Updated: Aug 2
Our July support group meeting was a resounding success, with the addition of five new members – all with different head and neck cancers and all at different stages of their treatment. As always, our discussions centred around the various side effects of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery treatments for head and neck cancer. Regardless of where the tumour is, or what the treatment is, many of us find commonality in loss of taste, difficulty swallowing, fatigue and self-consciousness caused by the visual impacts of treatment.
One of the most common side effects experienced by many of us is the alteration of our sense of taste. During the meeting, we shared our personal experiences and strategies for coping with this challenge. From experimenting with different flavours and textures to trying new devices and or ways to increase saliva production, we discovered that there are numerous ways to adapt and find joy in food again. Eventually!
Fatigue is a common side effect that can significantly impact our daily lives. During the meeting, we explored different strategies to manage and combat fatigue. From incorporating regular exercise and restorative sleep to practicing mindfulness and pacing ourselves, we discovered that finding a balance between activity and rest is crucial.
A quick reminder that World Head and Neck Cancer Day is on 27th July. Head and Neck Cancer Australia is partnering with Dry for July and you can join HANCA’s Team or make a donation here.
We are reminded that recovery from treatment can take much longer than we expected, but the positivity amongst the group is a testament to the resilience and determination of our head and neck cancer community. We look forward to our next meeting in August. Don’t forget to register!