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Our New Journey

PapaPaul's picture
Posts: 33
Joined: Jan 2013

I am new to this forum...at least as a contributer. I have been reading since I was first diagnosed last November.  I thought I was ready for this, I've had all the scans, appointments, and discussions of side effects. I had my rehearsal run this afternoon, tomorrow starts the rads then Thursday starts the chemo. I thought I was ready but now I am shacking in my boots.

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4673
Joined: Mar 2012

I'm so glad you've decided to talk to us Smile!  You're already through some of the toughest part...emotionally anyway....the getting ready, the waiting, etc...and tomorrow you get to finally get the show on the road and get rid the cancer! 

Keep in mind, the side effects come on pretty much gradually (I lost taste overnight, but everything else was cumlative), so you do have some opportunity to get used to whats happening before more of the effects come to light.  There is much to be said about doing this one day at a time...don't get hung up in the tomorrows...just get thru each day. You are going to be ok....I mean that!! 


Ingrid K's picture
Ingrid K
Posts: 813
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Paul and welcome.

Phrannie is right... You will make it through the treatments.  It will suck some days, but it is doable.  If you haven't already seen it, please check out the SuperThread (it is the first discussion topic).  It is loaded with lots of tips and tricks and will tell you what to expect every step of the way.

The radiation doesn't hurt during the treatments.  You will get used to being there and will eventually figure out how many minutes it takes to make it thru each session.  As Phrannie said, nothing hits you at once, it takes a few weeks until most of the side effects show themselves.....and hopefully you will not even get all of them.

Stay hydrated...when you think you've had enough water...drink some more.

If you can't tolerate the water, try sucking on ice chips.  Most important to keep swallowing, you don't want to lose that function.

Good Luck to you on your journey.   You will do well.

Try and get some sleep tonight.


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

LOL, my buddies have pretty much given you enough info as for a welcome aboard.

If you need some info check the SuperThread first post of this forum, awesome info there to get you started.

Again, this is very doable, and though rough at times, survivabilty is really good these days. I know the first impressions when you are told you have cancer...

You'll do fine and there isn't much that can happen to you that someone on here hasn't experienced.

Best ~ John

CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4318
Joined: May 2012



Welcome to the H&N forum.


We all have butterflies (or shaking in your boots) on the first day.  It will all get easier to deal with.  The rads do not start out bad, but the chemo can throw you a curve.    Watch out for nausea and take all the meds they recommend.


You are starting the beginning of better times ahead. You will do great and soon it will be over.  My advice is to drink lots of water and to keep swallowing. Stay hydrated and get plenty of nourishment.  If you hurt, take pain meds.  Get your self psyched up to fight hard and have a nice recliner and blanket to rest up for the next day.


If you need or want honest answers to any question we will try hard to accommodate your request.


Smooth ride for you,



Mikemetz's picture
Posts: 403
Joined: Nov 2011

In the short term, your biggest enemy is the side effects from the chemo + rads, so take all of the good advice you've heard so far and focus on that. The survival rate for HNC is very good, so deal with the day to day things first. If you are a "person of humor" try to keep that intact--attitude is a huge part of getting through this.

If you are fortunate enough to have a caregiver, be sure to lean on him/her when you need to--and make sure that they stay strong and healthy themselves.

I think many people here would describe what you are about to go through as the toughest thing you'll ever do in your life--but it can be done!



fisrpotpe's picture
Posts: 1349
Joined: Aug 2010

this is how i was, shaking and hair standing straight up!

be assured this is the norm and the shaking will become less, anxiety is not fun at all

welcome PapaPaul, prayers for less shaking and added focus on kicking cancer's back side





D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1576
Joined: Jan 2010

But, as everyone here has said, this is very doable.  Just take it one slow step at a time.  At the start, it seems like it will take almost forever to get through, but you WILL get through this.  Breathe, and believe!



hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

Hoping your first tx went well and that your journey is an easy one. 


fishmanpa's picture
Posts: 1217
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi PapaPaul,

I'm a couple of trains behind you on the journey. I have my ticket and the journey starts Feb 7th with some surgery. I'm more anxious about the surgery than I am about the treatment. I don't know what they'll find when they go in. There are still some unknowns in my case. I do understand the jitters. I definitely feel some anxiety about everything but at the same time I just want to get going! It will be three months from the time of official diagnosis until treatment actually starts. 

I hope the first rad went well and the chemo is relatively painless concerning any side effects. I know it's not a train you want to be on but it's already on the tracks. Here's to no derailments and a smooth journey.


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