CSN Login
Members Online: 7

You are here


What cancer patients, their families, and caregivers need to know about COVID-19.

Tonsil Cancer

Hi All, My name is Jim, just some background.  I served 30 years in the Marines.  Retired a Master Gunnery Sergeant (E9).  Served in many different Climes and Places as it is said in our Marine Hymn. :)  After retirement, I served as a police officer in Chaffee and ended as the Chief of Police.  After that, I bought a truck and started driving, delivering the goods and things y'll needed :)  Did that until a heart attack in 2005 followed by other health problems, and then tonsil cancer in May of 2019.

I started down this road in May, with the operation to remove the tonsils, and of course the right one which was inflamed and swollen was found to be cancerous.  A regime of 3 rounds of chemo and 28 days of radiation was begun in June, just before our 55th wedding anniversary, which we had planned to take the Motorhome to Branson and celebrate.  Well so much for that idea.  As of today August 3 2019 I have 8 treatmets of radiation left.  My Chemo Dr, decided that we would only do two sessions of Chemo instead of the 3, boy was I glad of that.....I think :)

Shortly after starting the Chemo and radiation, my taste buds bailed out.  I have no taste at all....except for the vanilla and Choclate Boost and ensure drinks.  They still have a taste and I drink them.  I have been using a Salt water and Bakeing soda mixture of one tea spoon Salt and one tea Spoon of bakeing soda in a quart of water.  I swish this around in my mouth and gargle with it five or six times a day.  I have not developed ANY sores in my mouth and have not used the "Magic Mouth wash" which was perscribed.  Well I did use it once just to try it, left my mouth and lips and tongue completely without feeling for about 15-20 minutes, doesn't last long at all.  The salt water mouth wash is much better.

I still have no trouble swallowing at this time and with only 8 more radiation days, I am hoping that it will continue that way.  Food is a CHORE.  One person described it well when he stated that ice cream tasted like frozen grease, yep about the same.  For the old timers of which I am one. a spoon full of LARD has about the same taste.  Oddly, my sense of smell remains strong, and when Bonnie, (my Wife) cooks the smell is wonderful, but when I try and eat, its almost gag time.  This morning she fixed Texas Toast and it looked and smelled so goooood.  Well I soaked it with syurp and honey as I normally do,  yuuuk could only force down two pieces.  That's a crime.  

As weight goes, and it does, I mean who wants to eat when everything tastes like wet cardboard, its really a chore to eat, but eat we must.  The Doc's said I might have to have a feeding tube installed at the beginning of this mess, but I nipped that idea in the bud, also the port for the Chemo, I already have a pacemaker implanted so no port, and worked out as only two infusions of Cisplatain was required.  When I started down this journey, I weighed about 200 Lbs.  This morning I was 184.4.  However I used to be 6 ft tall, but over the decades I have shrunk to about 5 10.  So at 184, I feel good and I think my heart doctor likes it :)  

The radiation does make you tired and some days are worse than others, reminds me of the song by John Denver, "Some Days are diamonds, some days are stones".  Yep very appropriate.  I'm gonna learn how to post pictures  to this blog one of these days so check back often.  I'll keep you up to date as to the completion of my treatments and hopefully the return of the BUDS HOORAY.

Just remember to keep a positive attitude, we in the Marines always say, Attitude is Everything, Also a favorite saying of the Colonel I worked wiith, "Make Dust or Eat it".  Now don't forget who loves you....JESUS, yes he does.  Check Isasah 41 10-13


Here it is Sunday, August 4th 2019.  Got up this morning and forced down a bowl of maple and brown sugar oats.  YUUK.   Used to love these, now they taste just like grease, as does most of the food I have tried.  Got shaved and showered and dressed for Church, just a polo shirt cause anything else irritates the burn areas of the neck.  Speaking of that, I was advised to try a product, over the counter, called Aquaphor and slather it on and it should help with the burning and itching, it does.  I bought it from Wal-mart but I think its availiable from several different places.

One other thing I have found is can't drink Coffee right now, used to drink at least a pot a day.  We have a keruig, however that is spelt, and the lipton sweet tea has supplanted coffee in my diet, and there is actually some taste to it, sure glad of that.

Well tomorrow, monday starts the last full week of my radiation treatments, next friday I will only have 3 to go WOOHOO gonna celebrate the end of that for sure.  Then I'm gonna start counting the days until some taste starts to return.  Sure will be wonderful.  Thats it for now, hope it helps someone.  Remember keep the chin up and keep a positive attitude.

Subscribe to Comments for "Tonsil Cancer"