Along with all of the daily radiation treatments and in-home nurse visits, my busy schedule had to accommodate regular clinic visits as well. At first they occurred more than once a week, and then after treatment ended the time between visits was increased. It was important that every aspect of my health and other aspects of my well-being were monitored. Continue reading Clinic Visits
After the second chemo session and halfway through my radiation treatments, my ongoing fatigue was becoming worse; however, uglier side effects from my treatments gradually began to arise. Continue reading More treatment side effects: they’re getting ugly
Radiation treatment was damaging my voice box. The tumour had started at the base of my neck in my throat, and had made it’s way up to the voice box by the time treatment had started, and so my voice box was directly in the radiation’s path. I knew where this was heading, and I knew that sooner or later I’d have to communicate without my voice.
For the first few weeks of treatments you couldn’t hear any difference in how I sounded, but by the third week there were definitely audible signs that I was losing my ability to talk. How would I be able to ask for tea? Continue reading How was I to communicate without my voice?
The first couple of weeks of treatments were uneventful. A little nausea after the chemo treatment, and some pain across my collar bones and into my underarms from the tumour. It was definitely nothing that a few painkillers and anti-emetics couldn’t remedy. It was shortly after that when I started to feel the side effects from radiation treatment that I’d been warned about.
Continue reading Starting to Feel the Side Effects
Using and taking care of my own PEG feeding tube wasn’t hard, but I did have a few goofs even though the Dietician explained to me what I needed to do (I was a captive audience during my first chemo session). Here I’ll talk about some tips and some necessary maintenance tasks . Continue reading Using and taking care of my own PEG feeding tube
I wish I knew what questions to ask before starting cancer treatment for my throat. It’s a given that chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments are medical procedures that are meant to deal a bad blow to cancer cells, but they may also pose a risk to healthy tissue as well. I wish I knew then what I know now about side effects. I might not have been able to do anything differently, but at least I’d know what to expect. Continue reading Questions to ask before you start cancer treatment
Cancer treatment isn’t cheap. While it’s true that my hospital treatments and chemotherapy medications were covered under OHIP (Ontario’s government-run health plan), there were a lot of expenses that were paid for out of my and my husband’s pockets. The financial burden for some patients undergoing treatment may seem overwhelming but there is help. Continue reading Cancer can be a burden: financial aspects of cancer
In addition to the organizational tips I previously posted, there are more ways to get prepared to help make you and your caregivers’ lives a little easier. For starters, you will need to focus on getting well, getting rest, and getting to your appointments on time and let the household chores take a back seat (even the get well cards will tell you this.) Making some arrangements to take care of the household stuff and doing a little homework before treatment starts will take some of the stress away. Continue reading More ways to get prepared before you start treatments
Most people know that cancer is treated by Oncologists — doctors who specialize in the treatment of cancer. What I didn’t know was just how many different professionals would also be involved in my treatment and care. Here’s an overview of some of the professionals who made up my cancer care team:
Once I’d been diagnosed with throat cancer and treatments were about to start, a good friend of mine passed along a valuable piece of advice to us: get organized before treatment starts.
I’m very glad we listened to her. There were a great deal of appointments to keep track of and medications that needed to be taken on various schedules. I had no idea of just how much of both there would be. Neither one of us was in the proper frame of mind to remember all that needed to be done, so we used common tools to help us stay on top of everything. Continue reading Get organized before you begin your treatments!