Radiotherapy after Laryngetomy.

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Hello, we found out my dad had throat cancer after Christmas and since then we have been in and out of hospital. He first had to go through an emergency tracheotomy & fed by a nose tube due to losing so much weight.  The tumour had wrapped around his voice box and so a total laryngectomy was needed.  He had the operation recovered really well and has completed 6 weeks of radiotherapy.

The last 2 weeks treatment I think have been the worst for him, when we can get him to eat, he is eating only soft foods like yogurt and semolina & drinking very little. He is having trouble swallowing, sometimes it comes out of his nose.  He is adamant that he will not have the nose tube again so is trying but is losing weight.  I'm worried about him.

His neck is very sore and weeping, he uses E45 cream to try and help, the bibs irritate his neck, we have tried to tie a cotton hanky around his neck to make it more comfortable..

Can anyone advise of anyways to help with swallowing and how long his neck will be so sore.

The doctor has spoke about a speech valve, how long is it likely to be before they will consider fitting the valve? He gets very frustrated trying to communicate.  he has a hand held mic he uses on his neck to help him communicate but due to the weight lose and numbness its hard to always understand him and I can see him getting frustrated and angry with us all :( 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  • Hi and a warm welcome to the online community although I'm sorry you've had to find us.

    I'm not a member of this group so can't help with any advice but I noticed that your post had gone unanswered. I think it might be an idea to also join the head and neck cancer group and post there as well. It also includes larynx cancer and is a much busier group than this one.

    If you'd like to join just click on the link I've created and then choose join this group on the page that opens. To save you typing this out again just copy and paste it into a new discussion.

    When you feel up to it, it would be really useful if could pop something about your dad's journey so far into your profile as it helps others when answering or looking for someone with a similar diagnosis. It also means that you don't have to keep repeating yourself. To do this click on your username and then select 'Edit Profile'. You can amend it at any time and if you're not sure what to write you can take a look at mine by clicking on my username.

    Wishing you and your family all the best.


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  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to latchbrook

    Thank you for your help and advice.x

  • I had the same operation and have written extensively on here about it. I dont know why the nose tube cant be made in two pieces. I am very surprised you dont have a peg like everyone else. If you do have one make sure it is a monarch one. Yes it does come out of the nose and there is no reason since  the nose is doing nothing for it not to be blocked up. I wouldnt worry now about the speech valve till you get the swallowing in  order. I have also not got one and manage with typing. It is very important for him not to get angry. I am pleased to say that I never do. My neck is still very sore and that is after three years. The swallowing has also not improved. it seems the radiation has ruined my mouth muscles. I read it takes 20 for the mouth to swallow.  Please read my blog and all my posts. Unless you yourself suffer you have no idea what it is like. One cant breathe eat sleep etc normally.