On my last day of radiation, I distinctly remember walking out of the radiation center feeling very jubilant and hopeful. Not only were my sessions done and over with but the nurse’s reassurance that each week thereafter will make me feel even better and stronger.
Soon afterwards, I noticed that I started having difficulty swallowing where my esophagus met the stomach. I felt pain with each time I swallowed any solid food or gulped a drink. Liquids, however, were more tolerable as long as I sipped it slowly. My strength deteriorated and fatigue worsened further, and developed tachycardia soon afterwards (and lasted till April/May, my radiation concluded in February). I was out of breath and couldn’t even climb 11 steps to second floor to get to my bedroom without gasping for breath! My face swelled up and the irradiated areas in the back (along the spine and in the front) changed color and became black and blue(and later in the stomach as well). Other things that developed and I am still feeling with in May is skin dryness, excessive flakiness, skin peeling, swelling of feet, etc.
I continued on Manjistha (to help cleanse the blood and lipids) and Ashwagandha (for strength and — stress), along with good nutrition (stews and soup with a lot of green vegetables) and stayed away from raw food/vegetables which Ayurveda says is hard for the stomach to digest. Wore loose soft fabrics. Drank mostly warm water for deep cells absorption and later added coconut water. Also in April returned to pilates!