The Questionable Value of Salagen / Pilocarpine

I’ve been trying to reach some sort of conclusion about the value of taking Salagen (aka pilocarpine) to offset the dry mouth syndrome. Well, at least I am starting to question the value for my particular situation. Pilocarpine (or the commercial name Salagen) is touted as being one solution to dry mouth. It is supposed to actually stimulate saliva production. Now, given that I’m down to one saliva gland because of the radiation treatment, I thought that it might be something worth trying. I was initially disappointed with my doctors because they didn’t suggest it right off the bat. I’m … Continue reading The Questionable Value of Salagen / Pilocarpine

Protecting the saliva glands

I find myself quite tired these past couple of days. Hard living over the weekend? Weather changes? Post Labour Day blues? Not really sure what it is…I promised someone (do you think I can remember who?) over the weekend that I would look up the name of the drug that has the potential to reduce radiation damage to saliva glands. It was something that I was NOT offered… and boy, does that piss me off. It is possible that it hasn’t been approved for use in Canada, yet. But it has been in use in the USA for some time … Continue reading Protecting the saliva glands

QOL=Quality of Life

Its now been 5 months since we started active treatment for oropharyngeal carcinoma which included surgery, chemo therapy and radiation therapy. I am ‘back to work’, usually a sign that most things are back to normal, other than the obvious emotional impact that swirls in the wake of any cancer diagnosis. In my case, I am also very disappointed in my current Quality of Life to the point that it is becoming a focus of potential depression. My tongue still doesn’t work the way its supposed to. My tongue still feels swollen, pulls to the right and generally is not … Continue reading QOL=Quality of Life

Nearly there…

I really do have to say that the last few weeks feels like running a marathon unprepared. I am tired, weak, sloughing off the pounds and, as of Monday of this week, was pronounced ‘dehydrated’.Eating is not the first thing on my personal agenda, but it would appear that weight gain is at the top of my caregivers’ list. Now, to be fair, I haven’t tried any proper food in over a week, but have restricted my intake to Ensure, Boost and variations on a theme. There may actually be some taste sensation coming back but I wouldn’t really know, … Continue reading Nearly there…

Visiting with Irene at COMPRU

This afternoon I spent a couple of hours with Irene of the COMPRU team, essentially going through the same process/procedures that we did last November. (And I got up the nerve to ask her if those brilliant blue eyes were really hers. She does wear blue lenses over her own grey-blue eyes. Its a fabulous effect!)We started off with the head shots: full frontal, three quarter frontal, both sides and half frontal, both sides. Then we went into another examination room where they took closeup shots of my mouth. It takes three of ’em to do it; one to hold … Continue reading Visiting with Irene at COMPRU