• How long does it take?

    Asked by WesMallory on Thursday, August 1, 2013

    How long does it take?

    It's been a little over a year since I finished throat cancer treatment and I still have a few problems. I lost 80 pounds during and after radiation treatment and have only regained about 10 pounds of that. Family and friends don't understand why I still have throat and mouth pain and why it's still difficult to eat.

    I am happy to remain indoors and pursue the indoor activities that I enjoy but people are saying I should go out and enjoy life. They say that after a year I should be healed and not feel sick all the time. What I really want to do is sleep all the time. (smile)

    Is there any way to help loved ones understand what this is like and is it typical to still have pain, body aches, loss of appetite amd fatigue this long after treatment?

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • CAS1's Avatar
      CAS1 (Best Answer!)

      Well I think you explained it very well just now.

      But I must say are you sure you are not depressed? Studies have proven that getting out doors speeds recovery especially when you are in nature. Can you do some walking in beautiful places?

      It does take a long time to recover and we are never the same as we once were but it does do us good to engage with people and to get out of the house. Or to engage with animals also has a positive feed back for our helath. Maybe better than people.

      Offering to walk shelter dogs is a great way to help or other type of volunteer work

      We are at our best when we give to others. Takes our mind off of our pain.

      But I know what you mean. When I was in treatment I stayed in my bed. I felt safe there. When I took treatment I pictured me in my bed, I put myself in a trance. I would picture my bed and my room.

      But you decide what living life is for you. But maybe talking to someone just to make sure you are not depressed might be a good thing.

      almost 6 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Is it possible that "those people" that are saying you "should" be feeling better and healed have never been through what you have been through? I see that quite often here. For me, I had a malignant tonsil, tonsil removed as well as a 3 inch margin, followed by a separate radical neck dissection surgery, 29 lymph nodes removed. I have scar tissue in my throat from surgery and the radiation made it worse. It's been 4.5 years and I still have trouble swallowing, lack of saliva made me lose my teeth, I choke on things often. So I can say it does take a while to get over some of the side effects, and some will never go away. Try to tackle them the best you can, and try to get out and do some things and understand that some things will not go away, you have to learn to adapt and overcome them and act like they don't bother you to get on with life. At least that's what I try to do, each to their own though. I wish you the best, let us know if we can help with anything.

      almost 6 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      What you should do is discuss this with your Dr. Everyone is different. But pain and fatigue may be an indication of something else.
      If you enjoy indoor activities for all means go for them. But do bring the outdoors in. Try to be in the brightest room in the house for most of the time. Open your blinds and let the sunlight in. Now that it is summer open a few windows for fresh air (does a lot to combat fatigue) Although I do enjoy being outside if you don't enjoy being out and about and if you are a solitary type person being outdoors or in group activities is not going to help you. Better to do something that makes you happy.
      Also, I can't say this enough talk to your Dr. about your pain !!!

      almost 6 years ago
    • sandikf's Avatar

      Wes- in my opinion family and friends do not understand because they might have been there beside you but it was you going thru everything. I myself stay indoors alot too- too hot for me and too many bugs. I had radiation for lung cancer but it (the radiation) traveled up my throat too. It was bad- I could not eat or even drink I had a feeding tube put in. Even after treatment done still couldn't eat/drink. My oncologist sent me for an endoscopy- It took 4 times while they slowly opened my throat before I could eat. Even now 9 months after my last endoscopy sometimes it feels like the food is stuck. I have always been thin and gaining weight for me is like other people trying to lose. I have gained 10 of it back. When I had radiation for my brain I was told fatigue could come and go for a long time and it does- at times I just want to sleep all day. Don't be surprised if you don't have new aches and pains- I know I do. This site is great because you can ask if anyone else is having the same stuff and find out yes we are. Stay positive and get better each day. And remember we may have new aches and pains but we are alive!!! Have a good one

      almost 6 years ago

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