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    User: GregP_WN

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    Procedure or Surgery (Lots of more stuff to add): I have lots more to add but running out of time for now. Just want to say...

    There are more visits, annual tests, more visits, dealing with taste loss, dealing with continual visits with an oncologist for the rest of my life. Two visits per year now, about 6 years after first diagnosed and currently in remission. Was told that I will probably develop some life altering side effects in about 20 years so thats what i get to look forward to I suppose. Hopefully I can pursue some dreams and not worry so much about stupid things.

    Still dealing with healing issues, not healing as fast as i once did and when I get a cold/flu it becomes very serious. Oh well, will need to edit all of this more later.

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    Side Effects (Mouth dryness): As i mentioned in my radiation treatment I experienced mouth/throat pain, loss of saliva and later I mention loss of taste.

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    Side Effects (Taste change/loss): Well after 17 sessions of 3050 RADS, I no longer have some of my saliva glands or taste buds. I can not taste sweet things and many things do not have much flavor in them so I end up using lots of salt and like to eat spicy things more.

    If I was given a choice I would skip the #$%^$ radiation because it messed me up more than the chemo; at least from immediate physical side effects.

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    Radiation (External radiation ): Radiation was easy enough, took very little time to do except the first day when they have to line the machine up with the areas to be treated. If you are able to have a mask made, then you can throw it away when you are done with treatment. i used to want the tattoo dots for aiming points but now that i think about it I am glad I dont have them since I would want to disguise the dots in some other tattoo; but I am still curious about getting a tattoo.

    Radiation seemed painless, at first. Once you get about 5 sessions down, different skin changes start happening and your mouth/throat can even get burned; mine did. I had severe mouth problems, it hurt like XXX. They give you a mouth rinse/gargle and pain pills to deal with it. The liquid is made from some mysterious(three ingredients) that taste like the worst thing you ever had in your mouth but its supposed to make things feel better. I could only use it once or twice it was so bad. i just used the pain pills to help relieve my mouth/throat.

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    Side Effects (Hair loss (alopecia)): After only two chemo sessions my hair did not wait to fall out; bits of hair in my brush, globs on the pillow and more in the shower. I looked funny but it was not all falling out just yet. I did not wait for the hair to remove itself, my neighbor was kind enough to help shave my head in mid. Feb. 2006. The next time I would shave my head was in March, so there was still some growth but not long after my sixth chemo session that most, if not all, of my body hair was gone. Not a single eyelash, eyebrow, arm hair, knuckle hair or nose hair was left; it was nice to not worry about body hair but never did I think I would miss the little stupid and ugly nose hairs I used to have.

    You should feel lucky to have your eyebrows and nose hairs; there is so much dust those hairs keep out is amazing. The nose hairs also help you know when you have a runny nose, and my nose was like a faucet when it dripped with snot; dribble everywhere.