Sore throat so soon? Location of symptoms? Sore throat remedies?

Melisande Member Posts: 27 Member

I woke up yesterday with the sore throat I was told to expect. The thing is, it is pretty bad and I have only had 11 out of 33 radiation treatments. For some reason I was under the impression that the side effects only got bad for the last two weeks or so. I'm seeing my radiation oncologist today, so I will ask her too, but when did you start feeling your sore throat? Was it that early? I have heard a lot about the "Magic Mouthwash." I really hope it is more than just a mouthwash, because my sore throat is lower down than that -- too low down for a gargle to reach. In any case, should I just go with the prescription stuff right away or try to tough it out for another few days?


As fat as remedies go, so far I have been trying an aloe vera drink and slippery elm lozenges. I also have some dark, processed honey that I am going to start using tomorrow before and after treatment. Does anyone have any other home remedies to suggest? 


Also, due in part to the strange diagnostic lead-up to my treatment, I am feeling slightly paranoid that they aren't exactly zapping me in the right place. As I mentioned in a previous thread, all evidence of disease is in my thorax (I have been diagnosed with lung cancer w/occult primary), but my radiation oncologist is in head and neck, while my medical oncologist is in thoracic oncologist. An interdisciplinary baby, I am. I wanted to be entirely in thoracic, but they wouldn't hear of it for some reason. I don't know why. (I am at Moffitt, BTW.) In any case, although my involved lymph nodes are in my thorax below my collar bone, and they told me that they were not targeting the mucosal tissue in my throat, it seems like all my side effects are appearing above my collar bone. My sore throat is way above my collar bone about 1" below my jaw. In fact, I would think that maybe it is just an infection, if my radiation rash didn't also extend all the way up there on the outside too.


Does it make sense to have side effects way up there if the targets are lower done? I want to ask my radiation oncologist about this, but I don't want to just ask: "Are you sure I am bring radiated in the right spot, because it doesn't feel like!" It feels like I am accusing her of incompetence.


There is some good news though. I could only feel one of my three lymph node tumors from the outside, but it seems like the one I can feel is completely gone already! It was golf ball size when I started treatment two weeks ago and now I can't even find it. My radiation oncologist told me it was basically impossible that it disappeared so quickly and yet it seems to have. It didn't disappear all of a sudden. I have felt it shrinking, last week it was down to marble-sized. Yesterday, it was only chickpea-sized and today I can't feel it at all. But this lymph node is higher up than my other two nonpalpable ones. I hope those are being targeted too.


But maybe they are targeting them correctly and having great success? At least it certainly seems that way from the apparent disappearance of the palpable node. Is there anyway they could do a CT scan early and if there is already no evidence of disease, maybe we could shorten treatment? Does this ever happen? 


I am going to cross-post this in the head and neck cancer forum. I figure since I am being treated in two different departments, it makes sense to post in two different forums as well.