Standing Up To Cancer: 20 Days Into Treatment

Standing Up To Cancer: 20 Days Into Treatment

Here’s an update on how I’m doing with radiation and chemotherapy treatments. This article is about how I’m Standing Up To Cancer 20 Days Into Treatment. My first blog post about it can be found here:

Standing Up To Cancer: The Bad and Ugly 

Daily Dose of Hope:

After reading my first article, a friend recommended aloe-vera for the face. She recommended putting it on the affected area one hour before treatments and immediately after. I’ve been doing this in addition to my regular moisturizing process. My daughter, Amanda, called me daily after treatments for the first few weeks to ‘make sure’ I was moisturizing my face. I’m so glad she got a few products and we started really keeping my face moisturized weeks before treatment even started. I think this has really helped keep the outside of my face looking somewhat normal.

Day 10 of radiation: More of the same – pain, soreness and experiencing more exhaustion.

Day 11 of radiation: I’m noticing my face itching at times and more redness. I’m also experiencing more sores inside the mouth and on the lips.

Day 12 of radiation: More of the same.

Day 13 of radiation: More of the same and I’ve noticed that *none* of the cold sore remedies are working. It’s one extra thing to do each day to clean and prep.

Week 3 chemo: I am feeling pretty good with the exception of increased nausea. Today was a pivotal point for me with pain management. I’ve never been one to take pain medications unless the pain was really bad. Even then, sometimes I would push through. With the help of my friends Linda and Mark and my chemo nurse, Amanda, I realized that my body will heal better if it’s not in pain. I know I know… So, I got over myself, allowed the nurse to give me pain medications and have the doctor prescribe pain medicine for home. I’ve been taking care of myself through pain management, as needed. I didn’t realize how much my face was showing pain until they all mentioned it and encouraged me to be okay with pain meds. This was a huge ah-ha for me.

Day 15 of radiation: I felt pretty fortunate that the effects of chemo were pretty light (from my perspective) and today started an extremely difficult day of nausea. Both nausea medications are barely keeping things at bay.

Over the weekend, I was doing dishes and the smells of everything in the sink and such was too much and I got sick. When I eat, I’m nauseated. When I’m hungry, I’m nauseated. When I drink anything, I’m nauseous. It’s not a good thing. My nose picks up smells and creates nausea all.the.time. It’s amazing how smells are affecting me and never have before. I’ve started getting most of my nutrition through the feeding tube (which is doing much better!) and I get nauseous after tube feeding, too. It definitely makes it difficult to get the nutrition and calories in which is also important for healing and well-being.

Day 16 of radiation: My entire face and neck feel like a massive sunburn inside and out. My throat is noticeably sorer and it’s increasingly difficult to swallow. I’m also noticing my ears hurt.

Day 17 of radiation: More of the same.

Day 18 of radiation: More of the same. Increased ear pressure.

Week 4 chemo: Pain level is a 6 1/2… Lots of nausea and pain. For the first time after chemo, I went straight to bed when I got home and stayed there until it was time to get up for radiation the next day. Feeling really wiped out.

Day 20 of radiation: Increased redness around the face and neck. More of the same.

Standing Up To Cancer: The Good

Here are the pretty amazeballs positive things that are happening:

1. The tumor on the top/ridge of my mouth is shrinking…like noticeably smaller. The surface is smooth and equal to the right side of the mouth. YAY! It’s doing its job:-)

2. The tumor around the maxillary sinuses is shrinking. My face isn’t as swollen either.

Overall, I’m really excited about the progress. Yes, head and neck cancer sucks. It hurts. But when you can see and feel the treatments working, it makes the pain worth it. After all, I’m here for the long haul.


Next Steps

If you or anyone you know is going through a difficult time, such as cancer, I invite you to get your FREE Daily Dose of HopeHope is the beginning of all healing. I wish I had this when I was going through cancer. Get your Daily Dose of Hope HERE.

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Tandy Elisala

Family Caregiver Coach, Cancer Empowerment Advocate and Chief Inspiration Officer at Center for Inspiring Greatness | Empowered Family Caregiver
Tandy Elisala is passionate about helping family caregivers go from being overwhelmed and stressed to empowered and calm. Tandy went through cancer four times and learned how to heal using conventional, complementary, and alternative therapy. Tandy left her corporate career to take care of both parents simultaneously while raising three kids as a single mom. She took care of both parents for 2 1/2 years until their respective deaths. Tandy now teaches what she learned on her journey. Tandy is a family caregiver coach, a multiple best-selling author, inspirational speaker and mom to three adult kids, one angel dog and one diva cat.

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3 replies
  1. Holly Jahangiri
    Holly Jahangiri says:

    Your positive attitude will get you through this. It’s wonderful that the treatments are doing their job; it sucks that you have to go through this, but it beats the alternatives. I’m four years out from breast cancer and thankful they caught it early enough to manage it surgically – without the chemo and radiation. It’s a lot to go through.

    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Hi Holly, thanks for stopping by. Congrats on being cancer free for four years. That’s awesome. The first 3 times for me got it with just surgery too but this time was more extensive. I agree that a positive attitude is the best medicine and really makes a difference in outcomes.


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