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4 & 1/2 weeks Post Treatment - Thoughts

dunedintech's picture
Posts: 90
Joined: Apr 2013

Am at 4 & 1/2 weeks post tx and thought I would share my thoughts and my recovery so far. Appreciate everyones journey is different though.

Week 1 & 2

  • Ulcers, mouth sores
  • Very sore throat
  • No energy thus lots of time in bed
  • Nausea from last chemo dose (cisplatin)
  • Was seriously tough work eating and drinking. In fact eating took a back seat to be fair
  • Lots of water and ensure
  • Reliance on pain medication
  • Lots of bicarb / salt rinses
  • Must admit there were some very negative thoughts regarding treatment and also how did I end up in this situation
  • Short temper
  • No taste
  • Sleeping a nightmare due to dry mouth and weird little cough

Week 3

  • Ulcers and sores start to clear up a little
  • Sore throat eases
  • Able to eat soft foods such as soups, broths, custard
  • Still taking ensure and lots of water to hydrate
  • Energy levels rising albiet slowly
  • Continued bicarb rinses
  • Still needed max pain meds
  • Continuation of dry mouth while sleeping
  • Negative thoughts ease as realisation things are improving

Week 4

  • Ulcers and sores more or less gone
  • Sore throat not a issue
  • Energy levels continue to rise
  • Hello, some taste returns. This being sweet for about 6 bites max
  • Able to introduce more soft foods such as white sauce, steamed vegetables, macaroni cheese
  • Still, rinsing with the bicarb
  • Negative thoughts cease as now realise I will get better and have also defeated the b*stard C!
  • First coffee - latte. Man it was good
  • Sleeping getting better as mouth seems to be producing saliva on right side (treatment was to the left side)
  • Able to get out and go for short walks

Week 5

  • Significant reduction in swelling of tongue
  • Taste now staying longer
  • Hunger starting to come back which has not been the case over the earlier weeks
  • Still drinking lots of water
  • Easing of on pain meds
  • Ulcers / sores gone. Throat fine although can get stratchy at night
  • Sleeping still ok as body adjusts to dry mouth
  • Thought process is all positive
  • Going for longer walks
  • Still rinsing
  • Still get tired in the afternoon but nothing a 20 minute nap does not sort out
  • Want to eat steak / hamburger but not sure I can just yet!

I know everyone's journey is different but these are my thoughts on the healing process so far. I would say that the 2 weeks post treatment were very, very tough. Now I am gearing up for the first scan post treatment in 5 weeks time. 


fishmanpa's picture
Posts: 1217
Joined: Jan 2013

Thanks for this dunedintech.

Being two weeks out of treatment myself I can relate to what you experienced. While it's true we're all a little different in our experiences, there are some striking similarities that assist me in gauging my progress.

Indeed, these last two weeks have been absolutely brutal. Equal to or worse the last couple weeks of treatment. It's nice to actually see a list of side effects improving on a weekly basis. I can only hope my progress is as quick or faster :)

Best wishes on your continued recovery and a NED report from your doctors.

Positive thoughts and prayers


Posts: 213
Joined: Sep 2012

I am 4+ months out of treatment, and experienced many of the items on your list during recovery. I have began to really thrive the last three weeks, energy levels rising, taking all nourishment by mouth (no steak yet, but fought through half a hamburger patty with mushrooms a couple days ago) Hang in ther it gets better.


hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

I recall turning the corner at week 5 and had all of my energy back at week 6. My 1st burger had a couple of pulses thru a blender but I could taste every bit of it including the pickle. The blender deal didn't last long as my husband thought  it was too difficult to clean afterwards. I found inexpensive ground beef (70%) easiest to eat because of the fat. A year post tx, if I order a burger at a nicer resturant, they tend to be too dry and I can't eat them.

I noticed you did not mention hair loss, did you experience that? It happened to me week 3, about 3 inches at the back between my ears. 

Posts: 213
Joined: Feb 2013

I am headed towards 5 months out and my journey was about the same as yours.  Very happy with my engery levels now, would say about 80%, saliva about 50% (may or may not get any better acccording to the doc) attitude good between 50% to 60% of the time and improving.  One thing I noticed is my taste has stoped getting better.  Was improving then about two maybe three weeks ago just leveled off and maybe has gotten a little worse.  Going to post about that and see if anyone else has had the same deal.

We keep going along and that we can go along is just great and I have to keep that in mind.

dunedintech's picture
Posts: 90
Joined: Apr 2013

Man, that burger with mushroom sounds pretty good. I am looking forward to something similair. 

On the hair, yes I did lose about 2cm around my ears. Luckily I shaved it of prior to treatment so not so noticeable. 

T - hope thing start to turn the corner on the healing front. 




josh r.
Posts: 251
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi Dune,

Good summary of your first five weeks. It's  not that different of what I remember 20 plus years ago. How I wish we had this wonderful network back then. Keep up the progress and your diary. All the best, josh r.


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