Tracheostomy, peg tube, throat cancer

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Tracheostomy, peg tube, throat cancer

by lorialbrecht on Sun Oct 25, 2009 04:36 PM

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My dad had cancer of the larynx 10 years ago.  Went through multiple rad treats then chemo w/port and office visits few times a week.  Beat it.  Since then the scar tissue in his throat has been slowly closing the air way and esophagus over the yrs.  He went in for a permanent tracheostomy 2 wks ago.  Had complications w/esophagus and couldn't swallow after the trach was put in.  He went a week on an IV hoping the swelling would go down enough to swallow again, but no luck, kept asperating even water.  He was given a peg tube in the stomach.  He will be now going for weekly esophagus stretchings in hopes it will stay open enough at least for a liquid diet.  He refused to go to speech thearpy after finishing his treatments 10 years ago which I believe was the #1 worst mistake.  Reading over the years the benefits of speech thearpy teaching how to swallow and talk with scar tissue - to not aggrivate it more with forced talking, swallowing, coughing, etc.  He is 68, retired from owning a successful business, bored and depressed without the grind he loved and hated.  Entertaining and going out for a good meal with friends and family was one of the few things he really enjoyed.  He won't see friends - too depressed with the secretions of the trach, too depressed to have to be fed through a stomach tube.  It is still early and we keep telling him it will get better, friends keep calling, hope they don't give up...He does look a lot better since the trach- dosn't have to use the sleep apnea machine, his color is back, energy level is better, eyes are brighter, more aware.  Doc said he was slowly asphyxiating, was a matter of time the airway would collapse completely.  Damn scar tissue - damn radiation, thought it was hell seeing him going through the treatments just to wait 10 years to see him go through hell because of side effects from it.  He is up half the night coughing up secretions, both parents only getting a few hours of sleep here & there.  Any advise out there, will the secretions subside enough for a good nights sleep? It's been 2 weeks, how long before the secretions subside?  Anyone have the issue with the esophagus after the trach?  Any hope the esophagus will open enough to swallow again?  Love to hear from someone with similar experiences. Lori

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