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Old 12-19-2002, 06:24 AM   #1
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Question Husbands mouth cancer / info on cemo/radiation treatments

My husband had mouth and throat resection surgery 4 weeks ago. He is about to start cemo & radiation for 7 weeks. Can anyone tell me what to expect in the way of side effects, I know they differ in each person but any information on what to expect from anyone who has been there would be helpful.

 
Old 12-22-2002, 10:08 PM   #2
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My husband is undergoing chemo and radiation for liver cancer. These are two entirely different cancers. I can't tell you much in the way of side effects for his type of chemo unless you know what drugs are int her treatments, all I can do is pray that your husband's are less than mine.

 
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Old 12-23-2002, 07:43 AM   #3
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Thank you for your thought, it is scary not knowing what to expect.

 
Old 12-23-2002, 09:04 PM   #4
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Can you tell us what type of chemotherapy he's being given? The symptoms are really quite dependent upon the specific type of chemo.

As for the radiation, usually radiation treatment is done daily, five days a week, for 20-30 treatments. It's usually only done on weekdays, so it takes anywhere from 4-6 weeks. Some people experience fatigue; others don't. There can be some burning of the skin, but that is usually treatable with soothing preparations. The radiation oncologist should recommend something if that happens. There usually isn't any nausea with radiation unless the stomach/intestines or certain parts of the brain are involved.

Let me know what kind of chemo he's on, and maybe I can give you some info.

Ruth


 
Old 01-06-2003, 06:57 AM   #5
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He will be getting cemo once a week for six weeks thru a port for 2-3 hours each time. I have heard that ginger tea and ice chips during treatment have helped. I have also read about a bracelet that some people swear by, fact or fiction?

 
Old 01-13-2003, 07:50 PM   #6
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I've heard of the ginger tea for helping with the nausea. The bracelet sounds strange, although I've heard of a "sailor's bracelet" that, when worn correctly, pushes on a spot just inside the wrist that happens to coincide with one of the accupressure points known for helping relieve nausea caused by motion sickness.

Ask your Oncologist about Zofran, a very powerful anti-nausea medicine that is often given/prescribed to chemo/radiation patients. Just in case the nausea can't be controlled by ginger tea.

 
Old 02-06-2003, 01:25 PM   #7
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My father had neck cancer and underwent radiation. He got pretty badly burned on his neck, and the radiation eliminated his salivary glands, so he now has trouble chewing food with such a dry mouth. He, however, did not end up needing chemo, so I really can't help you on that one.

[This message has been edited by Liv0724 (edited 02-06-2003).]

 
Old 02-06-2003, 03:30 PM   #8
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Do you mean after the radiation the problem with eating still stayed? I thought most of the problems ended with recuperation.
My husband is now in his 4th week of cemo/radiation and it's starting to get pretty bad. Next Monday he will have a stomach tube put in because he can't swallow anything not even water and they have been hydrating him by IV's the last 2 days.All I know is they keep telling us that he will be better after all this is over but getting thru it is really hard.

 
Old 02-06-2003, 11:22 PM   #9
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Parisi,
Unfortunately, throat and mouth cancer are quite difficult to treat as far as side effects go, since the area being irradiated contains tissue that is very sensitive. Having said that, however, I do want you to know that as awful as it seems now, recovery is worth it.

A very dear friend of mine had the same type of cancer and underwent surgery, radiation and chemo. He had a lot of problems with his teeth due to the radiation, and had to have a lot of dental work done but now, 2 years after treatment, he is feeling terrific and is, so far, still cancer-free.

It's really difficult while a loved one is going through it to believe that it will be worth it in the long run, but I think it helps to focus on the end goal...life, and hopefully a cancer-free life.


 
Old 02-07-2003, 03:17 AM   #10
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Yes, it is hard to watch him going thru all this but thank you for the reminder that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 
Old 02-07-2003, 11:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by PARISI:
Do you mean after the radiation the problem with eating still stayed? I thought most of the problems ended with recuperation.
My husband is now in his 4th week of cemo/radiation and it's starting to get pretty bad. Next Monday he will have a stomach tube put in because he can't swallow anything not even water and they have been hydrating him by IV's the last 2 days.All I know is they keep telling us that he will be better after all this is over but getting thru it is really hard.
I know how you feel. My dad also had a stomach tube put in, but the doctor that did it screwed up, and scar tissue formed, which interfered with his digestion. He takes about 24 hours to digest even one full meal- and the salavary gland problems are there for life- but he is alive, and cancer-free- so thats all that matters.


 
Old 02-07-2003, 04:35 PM   #12
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Today the doctors decided to just put in a nose tube and he'll have that for the remainder of his treatments. I had to feed him that way after the operation so I'm an old hand at the liquid/bag feeding tube. He can already feel the difference getting nutrition and water. The only thing now is he's developed and infection, I guess from the radiation and that's adding to the pain and discomfort. This taking it one day at a time is the only way to get thru because you just don't know what tomorrow will bring. Hopefully, we'll look back on this afew months from now and be grateful that the treatments were available to cure him.

 
Old 02-10-2003, 08:21 AM   #13
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I know when my dad had it ( he has stage 4 lung cancer now 10 years after he was in remission for mouth and throat) anyway he had radiation he also did get raw where the radiation was taking place. he lost his taste buds and i know now he still can't eat spicy food (his favorite food) and he lost some teeth due to it killing some of the roots. not sure that happens to everybody but i know that happened to him.

 
Old 02-10-2003, 02:37 PM   #14
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Sorry to hear about your dad, that's got to be very hard after so long cancer free. Once cancer has touched your life I guess you are always afraid of what the future holds. I know we are hoping that this is the first & last time he will have to go thru anything like this, I don't think he would do it again. As far as his teeth, he has upper & lower dentures so at least we don't have to deal with tooth loss. He also loves spicy foods and I'm just hoping that he can still enjoy them down the line. Take care and my thoughts are with your dad.

 
Old 05-03-2003, 11:07 AM   #15
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Paris how is your husband doing? My husband had squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue. He had a biopsy, then surgery to remove part of his tongue, salivary glands on that side, 17 lymph nodes in his neck, then had all his teeth pulled out, then 37 radiation treatments. He was not able to eat anything at all for sevral weeks, but refused a feeding tube. He lost almost a hundred pounds. The radiation killed the remaining salivary glands. That was a little more than 2 years ago. He has regained the tastebuds, and now has dentures, he still has dry mouth because the salivary glands will never come back, but thank God he is still alive and is cancer free. It was a very long, hard road to go down with him, and very painful for me to go through with him, but we made it and so can the two of you. Let us know how he is doing.
Karen in Texas
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