Radiation Therapy

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
Messages
22,170
Sorry to hear about that peach-pear. Unfortunately I can't offer any suggestions. But sending thoughts your way. Hope it gets better soon.

I haven't started treatment yet but have my pre-treatment consultation tomorrow.
 

Spun Silver

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,154
@peach_pear, so sorry to hear of your miserable side effects. I haven't tried these but they look like they might be good. Of course there is always sugar free Ricola from the local drugstore, and if you like the flavor of ginger and can get down ginger tea, it might be strong enough to cover up that flavor. It is a warming winter drink. There are also ginger candies available online, not sugar-free though.
http://www.drjohns.com/xylitol-hard-candy-s/74.htm
http://www.vitacost.com/ginger-people-gin-gins-hard-candy-3-oz-2?csrc=GPF-PA-Food & Beverages-734027905054&ci_gpa=pla&ci_kw=&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=734027905054&gclid=CJv7mP2r4ckCFY-PHwod36gI7w
 

Alixana

Definitely NOT a sonogram
Messages
1,431
I'm not sure if it's from the radiation itself, or from the medication, but I have this horrible metallic taste in my mouth. Also, my throat is really dry and sore (I've pretty much lost my voice, so even talking is an issue). I need something non medicated to take away this really horrible taste. Does anyone have any suggestions for something relatively sugar free and would melt in the mouth slowly?


Some of it could be from the medication but most of it will be due to the radiation itself and potentially dry mouth. Taste alteration is very common .. metallic taste, sweet tasting bitter and vice versa .. and saliva is essential to keeping your mouth fresh. Sugar free candies actually made the taste worse for me. I resorted to brushing my teeth more
often (i.e., more than the three times I day I was supposed to!), rinsing with flat club soda 8-9 times a day, and chewing sugar free gum (although I had to try several flavours before I found one that didn't burn my throat). That helped but it didn't solve the problem. Unfortunately one of those things we have to put up with. :( :(
 

peach_pear

New Member
Messages
20
Thank you all for the good wishes and helpful suggestions. I really appreciate it. I will try the ginger tea and gargling with club soda and see which works better.
 

Spun Silver

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,154
Good luck! And I hope you will have some joy this holiday season in spite of your pain. You too, Aussie Willy.

Hubby is lucky that there are no side effects of his radiation so far, but he has only had four treatments. The main side effects aren't expected for a couple weeks at the earliest, maybe even February.
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
Messages
22,170
I had my pre-treatment appointment today where they did the scan and mark up the areas of treatment (unfortunately they couldn't do a cat tatoo). I have also agreed to be part of a post-study research project. (I will put this into a spoiler alert as it is a bit of an Embarrassing Bodies type scenario and some people may not want to read it)

radiation treatment of anal cancer (which I have skin cancer in the anal area so that is the approach) and vaginal atrophy which can happen as a result of the treatment as well. The plan is after treatment to use vaginal dilators to keep the vagina open so they want to check how it affects sexual desire/arousal/performance. Because for some women their vagina can totally closes up after treatment which impacts on not only sex but also women's health issues (unable to do pap smears, examinations). Apparently it is common practice in the UK, not so much in Australia.

The treatment will be 5 days a week over 6 weeks. Thankfully the centre is not too far from work so I can just go straight after work. And hopefully will start as soon as next week which means I can get some of it done during the Xmas/NY break.
 

barbk

Well-Known Member
Messages
6,905
Good luck, Aussie Willy.

peach_pear -- I have a condition that intermittently causes extremely dry mouth, and I get that metallic taste too. Awful. Biotene makes a dry-mouth rinse that helps quite a bit. Our Kroger even carries a generic for it now. I use it 5+ times a day when the condition hits. I hope you feel much better very soon.
 

nlloyd

Well-Known Member
Messages
912
Good for you, AW, participating in the trial and best wishes for the treatment. Let us know how you are doing. Good thoughts to all who are dealing with cancer at this time and to their loved ones.
 

mackiecat

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,173
I found for burning skin, corn starch works great. I bought some cotton socks and filled them with corn starch. They draw away the heat ( they end up very hot) I just kept rotating them and it helped a lot. For the taste, mouth thing, I mixed salt, baking soda and water and gargled with that...it seemed to help
 

skatefan

Home in England
Messages
7,549
Sorry you have to go through this, Aussie Willy. I hope it all goes well. My husband is about to start a 9-week course of radiation for prostate cancer and we have similar concerns, but it is supposed to be very precisely aimed so we are optimistic.
My brother underwent 35 doses of radiotherapy for prostate cancer three years ago (age 54) following hormone therapy. He coped really well with the radiotherapy and continued to work part time. Three years on, with continued hormone therapy, he is well but can get incredibly tired, which he does find difficult but considers it a small price to pay. However, with three-monthly checkups, his levels of PSA have dropped dramatically from 60+ to 0.02 so the treatment so far is going very well. I wish your husband all the best with his treatment and hope my brother's experience will help :)
 

skatefan

Home in England
Messages
7,549
sorry for double post

How is everyone doing with their radiation?

Unfortunately, I'm not doing so well and need some more advice. I've had to go to a pretty much liquid diet since swallowing anything solid is very painful. I have 4 treatments left out of 20. I've been given some strong liquid pain relievers. I generally try to avoid taking pain medication, but the pain is too severe to live with at the moment without meds.

I'm not sure if it's from the radiation itself, or from the medication, but I have this horrible metallic taste in my mouth. Also, my throat is really dry and sore (I've pretty much lost my voice, so even talking is an issue). I need something non medicated to take away this really horrible taste. Does anyone have any suggestions for something relatively sugar free and would melt in the mouth slowly?

Thanks in advance for any help.
I'm sorry you're having such a rough time peach_pear, I do hope you are able to find something to take away the metallic taste (((peach_pear)))

@Aussie Willy *hugs* to you too, I hope everything goes well for you
 

Spun Silver

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,154
My brother underwent 35 doses of radiotherapy for prostate cancer three years ago (age 54) following hormone therapy. He coped really well with the radiotherapy and continued to work part time. Three years on, with continued hormone therapy, he is well but can get incredibly tired, which he does find difficult but considers it a small price to pay. However, with three-monthly checkups, his levels of PSA have dropped dramatically from 60+ to 0.02 so the treatment so far is going very well. I wish your husband all the best with his treatment and hope my brother's experience will help :)
Thank you, @skatefan! That sounds like almost exactly the same course of treatment my husband is on. I am concerned to hear about the seemingly permanent fatigue though. Do you think that is from the hormone shots? Has your brother been able to return to full time work?

I am so concerned about that side-effect that I am questioning whether hubby should complete the entire course of treatment, especially the lifelong hormone shots. I am starting to wonder if prostate cancer treatment is a racket. This disease is something most men get at some point and is very rarely fatal; I read one medical article questioning whether it should even be called cancer as it is more of a chronic condition. The other side-effects of getting female hormone injections are not very nice either. :( Of course it is up to my husband to decide, but since his traumatic brain injury, I manage his medical care and ask most of the questions.

Sorry, I don't mean to hijack the thread! Feel free to PM me if you want, @skatefan.
 

skatefan

Home in England
Messages
7,549
Thank you, @skatefan! That sounds like almost exactly the same course of treatment my husband is on. I am concerned to hear about the seemingly permanent fatigue though. Do you think that is from the hormone shots? Has your brother been able to return to full time work?

I am so concerned about that side-effect that I am questioning whether hubby should complete the entire course of treatment, especially the lifelong hormone shots. I am starting to wonder if prostate cancer treatment is a racket. This disease is something most men get at some point and is very rarely fatal; I read one medical article questioning whether it should even be called cancer as it is more of a chronic condition. The other side-effects of getting female hormone injections are not very nice either. :( Of course it is up to my husband to decide, but since his traumatic brain injury, I manage his medical care and ask most of the questions.

Sorry, I don't mean to hijack the thread! Feel free to PM me if you want, @skatefan.
I understand from my brother that the tiredness is partly from the radiotherapy but mainly from the hormone treatment. The cancer had spread to one lymph node in the groin so surgery was not an option. He is a lawyer and is now working full time but he is able to choose his cases so his work is fairly flexible although he has a major case coming up which he will be supervising and isn't concerned that the tiredness will prevent him from working. He is careful about his activities (no more 5 a side football!) but is otherwise able to live really well and has just spent a month touring America for the third time since diagnosis. You haven't mentioned your husband's age - unfortunately it seems that the younger a man is when the prostate cancer occurs, the more aggressive it can be. Our dad died from it at the age of 57 (over 20 years ago) - he had ignored symptoms and then it was too late, he died 8 weeks after diagnosis. I am very sorry to hear about your husband's brain injury - clearly his treatment is something you will be discussing with his oncologist and the prognosis following treatment is an important issue.
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
Messages
22,170
Thank you, @skatefan!

Sorry, I don't mean to hijack the thread! Feel free to PM me if you want, @skatefan.
You can hijack all you like. It is good for others to contribute to the conversation as we can all look on these things as therapy.

Skatefan - thanks for telling us about your brother. Prostate cancer is horrible. A friend of mine's partner had it for about 10 years. He eventually passed away from an aneurism but he was not in a good way.

Mackiecat - thanks for that suggestion about the corn starch. I will have to try that. One thing I did use (because of the area where I had my operations last year where the initial diagnosis was discovered) and this will sound a bit crude were frozen peas in a condom to cool the wounds. They really did work.
 

AxelAnnie

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,309
Sorry you have to go through this, Aussie Willy. I hope it all goes well. My husband is about to start a 9-week course of radiation for prostate cancer and we have similar concerns, but it is supposed to be very precisely aimed so we are optimistic.
My husband went through a course of radiation 2 years ago....with virtually no side effects. Good luck
 

peach_pear

New Member
Messages
20
I just had my last treatment! So for now I'm all done. I even asked for my mask so I can have the satisfaction of smashing it.

I wanted to share this milestone with everyone and thank you all again for the support. I'm still struggling with some side effects, but now that the treatment is finished, hopefully those will clear up within a few weeks.

Hopefully treatment is/will be going well for those who are also going through it.:encore:
 

quartz

uncultured pearl clutcher
Messages
12,592
(((((So many hugs)))) to all of you dealing with these health issues.
Sending you much love, support and wishes for healing.
 

Spun Silver

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,154
Well done, peach_pear! I'm glad it's over and pray everything is smooth sailing from here on out. Merry Christmas, if you celebrate it, and a very happy, healthy New Year!
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
Messages
22,170
Glad you have got through it peach_pear. All the best going forward.

I start my treatment on Tuesday. Thankfully I have between Xmas and NY off work so my first week I can focus on it. Unfortunately had to cancel my NY eve plans. Really wanted to visit my friend who has gone through a torrid year (the one I spoke about in Alcoholic Friend thread) but she is getting herself sorted out now. But gotta do what I have to.

Today is the last working day of the year for me. Yippeee!!
 

Spun Silver

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,154
Good luck, Aussie Willy! Are they telling you you will experience side effects right away? My husband is more than a week in and still none from the radiation per se.
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
Messages
22,170
From what I have read and heard the side effects may take some time to kick. Just have to keep tabs on it. I am very lucky that I have a very understanding employer as well.
 

Sparks

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,519
Having radiation therapy twice on both sides of my body I can tell you that side effects don't come right away. They sneak up on you.
My worst side effects happened after the therapy was over. Be kind to your self and understand that you may be sick for awhile, and may never feel exactly the same. (((hugs)))
 

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