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#35780 03-31-2002 06:59 AM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 36
molly Offline OP
Contributing Member (25+ posts)
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Contributing Member (25+ posts)

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 36
My sister is receiving radiation twice a day everyday for 6 and a half weeks for cancer of the tonsils. She has completed 2 weeks and is already so dibilitated by this. She can hardly eat (she is scared of getting a feeding tube) and she is nauseous, cannot talk and just has no energy. She is fair headed and a radiologist told her that fair headed folks tend to have a harder time with the treatment. Is this normal to be so sick so soon into the treatment, and how will she be in 4 more weeks of this?

#35781 03-31-2002 09:27 AM
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OCF Founder
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I have never heard that fair headed people fair worse in radiation treatments overall. It is likely though that fair-skinned people might burn more readily on the exterior of their face or neck from the treatments. As for two weeks being a point where things started to get bad...that sounds about right. During the first two weeks I was going "Hey, this is a cakewalk"... that was until the accumulated radiation started to build up. Radiation sickness, mucositis (mouth sores), thickened saliva, and then the lack of it, difficulty in swallowing, all kick in after the second week. It is going to get worse, but trust me, these painful parts of the radiation process, eventually pass. Everyone is definatly lethargic during the treatments, I wanted to sleep all the time. Remember your body is taking a beating during radiation treatment, it needs to recuperate and rest while it does the needed reapir work. Being tired is normal.

As to getting the feeding tube, read the other posts on this board related to it. Everyone that has had it swears by it. And just as uniformly, they were all reluctant to get it put in. She will reach a point where she is not getting the proper nutrition and will begin to lose weight. When this happens, the doctors will likely put her on it, whether she wants to have it or not. It is for the best. Good nutrition is important to help her body rebuild from the destructive effects of the radiation.


Brian, stage 4 oral cancer survivor. OCF Founder and Director. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.

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