How was I to communicate without my voice?

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?

copyright Seaghan Hancocks 2016

Starting to Feel the Side Effects

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

My First Chemo Session

After I experienced complications with my PEG tube, my first chemo session was delayed. I had already met with my Chemo Oncologist so I already knew that I would be given high-dose Cisplatin, and I knew what the possible side-effects would be. I also knew that the procedure would take six hours at least. I knew that I would have three chemo sessions and the dates that they were scheduled for, and that it was important that I attempt to make all of my chemo appointments. The only thing I knew nothing about was the actual procedure itself. Continue reading My First Chemo Session

Getting my PEG tube, conclusion

Last time I wrote about getting my feeding tube (PEG tube), and I ended up being admitted to hospital for complications and observation. This post is a continuation of that post, and it picks up the story on the morning after the procedure.

Warning: more non-sugar-coated descriptions, and a photo of the finished product that some sensitive users might find unsettling. If these things bother you, please don’t read any further.

Continue reading Getting my PEG tube, conclusion

Getting my feeding tube (PEG)

By the time I saw the Oncologist, I was already having great difficulty swallowing and my larynx was very narrow. For this reason he highly recommended that I get a gastric feeding tube, called a PEG tube (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy). The typical risks of this procedure include infection and soreness after the procedure. Due to the location of my tumour, what I experienced was far from typical. Continue reading Getting my feeding tube (PEG)