side effects of radiation

Occasional Contributor

side effects of radiation

Hey, I am new to all of this, (though I have had cancer before) I have just finished radiation for throat cancer and was wondering if anyone had any tips on eating, if I ever see another smoothie it will be too soon but I can't swallow even with painkillers and Novocain, also have problems coughing up blood and phlegm.
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Super Contributor

Re: side effects of radiation

Hiya What about eggs, tinned spaghetti, soup? Soluble aspirin before eating? A soup might be your best option at this stage and maybe blend it before eating. Hope some of those help you out. It does get better albeit a tad slowly. Julie
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Occasional Contributor

Re: side effects of radiation

Thanks Julie, I have tried some of those things, and will continue to persevere, but unfortunately my taste has changed too, and some things I think I'm going to enjoy taste really disgusting, but I'm trying to avoid a feeding tube if possible
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Super Contributor

Re: side effects of radiation

Yw lambshank ... just keep persevering. I lost my taste buds and looked upon eating as my "job". It kind of made it easier to tap into a work ethic, rather than trying to think it through at all. I had a feeding tube but only used it before treatment, not during or after. Just keep experimenting, it becomes a toss up between taste and what your mouth will tolerate but eventually you will hit on something that is a winner. I found omellettes particularly handy as they could be plain, with cheese, with vegetables (frozen were the best as they soften easier). Julie
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Occasional Contributor

Re: side effects of radiation

I agree Jules, the longer you go without food the less you feel like eating, so it takes a greater effort and does feel like "work" I like omelettes, and at least you can vary the taste a bit, think I'll treat myself to a one from the Chinese when I go to town tomorrow
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Super Contributor

Re: side effects of radiation

lambshank ... I generally have an omelette when I go out for lunch at Chinese. Usually ask for extra sauce with it and then I don't have any problems. One thing that is worth looking at also is if you have adequate levels of nutrients. I found out I need to take Vitamin D aswell as magnesium also, plus I take a multi vitamin to cover anything else I am missing in my diet.
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Occasional Contributor

Re: side effects of radiation

I hadn't thought about vitamin supplements, I think perhaps that's well worth asking about, I avoid the sun at all costs, and there can't be much in water which has been about all I've bothered with, I get exremeley tired very quickly, so a that's a good thought
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Super Contributor

Re: side effects of radiation

Fatigue is a side effect and probably not much you can do about that except just be kind to yourself and slowly build up your stamina. I did find that the vitamins helped with that once I got to a stage where I could think straight and actually do a little bit physically. I suffered from really bad muscle problems after treatment. I wasn't menopausal as I had a test straight after and was not even peri menopausal, which kind of suprised me. I find I just do not absorb Vitamin D by sunlight ... could be due to cetuximab that I had, not sure really. 🙂
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Occasional Contributor

Re: side effects of radiation

I had radiation on my throat six months ago and found the only things I could cope with was scrambled eggs. The hospital dietician told me to get as many calories as possible in my food so I made my eggs with cream and butter and also started taking protein powder in warm milk with some honey as meal supplements stung my mouth/throat too much. Once the pain had subsided I just made sure I had 'gravy' type meals and even now I always have to have plenty of water as my salivary glands at the back of my mouth are shot! Taste buds are also gone so food has become more fuel like rather enjoyable to the degree that chocolate taste absolutely revolting!! Can you believe it! It's quite manageable though and I am quite used to it now.....good luck with the eating though, it is a bit of a struggle but soon gets better.
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Occasional Contributor

Re: side effects of radiation

Thanks Jules 2 and loupylass, I tasted my coffee for the first time yesterday (all be it lukewarm) but hopefully that's a sign of good things to come), unsure how I will cope with fatigue and going back to work though, I need to make a decision as Iv'e been on leave for ages (had spinal surgery just prior to the cancer diagnosis)I am also requesting tests on my lungs and hope they are not also effected by cancer,the treatment may be free but all the other expenses soon add to the existing concern of the cancer itself
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