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8 weeks post chemo/rad

VanessaSLO's picture
Posts: 283
Joined: Jul 2012

Hey everybody! My dad is 8, on Wed he will be 9 weeks post treatment.
His weight is stabile, he is trying really hard to eat and drink. It still hurts when he swallows, his tongue is coated white and hurts on the base when the tumour was. It hurts only when he swallows. But he can eat a variety of foods and drinks 2 Prosures a day.
He says that the pain is maybe even stronger then before and sometimes he has to take more pain meds. His voice is almost normal - it was very hoarse right after tx for few weeks.
The new thing is that he is sleeping a lot. First month after treatment he had some energy and did not sleep that much during a day. But now he wakes up in the morning, has breakfast, than is helping Mom a bit around the house, then he eats again on 11 am, then he goes to nap or sleep. Then Mom wakes him for lunch and after lunch he sleeps till 5 pm. Then he eats again or drinks his Prosure and two hours later he has dinner. Around 8 pm or even sooner he goes to sleep again and sleeps till morning (at night he does not sleep so well as during the day). Is it normal that he sleeps so much? And this now 8 weeks post?
He was suppose to feel better but I think that those side effects are really tricky: some are gone and some just appear.
When does things really seem to turn better? Are 8 weeks to soon? Sometimes he still feels nauseated. Just few days ago he felt nauseated all day.

He gets pretty tired of everything, just waiting when things will get better. I can understand that especially since you all have been our support and I know how agressive this treatment was. He tells me that his throat maybe hurts even more than before. Is it normal that some pain increases much later? Or do these things just come and go and something else appears?

thank you all and stay well!!


Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1508
Joined: Nov 2011

Not to be smart, but really can be all of the above. I slept the first full month and then some the day after my last rad. My wife felt so lonely and helpless. She said she missed me terribly even though I was just in the next room in bed.

I did not eat anything by mouth for 3 months. I thought I would die of pain and mucus the first 60 days AFTER treatment. My tube did not come out for till first of June 2012. I stopped eating by mouth December of 2011. My first foods by mouth were April 2012.

Every person is different. I am no doctor and I am sure your father is telling the doctors about all of his symptoms and such (good thing to do of course).

It sounds to me like "dad" is one tough cookie. And remember you continue to "cook" for several weeks after your last day of radiation.

Oh, I was on my pain medication for my tongue and throat until June 2012 as well...that was five months after my last radiation.

Continued prayers! It will all pass! :)



hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

I'm reading progress into your post! I slept allot. My energy returned at 5-6 weeks post tx but with that said, we are each different. I did not have the same cancer your Dad had, mine was in the jaw. I did not have to deal with the sore throat or mucus. Your Dad has to listen to his own body. Sounds like he is getting nutrition and helping your Mom some, so getting a bit of exercise. If his body says rest, then that's probably what he needs.

Posts: 660
Joined: Mar 2012

The 1st thing I would make sure of is your Dad does not have Thrush, if the whitesh part of his tongue you mentioned is thrush that would be a possible issue for the thoart being sore just a thought. As far as sleeping as you learned everyone is indeed different some are back to work by 8 weeks out and others still have a long road of recovery. Me personally I have done fairly well, but I get tired and since I retired after I was dx I can be home and usually get up around 10 AM but I do toss and turn pretty much thru out the night. Likely a variety of reasons but it limits my sleep. So check out the Thrush issue and let him sleep in time he will regain his stamina.

George_Baltimore's picture
Posts: 303
Joined: Jun 2009

Something for his doctor to check. I don't really think it would manifest itself this early after treatment but radiation of the neck does cause hypothyroidism. That in turn will result in fatigue. If it is an underactive thyroid, it can be handled by one small, inexpensive pill every day.

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4672
Joined: Mar 2012

I finished radiation on June 16th, and had my last chemo on Aug 28th...I am STILL tired...I went back to work, but I'm dragging myself there, and if there was enough time in a day, I'd sleep 10 hours at night and still take a nap. His body is telling him that it needs sleep...healing from all this is a time consuming thing.

I'd follow up on his mouth and sore throat, tho....I think Ditto might be absolutely right....a case of thrush is blooming. Thrush comes and goes it seems (for me anyway) a long time after treatment is done. Everytime I work the midnight shift, I get it back...I'm sure it's from lack of sleep.

If you can't get him back into the Dr. very soon for something for the Thrush, maybe try acidofolis from the store...chewing the tablets can help get rid of Thrush.


ToBeGolden's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Aug 2010

Pain meds knock me out. Of course, they are a necessary part of H&N treatment. Everyone here has used them. But don't overlook their side effects. Soon the pain will lessen and there will be (hopefully) less need for the pain meds. Use the meds when you need them, but hope the body heals and the need will be no more. Rick.

Posts: 1914
Joined: May 2012

Hey girl, everybody's post above sounds spot on. I'm wondering too if there's not a bit of depression going on. Would be very normal for all he's been through. It takes us awhile to get back to and accept the new us. For some they can go back to normal, others of us learn a new normal. Just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you and your family, and hoping things continue to move forward for your Father. Katie

VanessaSLO's picture
Posts: 283
Joined: Jul 2012

dear friends. You're always such a great input of information. Thank you for support and advice.

Yes, I've been thinking it might be thrush and maybe tyroid... We'll see next Wed 21st when he will have his first post treatment check-up. My Mum says that they're both already a bit frustrated and passive... Because they live so far from the rest of the family. We decided this spring that they both move closer to me and the family so we're preparing their new appartment in my city and they're moving this Friday. We are all very excited about that. So now we're busy with finishing that place and preparing everything for Friday. The're a bit nostalgic about their old home but at the same time they feel very lonely there - no visits, no family, almost no neighbours... And when Dad got sick we realized that there is nothing more important in life than family and friends. That's why we decided for this big change in their life.
I know that they will start a new life, they will see their first granddaughter more often and they will be close to drink a cup of tea with us. It will be nice to have my parents so close in the same city. Only a mile away. And I believe that will contribute to my dad's recovery.

Thank you again and I will keep you posted!

hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

Big changes coming, that is awesome. I'm sure it will be good for your entire family. God Bless!

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