small light at the end of the tunnel.

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  • debbiejeanne
    debbiejeanne Member Posts: 3,102 Member
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    vermont54, i only had rads

    vermont54, i only had rads but i never lost my voice.  i didn't have a feeding tube w/rads either.  i'm sorry you are going thru so much right now but it will get better soon.  you usually don't start to feel better until a couple weeks after tx ends.  you don't have long to go now and tx will be done and you will be on the road to healing.  hang in there, you'll be seeing the light very soon.

    God bless you,

    dj

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,723 Member
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    what kind of normal?

    Vermont54,

    Have you lost your voice or just wondering when you will sound “old normal”?

    Normally, the average H&N member starts to see, feel and hear improvements at 2 weeks post.

    For me at 2y3m post my voice sounds normal, but I struggle to talk like I use to.  I am far and away not too bad.

    The H&N Healing Clock can move incredibly slowly, but it definitely does move toward improvement. 

    Heal on!

    Matt

  • vermont54
    vermont54 Member Posts: 11
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    CivilMatt said:

    what kind of normal?

    Vermont54,

    Have you lost your voice or just wondering when you will sound “old normal”?

    Normally, the average H&N member starts to see, feel and hear improvements at 2 weeks post.

    For me at 2y3m post my voice sounds normal, but I struggle to talk like I use to.  I am far and away not too bad.

    The H&N Healing Clock can move incredibly slowly, but it definitely does move toward improvement. 

    Heal on!

    Matt

    Voice return

    Thanks for the time line. When you navigating in the dark it is hard to know where you are at times. I will look for the sign posts. Some days it feels like this will never end, but you are telling me that it does come to some kind of end.

    Jack

  • Jeff2159
    Jeff2159 Member Posts: 108
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    My voice

    never lost it but I came away with a british accent. Right side of tongue and underneath was cut away so I have 45% and the tongue is sewed to the floor of my mouth so it impairs swallowing and eating. I have a retainer that lowers my pallet so I can speak and swallow better. Dr. pulled tongue from left to right so it is centered but this alterred/reshaped the opening to my throat. Then rads and chemo I'm sure was the final nail in the coffin. Anyhow it is quite funny as people ask me where am I from assuming England or Aussie. I laugh and say So Calif all my life

    Jeff

  • Viilik70
    Viilik70 Member Posts: 73
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    New voice

    I've been through radiation twice to the nasopharynx and throat. I also had chemo with the last round and before the chemo was over my voice changed for good. Not trying to freak you out but my soft pallet is no longer soft or works to shut off the back of my throat when talking so it sounds like I'm talking through my nose. I could have a surgery to cut more of my soft pallet away and have a prothstetic made to fill in the hole and would have pretty much my old voice back, but I'm too scared to do it because the Dr said that I would not even be able to talk without the prosthetic. : ( I hope the best for you and hopefully your voice will come back. Mines been different for five years now so probably always going to be this way...you will be in my prayers!

    best wishes,

    john j

  • thennies61
    thennies61 Member Posts: 285
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    Jeff2159 said:

    My voice

    never lost it but I came away with a british accent. Right side of tongue and underneath was cut away so I have 45% and the tongue is sewed to the floor of my mouth so it impairs swallowing and eating. I have a retainer that lowers my pallet so I can speak and swallow better. Dr. pulled tongue from left to right so it is centered but this alterred/reshaped the opening to my throat. Then rads and chemo I'm sure was the final nail in the coffin. Anyhow it is quite funny as people ask me where am I from assuming England or Aussie. I laugh and say So Calif all my life

    Jeff

    Like you Jeff never lost my

    Like you Jeff never lost my voice and had the same surgery.Doctor has said he is going to send me to denist to make up customized dentures that will lower my pallet also and have been curious about how that would work out.Doctor and my speach specialist has said eating,chewing and talking will even be better.She said will have to chew on sides of mouth since tounge is sewed in the center.Have to wait about 5 more months to let my jaw bones heal better because they split the center of my jaw and needs to grow and heal bone.

     

  • ErthWlkr
    ErthWlkr Member Posts: 60
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    vermont54 said:

    Voice return

    Thanks for the time line. When you navigating in the dark it is hard to know where you are at times. I will look for the sign posts. Some days it feels like this will never end, but you are telling me that it does come to some kind of end.

    Jack

    Loss of voice

    Hi Jack -

    I didn't have your site specific radiation but did have it directed to the tumor in my sphenoid sinus and neck. Regarding timeline - generally the effects of radiation continue to build until around the 4th week following the end of treatment. At that point, is where you truly begin recovery. I did lose my voice around the 4th week of treatment and couldn't speak until I was about 3 weeks post treatment. My voice fully recovered within months although there are still times when I get a bit hoarse - I'm nearly 7 years out of treatment.

    Recover from treatment does take time and really depends on your state of health prior to treatment and how deeply treatment affected you. Very generally, based on my own experience, it takes about 6 months to feel somewhat "normal". The side effects will continue to abate more quickly at the beginning of recovery and then slowing down as time goes on. I'd say the majority of my reocvery was in the first two years and plateaued out at about the third year. Again, it's patient specific so my timeline isn't necessarily yours.

    Wishing you a quick recovery and continued health!

    - Jeff