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When does speech therapy and/or swallowing therapy typically begin?

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2012

Hi everyone,

I just joined recently to help find some more information for my Dad...He will finish his 2nd round of radiation (twice daily) and chemo (daily) on Friday. Despite a very swollen tongue still (went down a bit so that tongue was almost nearly in mouth but swelling still easily visible, until rest week 3 of radition when it began to swell again), he is hoping to be able to begin speech (can do a few long vowels) and swallowing (a bit of a swallow, but still fully trached) therapy and is planning on asking the surgeon this week if he can begin prior to the tongue's swelling going down. Patience has never been a family virtue but of course he is learning this...I see that his spirits are up when he feels like he can work at something that lead his healing in the desired direction. Thanks again to everyone on this board...this is the most helpful resource I have found thus far :) Hoping today was a good or better one for everyone out there....

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4678
Joined: Mar 2012

I'll be sitting on the sidelines awaiting answers, too. I have my first appointment with the therapist next Thrusday, but I have no idea what she'll be doing with me, as I'm still speaking and swallowing fine....


Grandmax4's picture
Posts: 712
Joined: Dec 2011

I can only speak for myself, remember, I had robotic surgery and epiglottis was removed, also 4 nodes ( the nodes were clear ).....

My therapy for swallowing started in the hospital, I dreaded every morning seeing the speech therapist walk in with a cup of applesauce and ice chips....it was very difficult and painful at first but I'm so happy she was determined...I have come such a long way in 6 months

My speech was very raspy and barely above a whisper for almost 5 months, I started therapy when my voice started coming back on it's own...mmmmmmaaaaaa,mmmmmmayayayayay,mmmmmeeeee,mmmmmmooooo...the humming is to take the strain off your vocal cords and put it more in your nose muscles....I only had to go for speech 4 times and my voice is back ( though sometimes it does get weak, but rarely)

I am now waiting to have dentures made, first app't is in July...I have complete faith in my Surgeon that I will eat normal food and be able to swallow it without aspirating

Tell your Dad to be patient and to have complete trust that his terapist knows what they're doing!

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