radiation recovery times

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radiation recovery times

by prissie on Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:00 AM

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I underwent 31 radiation treatments to my neck that ended 3-17-08.  Chemotherapy was also part of my treatment using cisplatin.  I am still suffering from severy dry mouth, and lack of saliva.  Can someone tell me when I might start to get back to normal.  My taste has returned and I am still using a PEG for eating.  I am still very tired but more worried about getting my salivary glands back.

RE: radiation recovery times

by micromisterphone on Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:00 AM

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You should almost be over the worst of your recovery, the mucus should be clearing up soon if it hasnt already. Your saliva may or may not come back all the way, everyone is different, both in treatment and in recovery.

See if your doc will prescribe Salagen to help stimulate saliva production, mine did and it does help somewhat. You should also look for Biotene products. They have toothpaste, gum , mouthwash and oral spray that help a LOT with the drymouth. Also, make sure you are getting plenty of water and get yourself a cool air humidifier, at least for your bedroom.

Good luck, and best wishes.

Mike

RE: radiation recovery times

by BUTTERFLYDANCER on Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:00 AM

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Hi, I finished treatment end of March 2007. i dont want to alarm you but my docs told me 6 week recovery!!! but i was still ill with ulcers mucous, no saliva etc. Ulcers clear now but mouth still very sensitive to anything but ice cold water. mucous is fine but still problems now and again. have to carry tissues all the time. no saliva at all and docs say that wont return so carry a bottle of water every where i go. The upshot is everyone is different with different treatments. I say take one day at a time, you will be tired for a very long time, i still am!! It does get better believe me, maybe not how it was but BETTER than your feeling now. I used to take a walk everyday that helped even though it was a small distance at first. Still got my peg in and still not eating. I dont think people can appreciate how harsh treatment is and then the after effects. Keep positive xxxx

RE: radiation recovery times

by rick51 on Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:00 AM

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Keep in mind that while all of us seem to experience the same side effects w/ radiation, we all heal differently. I finished 35 radiation treatments Feb. 25, 2008. So, it hasn't been two months and I'm almost 100%. Only things lacking are my taste buds still are not 100%, but pretty close, and my dry mouth. But neither are that big of a deal considering what we all have been through. More of an inconvienance. I just drink lots of water and if something tastes like cardboard, I try something else. Of all the things in life that can go wrong (just read what other cancer people are going through), dealing w/ these things are nothing more than a small hassle.

Stay positive, realize it can always be much worse and things will work out.

God bless.

Rick

RE: radiation recovery times

by Bob_d_4 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:00 AM

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Hello!  I finished 35 bouts of radiation to the base of my tongue in Dec 06 and it took till Oct of 07 to get about 75% function of the remaining saliva glands back.  I still have days where they seem to quit working and my mouth goes stone dry.  I have never been without a bottle of water close by, it has just become a way of life!

RE: radiation recovery times

by prissie on Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:00 AM

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did you use salagen or anything else to speed up their regeneration?

RE: radiation recovery times

by Laszlo on Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:00 AM

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I had 37 radiation treatments and cisplatin. The 3 weeks after the last treatment was hell - this was 4 months ago. Since then it is improving, but not evenly - there were some lousy weeks, but mostly better and better.

I am still tired sometimes, but I can also ski all day and go for hour-long fast bike-rides.

I did not feel improved saliva production until 4 months after the treatment ended, but lately it started to improve.

Every month you will be surprised how much you feel than the previous month. And once you think that you are not going to improve any better, you will be surprised that you actually will.

 

 

RE: radiation recovery times

by prissie on Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:00 AM

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your message was very encouraging, even if I don't ski or bike ride.  The saliva thing has really got me down, I'm hungry but I don't dare eat for fear of choking.  The sores on the top of my mouth are still raw but my dental hygine has never been better.  Thanks again for your wonderful message. 

RE: radiation recovery times

by Laszlo on Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:00 AM

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Yes, the period when you have raw sores is very tough. But they will go away soon! (And yes, our oral hygiene was never better :-). BTW, I assume you are using flouride trays - my dental-oncologist told me to use them daily since the lack of saliva tremendously increases tooth decay; therefore, without daily use of flouride I would need crowns for most of my teeth in no time.

The possibility of chocking is real (my doctors warned me about it) - I believe you are wise if you are careful.

But - again - this will get better and better. A month ago it never crossed my mind to participate in a meeting without my water bottle. If I forgot to take one with me, I had to leave to get it. Today, if I forget, no problem - I will be OK up to 30-45 minutes. 

Oh, and cofee. I don't know if you drink cofee - it was hard for me to be without it. Since it is a drying agent, I couldn't drink it after a few weeks of treatments - it made my throat so dry that it was pure torture. I was certain that I would never drink cofee again.

A few weeks ago, for my birthday, I got a Starbucks card, and now I am in the line every morning...

  

 

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