Today I told to my husband that I thought his hearing was going, as he had the TV too loud. Instead he suggested I look at it a different way, and that my hearing might be getting better!

I also ate my first real bar of chocolate! About a year after the end of my treatment I found I could suck smarties, and then maltezers. At Easter I found I could eat thin chocolate, such as easter eggs and buttons. But I still couldn't manage large chunks of chocolate. Today I needed chocolate, it was a tough day at work, so I bought a Twirl, and I managed to eat it. I am stunned that I can stil see improvements after all this time.

Recently my eyesight has improved, I can now read books again, without having to wear reading glasses. I am holding out hope that my digestive system will also return to normal in the near future. (I've had to take immodium since I stopped taking morphine).

P.S. Apologies for the advertising of chocolate bars!
Original Post
Hey girlies!
My eyes went blurry on chemo but were fine after about a week.
My hearing is great once i distinguish between the tinnitus & real sounds. Roll Eyes
But i also get frequent ear infections as the R/T gave me granulated skin round the ear drum.
Hearing complaints & cisplatin seem to be a reocuring theme. Hence the reason i had hearing tests before during and after treatment.

Jenni,
great to see you're doing well! & have come a long way!
Hi Chelle & Anne,
My eyesight went blurry during chemo as well, but I also lost the ability to focus close up. I had already bought some reading glasses for fine print, but after the chemo I couldn't read anything without my glasses.

I have just remembered some of my school biology (and that has to mean the chemo brain is over as that was quite a long time ago). I have looked up smooth muscles on wikipedia. Apparently smooth muscles control the eyes and the gastrointestinal tract, both of which have caused me problems since the treatment ended. Also smooth muscles use calcium to contract. At Christmas I realised I wasn't eating any dairy products (except for ice cream) and my nails had started to flake. As a woman approaching the menopause I was concerned that my bones would be in a similar state and so I started taking a calcium supplement. Maybe this is what has made the difference.

Has anybody else had similar problems, or does anybody with any medical knowledge have an opinion on this?
My hearing has gone downhill since treatment. I have glue ear in both ears which cannot be resolved by grommetts as my ear canals are too narrow.

I also have tinnitis in my right ear (the side where I had the op & R/T) Hospital also told me that cisplatin may have damaged my hearing.

I'm off to hospital for hearing tests tomorrow.
Chelle - Yes, I know what you mean - I got told off for pressing when there were no beeps. My tinitus is on a very similar frequency to some of them!

Anyway I had my tests on Friday. Comparing the results with the tests I had in November was interesting. Left ear (the better one) has improved and now only has significant loss at the highest frequencies. Right ear has get worse, with loss at the mid range & higher frequencies.

Conclusion from all this is that I would benefit from a hearing aid in my right ear, but that an aid would not help my left ear at all as they don't help with those high frequencies much. Alternative is to have an op on my right ear to widen the canal and fit a grommett. I was also told that a hearing aid may stop/reduce the timitus.

I'll discuss all this with my consultant in September and in the meantime benefit from selective hearing!
Talking about hearing - I have it well figured out. When I do not want to continue a converstaion or do not feel like talking , my normal excuse is that in can hardly talk or hear.However, if the occasion demands - I have great hearing and did pretty well in the hearing test. See what I mean - I am ok in all respects but the cancer has decided to reenter my life - but atleast I will not be a dead man alive at the end of this epic.
Lots of love,
Ananth
Ahh yes... Selective hearing.
All men get this... it's most probably in their genetics poor things.
Eg. Me - "could you put the washing out for me?" .... no response... Or Me - "Top gears on" Amir - "great! Be there in a mo" Roll Eyes
I thought EVERYONE knew men only hear what they want to hear?!
Hi All!
My sight went down hill during my treatment and I mentioned it to the Oncology Specialist and he could not understand how that could be, my hearing hasn't changed but that was always a bit crook, it has been 5 weeks since I finished my treatment and my eyesight is still not the best but it is improving, I only wish my taste buds would start to to improve so I could at least taste the drinks if I mixed them but every day I add smoe cordial or juice to my diet to no avail.
Love TREV
Evening Trev,Re:eyesight.Were you on Cisplatin?According to Cancer.org .uk"Blurred vision can be a side effect of high doses of Cisplatin for some time after treatment has finished, but usually gets better on its own"
I dont know what they mean by high doses, but Brian reacts against all medication whatever the dose, you may well be the same.
Good to read you are improving, this illness really does teach us patience. Brians progress has been slow, but 3yrs on, he's now enjoying most food & drink with just the occasional relapse. All the best, Fran.
Hi Trev,

Cisplatin is a chemo drug with rather unpleasant side effects and blurred eyesight is definitely one of them. It took over a year before my eyesight returned to normal, it got a lot better within a few weeks, but after 18 months I would say (and so does my optician) that my sight has returned to what it was before the treatment.
The other thing to remember about chemo is
' Anticancer drugs therefore, affect all actively dividing cells regardless of their type, be they cancerous or not'
For loads of info about Cisplatin, click CISPLATIN but the chemistry is way over my head.
i too have had the blurry eyesite with cisplatin it also gave me kidney problems,its good to hear jenni that you are reaching new milestones as it gives me hope that soon i may be able to eat something, chocolate burns my mouth something rotten but i am only 6 months out of treatment.i am noticing some changes like a little more saliva etc but still no tastebuds to speak of.have a nice day love shirl xxx
Hi Shirl,
It does take ages before these things recover. I got depressed at about 6 months, as I was told that the taste buds and saliva were about as good as they were going to get.
They certainly didn't tell me before I had the treatment that I wouldn't be able to eat chocolate for a year! I found that it just stuck to the roof of my mouth - horrid. I found that as with so many things I had to return to childrens products, and I was able to eat very small portions of chocolate such as buttons, or smarties to start with. I think that Chelle gets hre chocolate fix from chocolate muffins. Unfortunately my diet has changed in some major ways and I need to use a lot of butter to help me swallow bread, and I find it very difficult to deny myself anything that I want to eat, after so many months of trying to tempt myself, and so the weight has now piled back on, and I am more overweight than when I started.
hi jenni
i am six months out and can tell you i have been very depressed the last couple of weeks it seems like without food there is nothing to look forward too .yet there is much more to look forward too but sometimes you cant see the wood for the trees.chocolate sticks in my mouth and burns it jenni were you like that at 6 months?its the savory stuff i miss and yet i was a chocoholic!!! as for the weight jenni when the time is right for you it will come off.have a good day love shirl xxx
Hi Shirl,

You are describing exactly how I felt after 6 months. It doesn't help that the consultants (I presume you are seeing Dr Boote) don't seem to know how much more recovery there still is to go. Pauline reassured me, and she told me that my tastebuds and saliva glands would still make quite dramatic improvements. Althopugh it is tough now, don't despair things really will improve, and you will find other alternatives to what you can't manage. I even went for a curry recently, although it was only a very mild and creamy one.

Jenni
hi jenni
i see dr dubois he has told me that i will get taste buds back but they wont be like they were.he thought the saliva would be more of a problem but that is coming back slowly.i like dr dubois a bit eccentric but lovely and smiley all the same.i have more energy these days and i have cut the mst down to half now but i wish they would be more honest with us at the start.they told me 6 months and i would be back to normal.i have come a long way but its still the lack of eating getting me down.have a nice day,love shirl xxx
Jenni & shirl

I'm almost exactly a year since I finished 6 weeks of daily R/T, I can eat almost anything and taste seems to be back to normal.

A few weeks after the end of R/T I mentioned the lack of taste and the hospital put me on a soluble zince supplement - it worked a treat for me.
200 minutes
I am a firm believer in the healing properties of zinc ~ it is fantastic for cold sores which one of our boys gets when he's rundown. It stops them in their tracks and they don't get to see the light of day if you get onto it immediately.
It has crossed my mind that it might be beneficial for Trevor but didn't know that it was available in a soluble form. Thank you so much for that information. I will definitely be finding some this very day for Trevor.
Cheers
Deborah
Hi Guys
I went into the local health food shop today to ask if they had soluble zinc and of course they had a syrup or powder form. The guy said that if there was an odd taste when taking the syrup it was usually an indication of zinc deficiecy ~ why did I want it? I said about Trevor having had chemo and the whole bad taste/no taste thing and said that is surely an indication of needing zinc. Here's hoping everyone soon has a boost in their taste. 200 mins ~ you may very well achieve saintly status!
Deborah
xo
Robert has been taking zinc which has greatly improved both his saliva and his taste but I am now wondering if this is what has caused his lump as the consultants think it's a blocked salivary gland from over stimulation.

He's having a CT scan on Monday which hopefully will be able to tell us more.
Hi Lorraine - seems you cant do right for doing wrong! here's hoping for good result on Monday.

Shirl/Jenni, Bill has likened this whole 'event' to being at war. He sees it as : "they tell you a certain length of time because if you were in the army and you had to get to a certain point and they didn't have transport, they would tell you it was 2 miles, then when you got there, they would say it will be just another 2, then just another 2 and so on till you actually got there".

Deborah, will have a go with the zinc
hi all
went for my appt today clinic was running so late my appt was 11.20 got in at 2pm nearly lost the will to live.never saw my consultant but everything is still looking good no sign of the tumour returning.spoke to my dietician about zinc she thought it wouldn't hurt to try so i will be off to holland and barrett this weekend to get some.hope you have all had a good day love shirl xxx
Angie,

You are so right about the way the NHS gives out information. It seems to be on a need to know basis, but don't we need to know at the very start.

Shirl,

Wonderful news about your check-up, you'll probably find that you get a little anxious and down just before every one, I know I do.
I have been taking some supplements, as my diet is not very well balanced. I don't drink any milk, or eat a lot of cheese, so I take a calcium supplement. I started taking this because my nails were flaking, and if my nails were lacking calcium, I was worried about my bones. I also take a multi-vitamin, which includes zinc, as well as Glucosamine + Chondroitin, whic is great for the connective tissue in joints. I recently stopped taking this because my knee joints were not hurting as much, and now I have hurt a ligament under my foot, so I'm back to taking the supplements again. I never used to believe in taking supplements because I thought you should be able to get all you need from a balanced diet, but after chemo I think you need to take extra vitamins and minerals to repair the damage that the chemo has caused. Also with the problems with eating caused by radio/chemo/surgery for head and neck cancer I think we need to be extra careful about making sure we get all the nutrition we need.

Try the zinc, I hope it works, but also think about what else you might be missing out on.

Jenni

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