Integrating after effects of cancer into life

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It’s been 2 years since my chemo-radiation treatment for head & neck cancer started. And while I’ve dealt with the immediate effects of treatment I am struggling to integrate the after effects into my life.

Aged 50 at the time I had a chemo-induced menopause, well, at least I got it out of the way quickly. And cancer spurned me on to do stuff, like go back to work after raising my kids - although my contract sadly ends next month - so I am grateful to it for that, in some crazy way.

But, and here’s the but, my surgery & radiotherapy has had a lasting impact on my speech & ability to eat. I can no longer drink wine or spicy food, both of which I used to love. My speech, people tell me, is not that much different, but to me it is & I used to be a broadcaster so my voice was my trade. Talking is hard work now and I can no longer do what I used to do. I have retrained, I am now an online journalist aged 52, cool huh, but I am by no means a digital native! Yesterday I had a big ‘wah’ at home in front of everyone, the first in ages, I just got overwhelmed. 

Any advice, suggested reading? I feel I haven’t incorporated my new life into my old one… 


  • Hi Jemma  and a warm welcome to the Online Community but so sorry to hear about your journey.

    I have no experience to bring to the table to help you as my journey was rather diffrent but I do see you have also joined our supportive Head and neck cancer support group. This group is a safe place to talk to others with a similar treatment experience, to ask questions and get support.

    Why not copy and paste this into the group and see who you can connect with ((hugs))

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

    Community Champion Badge

  • Hi Jemma,

    Sorry to hear you feel a bit lost. I feel much the same, I find that getting out for a walk helps me feel a bit better. I've just read C by John Diamond, similar type of cancer to you, you may find it interesting. 

    A x

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