The other day, I was eating a bowl of chili soup for lunch and I hadn’t realized how hot it was that I burned my mouth and tongue. After the initial reaction of pain, I realized that my mouth felt a little raw and sensitive which brought back some memories of my chemo side effects. One of my side effects was mouth sores. My mouth and tongue would feel so raw that I would immediately feel pain when I would try to eat certain foods. Besides not being able to taste food, my mouth sores would also reject most solid foods during certain days. In case you are wondering, yes, sometimes, it was a liquid diet for me. I used to drink meal replacement shakes to keep my nutrition in check and now at times, I still drink them from time to time. My mouth sores were dreadful and my gums and teeth were very sensitive at times as well. On the other hand, when I went through radiation, I did not experience mouth sores but it caused for my throat to become extremely dry. Some of the possible side effects from radiation were possible loss of voice or change in voice so experiencing dryness in my throat is a plus compared to the alternative. Up to today, I did not experience a change in my voice, but I do continue to experience dryness in my throat therefore I continuously drink water to help alleviate the dryness.
As a cancer survivor, I continue to have my physically visible scars such as those of the biopsy done on my neck and those of where they inserted and removed my portacath. In addition, I have my internal scars that others are unable to see and I am the only one who knows my pains. Life is not always easy, but I am so grateful to be alive today to be able to experience life to the fullest. Full disclosure, some days are hard but there are days that are marvelous. Life is beautiful despite all the challenges.