Finished treatment today :-)

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Hey all,

it’s been a slog, but finished my six weeks of chemo radiotherapy today!

I was diagnosed early Feb with cancer on lingual right tonsil (T2 N1 M0, hpv 16+)

I had two rounds of chemo (Cisplatin) on week 1 and week 3. The second dose really knocked me for six but thankfully side effect didn’t last too long (other than pretty bad tinnitus, which I still have)

other than that I seem to have avoided need for a feeding tube and and just about still able to eat and swallow with paracetamol and xantacaine (not sure of spelling but it’s like a liquid local anaesthetic you take 15 mins before eating). That plus 2-3 ensure drinks a day have helped keep calorie intake up. 

Not expecting to immediately feel better, but looking forward to feeling better over the next few weeks and - eventually - enjoying food again

Thanks to all on the forum for the support, info and help when a joined Smiley

  • Well done. 
    Thank you for such an encouraging update 


    Base of tongue cancer. T2N0M0 6 weeks Radiotherapy finished January 2019

    I wrote a blog about my cancer. just click on the link below 

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

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  • Hi Mistake Not, well done finishing your treatment. Now for recovery, bear in mind it's a marathon not a sprint. Give yourself the time to heal, with plenty of rest and nutrition.


  • Well done...sounds like you've done really well :-)

    I am 7 months post treatment and pretty much back to eating most foods now... so better days are coming :-)

  • Congratulations on finishing.  Don't be surprised if the next 2-3 weeks get just a little bit tougher.  The treatment continues to build during that time so keep up with all the meds and lotions.

    It is a slow process but you will feel better.  I am now 10 weeks post and still have a few stubborn ulcers and some fatigue, but other than that feel as if I am on the road to recovery.

    See my profile for more details of my convoluted journey
  • Thanks. Yea I’m trying hard to manage my expectations on speed of recovery and had a long chat about it with my CNS at my last review. 

    easy to think just because you treatment is finished that thinks will improve quickly I guess. 

    Eating is still an issue for me both due to throat pain but also real lack of appetite - just need to keep thinking of food as medicine I guess. 

  • You’ve done well. I also thought when the treatment ended it be on the up and up. Was a bit of a surprise when I felt worse for a short while but that turned around in the second week. 

    I’m 4 months post treatment and wish I could love food again. It’ll come.  I can eat a full breakfast now but struggle with the other meals. 

  • Thank you that’s really helpful insight - I’ve had a pretty rough couple of nights after finishing on Friday but just got to get through it. 

    On the ‘love of food’ point, is that due to a lack of appetite rather than pain or difficulty swallowing?

  • “Love of food” is 100% lack of appetite. I had very little discomfort swallowing throughout. I just couldn’t and still can’t enjoy food. I can taste it but it is boring whereas in the past I loved my food. I find I’m eating more fruit and gone completely off chocolate 

  • At the moment, I’m exactly the same!

    had proper bad sweet tooth before I started treatment and now just can’t face chocolate at all. 

    my wife was actually complaining (jokingly) that we now have a stockpile of chocolates and biscuits because I’m not eating them Smiley

    I do hope my appetite comes back, really did love my grub beforehand - although it might benefit my BMI I guess. 

    We had booked to go to Florida in late July this year, We haven’t cancelled it yet, but my gut feel is I won’t be ready for that kind of holiday (long flight, lots of driving). Plus I’d only want to go if I’m eating ‘normally’ again. 

  • We also have a stockpile of chocolate. My husband gave me a luxury advent calendar with   handmade chocolates. I managed to day 15. He finished the rest. 

    we’ve also put off travel for several months. I’m on ensure feeds as well and can’t travel with a caseload ensure. So we’re waiting and staying local and on our yacht . To me food is part of travel