Squamous cell carcinoma
Some background first: diagnosed late 2016 throat cancer, followed by surgery, chemo and radiation. 56 years old. Later this morning, I’m going out to run 6 miles. Things can and WILL get better for you.
Without knowing your history of cancer and treatment I can only tell you about my experience but it sounds like it somewhat mirrors yours.
During and immediately after radiation therapy, my mouth and throat were ulcerated beyond belief. It took time, more time than I wanted, to get to a place where eating wasn’t an exercise in pain and willpower.
It was longer than that before it became pleasurable, but it did. Recovery will be measured in months if not years. I had a lot of damage to my jaw with resulting scar tissue that prevented me from opening my mouth very wide (think Popeye on the old cartoons). However, over the last year and a half, I’ve continued to stretch the area and have nearly regained full range of motion.
Taste came back VERY slowly over a long period of time. It took some months for the mucositis to subside and I still have persistent dry mouth as part of my saliva glands were destroyed. However, I can eat anything I want. I would say that some foods that are delicately sweet are bland, spicy hot foods are REALLY hot and spicy and some bitter foods are not as bitter as I remember them being.
Over the first year or so after cessation of radiation therapy my taste buds and my mouth and throat in general continued to change. It is an ongoing process.
Be guided by your doctor, but I’d suggest continued trial with whatever foods you can eat.
Good luck and keep going,
Background, 61yo w male, lump on left side of neck for at least 10 years. It moved around without pain. It didn’t bother me at all. My PCP nagged me to have it checked. I was diagnosed with HNC 8/2018. The cancer was found in my tonsil and moved to the lymp classifying it as stage 3.
I was given 33 treatments of proton therapy. I also received Erbitux 11 treatments.
A PEG was implanted but had to be removed ( long story).
This is my first week w/o any treatments.
I can not taste sugar or salt. My current best tasting foods are Brussel sprouts and spinach. I’ve had to try many different foods to find what is tolerable to my taste. Chinese buffet was the best idea to try different foods. I’m going to try Golden Coral buffet next. I still need to regain 30 plus pounds that’s A lot of brussel sprouts. Brussel sprouts also help to keep me regular to counter the effects of pain meds. I’ve also found seafood to have a good taste, crab legs, scallops and shrimp.
I am weak when doing regular activities. I exercise when I can making a point not to over do it.
Although very painfull when eating or not, not having a feeding tube has made me exercise my oral muscles. I should have less therapy if any at all.
I have a follow up appointment the 11th of January 2019. Hopefully I will be returning to work in February.
If you’re just now finishing treatment and are actually eating, you’re doing way better than I ever did. It probably doesn’t feel like it, but congratulations! Your buffet strategy is brilliant.
Good luck with your follow ups. It sounds like you’re pushing hard and that’s really impressive.
I have a question I am just starting my treatments for squamous cell carcinoma my cancer is in the root of the tongue. I have started the erbitux and have built a big rash and it is itchy. I am going to dermatology doc today but wandering if you all have anything that helped re leave Ethel itchy?.