I am now nine months post treatment and on two month check ups split between the surgeon and the oncologist.
On my latest visit I asked about checking my thyroid hormone levels and my carotid arteries.
Radiation to the neck can destroy thyroid tissue and 50% of people need thyroxine therapy so monitoring is advised from a year and a half out.
Similarly Carotid arteries can develop atheroma years later. The advice I got was to keep my cholesterol and blood pressure down and to maybe monitor from three years.
I can’t believe how much better I am; how much better I feel. I see improvements every day.
I can eat anything apart from chilli. Some food needs a little sip of water, food like bread and chicken but by and large nothing is off limits
My throat is still dry and prickly and maybe I will have to get used to that. The mucous membrane has been compromised and my palatine uvula, that dangly thing at the back of the throat, has been incinerated to a stump and its associated salivary glands rendered useless. Chewing sugar free gum gives me a pleasantly moist mouth so I can’t complain.
My taste is still hit and miss though improving.
My energy levels are so improved that I’m looking at running again. There is a flattish two and a half mile loop from our house. I’m determined to at least try even if I have to carry a bottle of water with me.
Heavens…..I seem to have pulled out of the tunnel.
To anybody just starting on this expedition I can say it’s hard, bloody hard but you can do it. I was 67 when I started and I’m still here nearly a year later and I’m well.
I have made a few friends on the Macmillan community and one of them Hazel has a blog here: https://radioactiveraz.wordpress.com Check her out.
She is trying acupuncture for her salivary glands so that is my next step too.
Watch this space.