Thursday, November 20, 2008

This is for Mike S.!!! More on salivary gland treatments!!

Every once in a while, I get a comment from a thyroid cancer survivor who's found my blog. I'm only too happy to help and hope that they get some comfort or reassurance or sympathy from reading my cancer experiences. I know it helped me to talk to people who had been through it before and I would have loved to stumble across a blog by a "thycan"!

Oh, btw, I forgot to tell y'all that my good friend at work, Jen, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer right as I was leaving! Can you believe that??? Seriously, we were the dynamic duo, our offices were right across the hall from each other and we worked the same issues tag team style. She's my age, similar lifestyle... anyway, she found a lump in her neck, just like I did! She asked me about it one day and I just told her I was sure it was nothing. Now she is going to have surgery pretty much on the exact same day as me, right before Thanksgiving! Our office in the State Department is launching an investigation to find out whether the two cases are related, even though I told them I found my lump before I ever even moved to D.C. Who knows... I'm interested to find out if they discover anything.

So! Mike S. Thanks for your comment! I hope your girlfriend is doing ok and please tell her to email me if she has any questions (new.michelle@gmail.com). As for the salivary gland pain, mine started after I was treated with radioactive iodine (RAI), which is the standard treatment for thyroid cancer, but doesn't happen usually until 8 weeks after the surgery to remove the thyroid. The RAI concentrates in the salivary glands and basically nukes them, which is an undesirable side effect of an otherwise very effective treatment! If your girlfriend hasn't been treated with RAI, then it's somewhat more mysterious... not sure how the thyroid surgery would cause salivary gland pain? It could just be a freak coincidence where she is having an inflammation in a salivary gland - it happens sometimes - and hers is coinciding with her thyroidectomy. Either way she would benefit from the salivary gland relief drill:

- drink LOTS of water, take small sips while eating
- swish several times a day with warm water + baking soda mix
- use Biotene (dry mouth) mouthwash and toothpaste - regular toothpaste will aggravate it
- warm compresses can help
- massage the gland with an up and forward motion to coax saliva out of the ducts
- take Mucinex - it helps thin the saliva so it can get out of the ducts easier

Those things really helped me, you just gotta do the drill every day several times a day. Have faith! Eventually they do normalize again!

Good luck!

1 comment:

Mike S. said...

Hi Michelle, thanks for you response!! Like I said earlier, I've never been on a blog before, so I'm not used to going back to check it!!

Her salivary pains are gone - but she has not gone through the radioactive treatment yet. We were looking through the low iodine diet. UMMMM - WTH?? How did you survive? What is there to eat besides fruit? Any life saving goodies that saved you from going insane???

Thanks again!!

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