Shit is getting real now! No more reading about side effects on the hand outs. No more web surfing and listening to the doctors & nurses. It is time to deal with the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.
The major side effect thus far is a dry throat. On each inhale, I can feel the dryness of the air as it travels to the lungs. There is a persistent tickle in the back of the throat that will not go away. Every cough is equally dry and can trigger a gag reflex when enough effort is put into it. Noticeable too is the reduced saliva production.
There is still enough that the mouth feels kind of normal, but I can feel it slowly changing. The doctors warn that it will become more thick and stringy as the treatments continue.
Another side effect is the change in skin color around my neck and under my jaw. They now have the appearance of a mild sunburn. I apply a cream to the area two or three times a day to keep the skin moisturized.
Perhaps the most frustrating of the current side effects is the way my taste buds are reacting to all the abuse. The treatments tweak the taste buds, which then causes food to taste different. I know it is cuz of the treatments, but some foods just do not taste good anymore. I noticed it two days ago. I popped a lozenge to keeping the saliva flowing, and spit it out within a minute. It just did not taste good. This will be the biggest challenge over time: to continue eating food my mind knows I like while my taste buds say the food is different or nasty. I understand this is a big part of why some people stop eating during cancer treatment.
I’ll update the side effect once a week. I think that is all the time I want to put into this subject. I much prefer focusing on Sock Swag and the Sock Game.