Slight swelling externally to throat/clavicle post treatment?

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OKCnative
OKCnative Member Posts: 326 Member
edited December 2017 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

I'm 3-months post treatment for SCC BOT HPV+ Stage 3. Other than dry mouth and some slight fatigue, I'm doing really well and pretty much back to normal.

That said, over the last week I've noticed a fullness or swelling externally to underneath my chin and down my throat - extending to the top of my clavicle. It is not dense feeling. More like maybe some fluid or just puffiness.

I did the standard 35 radiations and 3 big doses of chemo.

Wondering if others experience this post treatment and if it went away on it's own, required any attention or if I should be concerned.

I try to catch things early to avoid problems later. I will be seeing my Oncologist on 1/4/2018 to review my PET scan, but didn't know if this should be addressed before then.

I kinda thinking it's just a part of the healing process. 

Only thing I've done to address this is to apply vitamin e and some moisturizer to my neck area.

Comments

  • AnotherSurvivor
    AnotherSurvivor Member Posts: 383 Member
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    Say hello to lymphedema.  My

    Say hello to lymphedema.  My experience at 1 year post is that it is my last serious side-effect.  Tumor is gone, dry mouth is workable, taste mostly okay, but my lymphedema is proving very stubborn.  We are moving in to the cold weather months, and I have learned I have to keep my jaw and neck warm, or I pay.  It comes and goes. 

    Mechanically, what I'm told is the lymph nodes in the target area no longer function.  They accumulate fluid, but don't drain properly.  Mine cycle between hard and stiff, to soft and squishy.  There is a technique to help with that, but you need to see a specially trained massage/physical therapist.   Be very careful about rubbing that area, any hard pressure makes it worse.  There is a rather pricey head/neck wrap that sort of works.  I put it on at night, wake up in the morning to discover my jaw had drained but I now have a fluid intertube mid-neck.  Eventually that drains down and we repeat the process.

    Also, I am now an initiate into the world of scarfs.  Generally, you want them to be at least 70", and you should consult youtube for the no less than 13 ways to tie a man's scarf.  Amazon has a staggering collection of men's scarfs, but if you have any sense of fashion I would stick to cashmire, tho I also picked up some fine scots plaids in lambswool.  A true child of Scotland does not find wool itchy, tho Canadians with their Harris Tweed underwear take it too far.  There are differing opinions on prognosis, but my congenitally grumpy youngest who somehow made it thru med school tells me he expects mine to be permanent.  

  • johnsonbl
    johnsonbl Member Posts: 266 Member
    edited December 2017 #3
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    Yep...lymphedema...

    Have that pretty little thing on your lap massage your shoulder first to open up the lymphatic system...then move up to your neck....then back down to your shoulder.  Fingertips, not deep massage...

    Yes, the cold weather sucks.  I notice it more when I've been outside...stiffer, weirder feeling all throughout my neck/shoulder...even into the back of my tongue.  All the scar tissue and such.

    Good luck!

  • OKCnative
    OKCnative Member Posts: 326 Member
    edited December 2017 #4
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    Thanks for the info. I am

    Thanks for the info. I am being told that since none of my neck nodes were removed, and because of my overall health and weight that my Lymphedema should be mild and manageable. Hope that proves true, but I'm going to keep on it!

  • AnotherSurvivor
    AnotherSurvivor Member Posts: 383 Member
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     Eh bien, "mild and

     Eh bien, "mild and manageable" is an interesting essay in subjectivity.  

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9aXex5GBg7s

  • OKCnative
    OKCnative Member Posts: 326 Member
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     Eh bien, "mild and

     Eh bien, "mild and manageable" is an interesting essay in subjectivity.  

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9aXex5GBg7s

    Was told to expect it to be

    Was told to expect it to be barely noticeable (if at all) as long as I keep my weight in check and practice some massage techniques and other recommendations.

  • SuzJ
    SuzJ Member Posts: 427 Member
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    I did have surgery..

    I expected Lympadema, but not to the event that it feels like it's strangling me - the "keep it warm" is a good tip, thank you!

    Altho, I had another CT, and I have a pocket of fluid where there shouldnt be, so I'm looking at another biopsy. I just wish they'd drain the damn thing (all of it) and get it over with!

  • AnotherSurvivor
    AnotherSurvivor Member Posts: 383 Member
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    I see my ENT next week for my

    I see my ENT next week for my scheduled routine.  He will stick a tube up my nose and his finger down my throat.   The anesthetic for the tube will make my nose run for at least a day.  He may commiserate, but not much.   That seems to be state of the art for H&N post-treatment.   I could complain about pain, but that would simply result in a referal to my primary care, or to an ER doc (which I am informed are more correctly called EM specialists) who would simply be aggrieved at getting a referal for something that really should be seen by some other (non-EM) specialist.   I personally see a somewhat medieval aspect to much of this.  On the whole cashmire is cheaper.