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IMRT & Cisplatin Side Effects

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Old 07-26-2007, 10:48 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fl
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vibyd76 HB User
IMRT & Cisplatin Side Effects

My significant other was diagnosed with Head and Neck Cancer (Squamous Cell Carcinoma - Unknown Primary). For the past 5 weeks he has undergone IMRT everyday and Cisplatin Chemo once weekly. Treatment has not good well. He is always sick (nauseated), he sleeps all the time, his mouth is dry, no taste, his tongue burns, can't eat, etc... He pretty much has all the side effects. So far he has lost 20 pounds and he has 2 weeks left of therapy. He does not eat because everything makes him sick and everything he tries to eat tastes rotten. He's tried Ensure, Boost and nothing agrees with him. The only shake he can drink, is a protein drink called Muscle Milk and it's a good day when he's able to drink 2 of them. He has not eaten solid food in 3 weeks. He is on Emend, Zofran, Reglan, Compazine, Anzemet, Clorazepan and nothing works. Any suggestions out there on how to improve side effects? Oh, and for the dry mouth he is on this "miracle" mouthwash which does not work either. He has so many prescriptions, which are all garbage!!

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Old 07-26-2007, 07:04 PM   #2
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Re: IMRT & Cisplatin Side Effects

I am sorry treatment is so rough for your friend. I also had a tough time eating while on chemo. Lost my taste and sense of smell and that made it hard to get anything down.. like a piece of cheese felt like a wad of fat in my mouth.

What I did find to help my dry mouth and kept me hydrated was watermelon. At home and in the hospital that is all I would eat most times for weeeks. Once a week, during the week I had the chemo (five day regiment every month), I had a dosage of a steroid and when I did, I would eat anything in sight for about four hours. That wasn't the purpose of the steroid, but a side effect of it. Maybe the doctor would have some thoughts about steroid use with the purpose of causing an appetite at least once a week? Just a thought.

Good wishes for both of you

Old 08-01-2007, 05:53 PM   #3
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girlcat36 HB User
Re: IMRT & Cisplatin Side Effects

Sorry to hear about the rough time. I am 7 weeks out from the same treatment. It's no fun, but I was spared the worst of the side effects. Does your SO have a feeding tube? They insisted that I get one, just in case. I did not need to use it, I kept the ability to swallow solid foods. Like Reachout,I also was given a steroid after each chemo treatment. I received acupuncture every week during treatments, do you have access to that? Have you tried mixing up your own protein drinks? You can make them very high calorie with the addition of olive oil, whole milk, and coconut milk( and of course protein powder). Also you cannot rinse the mouth too many times with the salt- baking soda water. Best of luck to you.

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