Had my last radiation treatment today, go me!
I have this horrible case of mucus coming from my sinuses trying to choke me, so I’m constantly having to try to form a loogy, sometimes it works, sometimes it just brings up stomach contents. I’ve been doing some Mucinex to help out with it, but it makes it almost too dry.
My regular spit still seems to be rather thick, so I’m spitting it in to an empty deer park bottle, as well as the loogies I bring up.
Let’s see, what else. Thrush is still with me, don’t know if that’s what is causing the pain when swallowing, as it did in the first week or so of having it, only to go away ( the pain with swallowing, although the thrush never disappeared entirely ) or if my throat is just burned from the radiation. At this point in the treatment I’m willing to bet it’s probably burned/damaged in some way that will need to heal.
I have radiation burns across my neck, more heavily on the right side than on the left, since the right is where my lymph tumors were. It’s going to take anywhere from two to three weeks for my body to regrow the skin there, so until then I just have to keep this silvadene stuff on it which is really meant more for it’s anti-bacterial use more than any healing use, plus it helps take the sting out a bit and helps to hydrate the area. So, for now, I sit around the house in my black wife beaters because the necks are wide enough to not touch the burns.
Also, sleeping, I’ve maybe gotten a few hours of sleep over the past couple of days ( and before then I’d argue I’d gotten none in about five to six days ). I don’t know if it’s because of the resting naps I take during the day ( where I usually don’t fall asleep, I just try to relax ) to help with the whole being tired/worn out, or just my body saying not right now. Part of it might be due to the mucus, coughing and hacking yourself awake at 4 in the morning because some mucus almost choked you to death is not a pleasant feeling. It’s also hocking up the loogies every 15 to 30 to maybe 40 minutes, there’s no real time in there to fall asleep before you wake up again to make another deposit.
What is better? I can poop! This is very important, and anyone who has ever been blocked up for any appreciable amount of time can understand. Part of chemo is giving you a pretty powerful anti-nausea medicine which also dries up everything, you also have other anti-nausea medicine that you take in pill form as well that just prolongs the issue. Anyway, after being off of that stuff for a time ( week and a half since last chemo ) I’m finally back to some semblance of normal.
I have an additional medicine that’s supposed to dry up my mucus/spit a bit, but of course it’s normally an anti-nausea medicine so one of the side effects is constipation, and I don’t know what’s worse, being backed up or having to spit every 20 minutes ( especially after the thing I had to do last time I was backed up that I won’t give any details on ). At this point, I think some of the being tired is due to lack of sleep, so I’ll probably give it a try and see how it works over the next few days.
There’s also the sores in the mouth. I popped a blister a while back that was dangling from the roof of the back of my throat, that was a mistake ( I was playing with it ). I’ve had smaller blisters, that weren’t dangling, that I’ve left alone and they seem to disappear in a day or three. I would call it discomfort in my mouth and pain swallowing, and while I didn’t ask, it’ll probably clear up about the same time my skin regrows on my neck.
Due to the phlegm/mucus, I don’t really like talking right now. I don’t want to exhale while talking too hard for fear it will hurt, and I can’t really modulate to a regular voice because it sounds watery and I constantly have to do a throat clear.
That’s it for now, my 35 days of cancer treatment for Head and Neck Cancer, T1N2bM0 was the classification for it, it was diagnosed as HPV related Head and Neck, which gives me something approaching a 90% survival rate out to five years ( I think in the literature it says 89% but the docs all bumped it to 90% to make it sound better ), and is supposedly one of the easiest to treat/eradicate with the one/two punch I’ve done of chemo and radiation. I have a couple of follow-ups in a couple weeks with both of my oncologists. I’ll have a follow-up PET CT scan in about three months to see if the treatments have done their job and then we’ll go from there.