Any advice for week 6 of RT

Hi, have just got to the end of week 5. I’ve had 2 rounds of chemo but this was stopped as I developed tinnitus. Still able to eat - mainly soups and soft foods - and topping up with Ensure drinks. My throat is quite painful but managing with paracetamol and ibuprofen. Was given liquid morphine last week to use as and when but not had any yet. Am a bit nervous as codeine always makes me sick (vomit) and don’t want to have the same issue with morphine. My skin is pretty sore now. Using E45 morning and night and Flamigel in between. Skin is quite discoloured too (in part because I have - pre existing - quite big patches of vitiligo on my neck).  It’s very red in places. Are there things I should be doing to prepare for Week 6 and then the following 2-3 weeks (which sound like they’re going to be tough!)? Any tips on liquid morphine / managing the burn on my neck would be much appreciated. 
Thanks Blush

  • Hi. Don’t worry about taking the morphine. I put off taking it way past the point I should have as I was so worried - but once I started on it I was so glad for the pain to ease. Once I was ready to stop I did a very gradual withdrawal. 

  • Tell your radiographers about your neck concerns. There are preparations they can give you. 
    I was awful on cocodomol but much better on morphine which is strange as codeine is metabolised to morphine which is how it kills pain. I had metoclopramide to help with the nausea


    Base of tongue cancer. Out of radiotherapy January 2019

    Blog about my cancer. 

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

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  • Hello

    l think you are only a couple of weeks behind me. I too, found soluble paracetamol enough during the treatment, but it all changed the w/e after RT stopped. I had been given Oramorph to take as and when too. I hadn’t needed it before but didn’t hesitate, it has made a huge difference to me & is a v low dose. I was given Flamazine for my neck. It is strong stuff which put me off initially. Having posted on here & feeling reassured, l am now day 3 using this and it is clearly improving. I am just over a week since my last RT & so don’t feel at all qualified to say more.Equally, l am learning that many of us respond differently, but there appear to be some common threads…Good luck with the post RT period; regardless of the heightened side effects l am experiencing, l still feel v glad that this episode at least, for me is over & it is a good feeling. Wishing you well.

  • Hi. I've been on Oramorph since February as my top up alternating with paracetamol with no problems. 

    My neck got red & tender in Week5 and Consultant told me to stop using the E45 & stick with the Famigel, I used it up to 6 times per day. I also got cling film under my mask for the last week which helped me tolerate the mask against my skin. It completely broke down second week out (see picture in profile) but Consultant said it would heal very quickly - it did, less than a week and it was completely healed.

    All the very best for your last week


  • Hi, I’ve just got to the end of week 6 and had sillier issues to you. Felt a bit nauseous switching to oramorph but was given meds to manage it very well,  same as those taken during chemo. My chemo had to stop more to mouth issues than anything else but managed to get 3 sessions in. Went from flamigel to Strata XRT gel, much better. Neck is very red and skin broken in places so also have a very soft, cushioned dressing to wear to stop clothes catching around neckline. I’m the same with throat, still about able to swallow…painfully. Prescribed Fresubin calories supplement liquid drinks. Good luck, not long to go!

  • I'm in exactly the same place as you - finished 5 weeks of radio plus chemo with one more week to go. Skin very red but not broken yet. Same weight as when I started and not using RIG tube yet apart from one thing: I am sensitive to salt and soluble paracetamol contains a lot of sodium, so it hurts a lot to swallow. Easier just to push in through the tube.

    Been using increasing quantities of morphine for the past 2 weeks. It was paracetamol + codeine + a little morphine as needed, but is now paracetamol 4 x per day plus morphine 5 mg 6 x per day (and a little bit more at night as needed). 

    It feels like a very full time job at the moment keeping on top of everything, not helped by being mentally zonked. Not sure if that is radiotherapy or morphine or both, but I need to sleep in both the morning and the afternoon, and have lists of things to do because otherwise not chance of remembering them. 


  • It feels like a very full time job at the moment

    Yep….. but you’re nearly there. Hugs 


    Base of tongue cancer. Out of radiotherapy January 2019

    Blog about my cancer. 

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

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  • It is a full time job we all had lists if what to do when to take tablets etc. one more week them recovery starts I had 35 sessions the last 5 were very hard but I got through and out the other side. You’ll get there 

    Hazel xx

    Hazel aka RadioactiveRaz 

    My blog is  HPV 16+ tonsil cancer Now 5 years  post treatment. 35 radiotherapy 2 chemo T2N2NM.Happily getting on with living always happy to help  

  • Thanks for sharing. I can get in my head about things so it’s good to hear from others