So it turns out that what I thought was oddly early response to the radiation–trouble swallowing, a burning in my mouth, dryness in my throat–is actually a raging case of thrush. If you don’t know what it looks like, do yourself a favor and DO NOT Google image search it. Thrush is not a pretty sight, trust me!
Last night, I woke up every two hours or so with my throat dry as the desert, and feeling weirdly tight. It wasn’t until around 4:30 am that the light bulb went on over my head and I literally opened my eyes and said, “Thrush.” Sure enough, the doctor confirmed it at this morning’s radiation and I’m on an anti-fungal medication.
At the start of treatment, the radiation nurse gave me a little mirror and told me to check my mouth every day for “sores and spots.” I hadn’t been doing that, so I missed at least 3-4 days when I would have probably seen spots in my mouth. I really wish I had caught it earlier. Lesson learned!
It may be a general side effect, or it may be a sign my immune system is taking a hit from the chemo. I’ll find out more tomorrow when I have my blood tested.
The best way to describe the feeling of thrush is to imagine your mouth and throat have been infested with tiny spiders. You can’t feel them crawling around, but they have filled your throat and mouth with their little webs. It’s a combination of a full feeling, mushy mouth and burning pain that I’ve never quite experienced before.
So if you ever hear a baby crying because he has thrush, pat that poor little guy on the head because this stuff sucks!