Getting frustrated with throat pain

Posted by srm @srm, Nov 26, 2021

Now 5 months post radiation. 33 treatments of targeted radiation plus chemo therapy for my stage 3 Metastatic Squamish Cell Carcinoma back of tongue R/S. A few weeks ago my throat pain was subsiding enough whereas I finally started eating soft foods with some good success. This week the pain increased to where I have had to go back on liquids. The pain is either on the left side, right side or back of throat. Sometimes the entire throat hurts like strep. The pain is always present but is really bad when I swallow something. Seems to be 2 steps forward and a few back. My oncologist claims that the pain will eventually go away but cannot provide any kind of time frame. Has anyone with similar treatment experienced throat pain for an extended period post radiation? If so, how long did it last? I was getting really excited and optimistic for a couple of weeks while eating very saucy soft foods. I was finally making progress and then things just got worse again. Nobody said this was going to be easy but it gets discouraging when I appear to be making progress just to fall back again.

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If I suggest to you my throat pain did not subside for almost two years, would that help you to understand the battle in which you are still engaged? And if I could add, especially this time of year, there is nothing written in stone which says you cannot have a cold, strep, or sore throat just because you have had cancer. The healing takes time, lots of time. The pain is normal and so very annoying. The days seem endless. Life at times seems dreadful. The plans you make are disappointments. Eating is a constant challenge.
The chemo probably, in my opinion, slowed your ability to heal. Take what nourishment you can, ice cream if it works. How about lemon drops, custard, soup?
This pain will go away. But it may take many months. You are drafted into the cancer recovery army and there isn't much you can do about it until your time served is done.
Two months after 9-11 I ended up having my cancer lump removed and my battle begun. I too was drafted. Two years later I began to feel normal, or what my new normal was to be. The twenty years since then I wouldn't trade for all the world's gold and horses. But I will say that every little issue you will face will make you think that the big C has returned. Fact is you can just get sick like everybody else and that maybe all it is. And it should be noted it wasn't always easy street. The damage done has been a constant battle since day one, much like a wounded vet who learns to function and enjoy life as it is. In fact just 14 months ago I had a surgery to repair cancer damage to my jaw from radiation. But as fun as that was, life goes on. I am doing just fine.
Hang in there. Two steps forward and one step back as we say is still progress. This whole experience will change you and as a general consensus, change you for the better. We cannot hug you and make the pain go away. We cannot carry you to life before cancer. All we can do is encourage you, listen to you, and pray for you.

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@hrhwilliam
Thanks for the honest response. Two years is a long time but at least it puts some perspective into my situation. Hopefully I won’t need to endure for two years (or longer) but at least this may help with becoming less discouraged over believing it should be different. I can just learn to grin and bear it when things are tough. And learn to enjoy the days when my pain is more manageable. I do realize at some point in the future I will need to own “my new normal”.
Going through the big C definitely gives a person a different perspective on life.

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I have the same thing however I have to decide next week whether I proceed with these 33 radiation treatments and attending chemotherapy treatments. it doesn’t sound like it works I have done a fair amount of work already since the diagnosis of cancer in September I have been doing the best I can to starve the cancer. I have lost 33 pounds in two months In my attempt to starve the cancer by reading my diet completely of sugar. now I can eat and drink everything. And I wonder whether I should be following the protocols of the five or six oncologists that I spoke to. I would prefer to wait and see.
God bless you

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Dear @henrytimmins, I suffered from esophageal (Pyriform Sinus) cancer and proceeded with the 33 radiation treatments. Before going, I tried every type of health regimen I could find…to no avail. Please, do not wait much longer. Starving the cancer does not work, neither does the Baking Soda & Molasses (I still shiver remembering drinking that horrible regimen), or the animal de-wormer, Fenbendazole. While I played around with all these so-called "cures," the cancer was growing. If I can make it through, so can you! This is life or death. Yes, there are many complications from the radiation, but everyone is different. The bottom line is having life. I know without a doubt I would be long dead if I had not gone through with the radiation, as the pain was getting unbearable. The chances of Chemotherapy helping me would have been a 2% increase, with many side-effects. I chose to forgo the Chemotherapy, and God-willing, am cancer-free. It is going on two years now since the treatments. If you have any questions, please message this page. God will see you through.

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@srm

@hrhwilliam
Thanks for the honest response. Two years is a long time but at least it puts some perspective into my situation. Hopefully I won’t need to endure for two years (or longer) but at least this may help with becoming less discouraged over believing it should be different. I can just learn to grin and bear it when things are tough. And learn to enjoy the days when my pain is more manageable. I do realize at some point in the future I will need to own “my new normal”.
Going through the big C definitely gives a person a different perspective on life.

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Hang in there. You are stronger than you think. Have a whole pumpkin pie with whip cream if you want. No one gets to tell you that's not good for you. You have been attacked. Now you get to heal.
We are here for you and some day you will be here for someone else. That's how it works.

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If you are smarter than the five or six oncologists you spoke to then please continue on your course of starving the cancer, hopefully without starving yourself first. No cancer treatment is easy and not all are successful. But we know that no treatment rarely turns out well. All of the folks I know that tried that route are no longer around to ask.
Courage. Courage. Dying of cancer isn't as easy as fighting. Please fight for those who love you, including you.

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When considering complementary or alternative treatments, be open-minded yet skeptical. Learn about the potential benefits and risks. Here is an article from Mayo Clinic that might interest you about evaluating claims made by the producers and/or sellers of supplements, natural products and other alternative medicines. http://mayocl.in/2tGC0Jp

There are many articles on the internet and books proclaiming that sugar feeds cancer and that avoiding sugar will prevent the growth of cancer. To set things straight…sugar does not cause cancer on its own. Giving sugar to cancer cells does not make them grow faster and depriving (or starving) cancer cells of sugar does not make them grow more slowly. Read more from Mayo Clinic here:

– Sugar's Role in Cancer https://connect.mayoclinic.org/blog/cancer-education-center/newsfeed-post/sugars-role-in-cancer/
– Sound nutritional advice when dealing with cancer https://www.mayoclinic.org/documents/mc1604-37-02fal-pdf/doc-20078857
– No appetite? How to get nutrition during cancer treatment https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/cancer/art-20045046

Be sure to verify that the information you read comes from a trusted health authority.

Reducing or eliminating sugar and eating a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of developing cancer and can help with recovery from cancer treatment. Healthy lifestyle choices like not smoking and being active when well can also help recovery from cancer treatments. These are proactive things that you can do in addition to treatment, not instead of.

Henry, please be very skeptical of any diet that claims to cure cancer. We wish it were true, but it's not.

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@henrytimmins

I have the same thing however I have to decide next week whether I proceed with these 33 radiation treatments and attending chemotherapy treatments. it doesn’t sound like it works I have done a fair amount of work already since the diagnosis of cancer in September I have been doing the best I can to starve the cancer. I have lost 33 pounds in two months In my attempt to starve the cancer by reading my diet completely of sugar. now I can eat and drink everything. And I wonder whether I should be following the protocols of the five or six oncologists that I spoke to. I would prefer to wait and see.
God bless you

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@henrytimmins
I agree with others. Be cautious with alternative treatments. I have no regrets going through the 33 radiation treatments and my chemotherapy. I am now cancer free which makes it all worthwhile. This is not a fun journey and everyone reacts differently to the treatments. I’ve been told by my oncologist and Speach Therapist that I’m “just one of the unlucky ones”. I have experienced almost every side effect listed. Again-no regrets. And I realize that my life will never be the same as it was pre-cancer. I believe it will be better. Changed but better. This has given me an entirely new perspective on life. Now on the sugar issue. I am 61 years old. My wife and I went sugar free 3 years prior to my diagnosis. I was type 2 diabetic and completely reversed my diabetes by adopting this lifestyle. I kept my carbs below 20g per day. At the time of my diagnosis I had lost 50 pounds due to my low carb lifestyle and had been on no medications for over two years.
I was in the best health of my life. My doctor literally used me as his poster child for his type 2 patients to prove that diet and exercise plays a crucial role in the control of diabetes. I have read the research on sugar as well. I believe sugar outside of moderation is poison to our body. Yes, there is some data out there that claims cancer feeds on sugar. Personally, I believe it. However, if sugar causes cancer and/or eliminating sugar can cure cancer then why did I get the big “C”? I was “sugar free”. I didn’t question the treatment recommended by the experts. However, I remained on a low carb diet as best as I could throughout my treatment. My dietician supported me in this. My recommendation to you is don’t delay starting the radiation therapy. If you want to stay low carb during that time it can’t hurt. I still have some hurdles to get over but getting support from sites like this helps tremendously. I wish that I would have found this support group before treatment started. I never discovered this until about 2 months after my treatment ended.
Be strong and listen to the experts. There is nothing wrong with asking them a lot of questions to help put you at ease.

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