Thanks for the reply. I'm pleased to say, 4 weeks out from completing treatment, most of my taste is back. I can't taste sweet things, but that seems to be changing a little each day. Hopefully I'll be able to taste Xmas dessert. I've put on weight and am making a point of exercising every day. I take vitaman E jubes (one a day). If anyone else is going through this, I'd recommend you eat what you can, even if it is not tasty. Learning what is gentle on my throat (smaller mouthfuls for the win) was important. I started with soft pasta and mixing in vegies / flavours. I was not particularly fond of salmon nor yoghurt pre-treatment, but both are my favourites now. My appetite is in full swing, and life feels pretty good again.
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Hey David, I can relate to what you have been through, or at least part of it. I had a similar lump in lymph node, and they found the primary on the base of my tongue. No surgery, just 35 doses of rad and 3 big doses of chemo. They concluded last week. I have many of the same Sx. Ringing ears, fatigue, no sense of taste, and eating or drinking anything is a struggle. Do you have any idea / expectation of the PET? As in, how likely it is that they have got it all? I know I am plagued by the thought of needing to go through this all again. The impact on my body and life is like nothing else I have even imagined. It's 2 weeks since you posted, do you have an update?
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I am in week 8 of my 7 week treatment. 35 sessions of radiation (one each weekday) and 3 rounds of chemo (weeks 1,4,7). Prior to this I was diagnosed with HPV+ cancer on the base of my tongue and in my right lymph node. I'm 42 years old, 2 kids, married and count my blessings every day. Reading through others stories, I am in the worst part of the process right now, and it does feel this way. My main concern is about taste. I would estimate that I have about 2% of my original taste. My saliva is thick, but not as bad as others have described. Still eating something like bread or a scone makes me gag. Looking at doctor google, I have seen the following recommendations for taste: 1. Zinc supplements 2. Eating watermelon 3. One of the rad oncologitsts also said that a product called 'miracle berries' can help (estimated 1/3 of people found them helpful). Needless to say, they are on their way. My speechie is most concerned that I'll lose my swallow function, and has implored me to eat solid food regularly, which I am doing. Today I ate porridge, 2 minute noodles and rice cream. It is a little ironic for me to be concerned about taste. I had previously commented that the work of a chef is lost on me, and have never watched a cooking program in my life. Now I think about food constantly, and am very fearful that I'll never enjoy food again. I am keen to hear your tips / stories / advice.
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.