Help please.

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Help please.

by Cindibkc on Sun Jul 03, 2011 04:32 AM

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My husband just finished 6weeks of radiation after having surgery for base of tounge cancer that also grew into the soft palette. He is 2 weeks out of Rads. and the throat pain is starting to subside, but it is still hard for him to eat anything but a liquid diet because he has a "catch"(for the lack of a better word) in his throat that makes food as well as pills get caught. The nurse told him it could be swelling, but he is going to go to the doctor to have it checked out on Tuesday. As anyone else experienced this? If so, what is it? Thanks for your help. This site has been so helpful to me. Cindi

RE: Help please.

by tristeve on Sun Jul 03, 2011 01:16 PM

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well welcome to the exclusive club.

Yes eating after treatment can be a real challange. I was more than a month before I could eat. I liked custard, icecream and poached eggs .  most mushy food works well. I also liked rapioka. it was almost 2 months before I could eat meat or fish. And quite honestly , even after two years, I still have a wee bit of trouble.

Shearch the site, there is a ton of info here of food. We are all different, but it is a slow path back!

good luck



RE: Help please.

by PopPop on Sun Jul 03, 2011 03:39 PM

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Radiation is accumulative and we go thru a period known as the "Cooking" stage where the radiation still works on us for a period of 4-8 weeks after the final treatment. Your husband's radiation was probably aimed at his neck/throat area.

The best way that I can explain it is this way. Imagine if you took a Hot Dog with a hole down the center of it, length wise, and placed it in the Microwave. Cook it at maybe 15% heat for 6 minutes, it will finally cook and you will notice it swelling, inside as well as outside. If you over cook it, the skin starts to crack. This is your husband's neck. The fluids in our bodies cause the swelling as well as the fluid in the Hot Dog cooking in the Microwave.

Has he done any stretching exercises along with a gentle massage help eliminate the swelling? I was much like TRISTEVE and only ate very soft foods and cans of nutrition through my PEG Tube for those 4-5 weeks after my last treatment. He will slowly improve as each week passes.

My Best to Both of You and Everyone Here


RE: Help please.

by ErthWlkr on Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:37 PM

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Hi Cindi

As PopPop and Steve explained, the radiation causes a tremendous amount of inflammation. Even though treatment has ended, as PopPop also explained, there is a period of about 3-4 weeks where the sides effects continue to build. Then, very slowly, the inflammation begins to subside.

As for me, I was about two months past treatment before I started to eat solid food. And the, it was only sunnyside up eggs fried in lots of butter. Was the only thing I could get down. It was about 4 months in before I was able to get ehough nutrition in by mouth before the doc would agree to remove the PEG tube.And it may have been around 7-8 months before I was approaching a "normal" varied diet.

Please ask him to keep his swallowing reflex up as much as possible. Room temperature liquids, especially water, and nutrient drinks. Too cold - and especially too hot - liquids will be especially painful so avoid them as best as possible. Just a few sips every so often will help. This is a must!

Stay away from anything spicy when his intake gets broader.Keep the food bland. Use a blender as time goes on to liquify solids. Focus on soups and soft stews. Stay away from dry items like bread, chicken or straight cooked meat like steak. They'll only catch in his throat.

SPOHNC (there is a dot com after the name) has a recipe book you also can try. Just go to their site.

Stay in touch with the group here and let us know the progress. There is a lot of experience available and lots of tips and suggestions.

Wishing him a quick recovery and long lasting health for both of you!

- Jeff

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