Two years on from my last thyroid cancer treatment, and life is going well. I’m back at work 2 days per week, and am learning to live with the legacy of radiotherapy. External beam radiotherapy damages the lymph drainage system, and I’ve had to learn how to live with lymphoedema of the neck. It’s a horrible condition to have, but with daily massage it’s possible to have a relatively normal life.
Do you suffer from lymphoedema? How does it affect you? I find that if the build up of fluid is not massaged away, then I’m unable to swallow. Luckily I was finally given an appointment with the lymphoedema nurse just as I was becoming quite desperate. My husband has been taught the correct way to massage my neck, and I’m not suffering so much as I used to.
The other legacy from 30 sessions of external beam radiotherapy to the neck is that my eyes are constantly infected, sore and red. It’s becoming harder to sit at the computer and type for any length of time. Nothing seems to work. I use antibiotic ointment and lubricating drops, but every day now I seem to suffer with sore eyes. I’ve sent off for an eye bath, as I’ve read that soaking the eyes in warm water might help. I’m running out of options in that department…
However, I feel okay apart from the sore eyes. I’ve published a paperback edition charting my 15 year journey through papillary thyroid cancer. I hope it might be helpful for anybody suffering from the same condition: