Choking/suffocating on Mucus

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RE: Choking/suffocating on Mucus

by sharonrrgross on Wed Mar 05, 2014 07:09 PM

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Thank you for the infomation. He has completed 31 rounds of radiation and 7 of Chemo. This is the beginning of the second week of recovery from the treatments. We are taking one day at a time and are feeling so blessed. I want my husband back corny jokes, dancing in our living room to our favorite song even crumbs in the bed, he loves cheese and crackers at night. 

RE: Choking/suffocating on Mucus

by chevybow on Thu Mar 06, 2014 01:09 PM

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My husband went through the choking.  He had to use Mr. Thirsty as my daugher called it.  It is a suction machine that gets the mucous out of the throat.  You may want to ask about that.  It was very helpful.

My husband had stage 4 throat cancer.  He could barely swallow a few sips of water at the end of treatment.  Your husband needs to use the feeding tube or he will not have the strength to get better.  I had to crush the pain meds and mix with water to get it in him.  So much pain.  He could not take any meds that had codine or any deritive.  Could the pain meds be making your husband nauseated?

Wishing you the best.  It will get better....just takes alot of determination and patience.

RE: Choking/suffocating on Mucus

by Salomeas on Thu Mar 06, 2014 03:36 PM

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My husband continues to improve daily! He got his feeding tube removed on Monday! He never used it and he's starting to gain weight back a little now.  He never did lost "too" much weight.  He lost some muscle though, so he needs to start exercsicing to get that back. 

He started wearing normal clothes 2 days agao--until then he was switching between 2 t-shirts with the neck and chest cut to accomodate his "burns".  We are now 3 weeks out from the last radiation and he's eating almost normally--just watching the spice levels still because his tongue is still sore.  His neck just looks a little pink--slightly and he's able to work normal days (doing office/computer stuff).  He did is first shoveling a couple days ago and he felt a little tired that day, but no big deal. 

All in all we are very pleased with his recovery and so are the doctors.  Given how wide the radiation pattern was and the full 33 treatments AND Cetuximab (chemo), he is doing amazingly well. 

I hope everyone else can heal as quickly as him!

RE: Choking/suffocating on Mucus

by Suzfitz on Sat Mar 29, 2014 01:49 AM

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On Feb 16, 2014 1:41 AM IsaacBraun wrote:

On Feb 10, 2014 1:27 AM Salomeas wrote:

Hello everyone, my husband has three more radiation treatments left for his throat/base of tongue cancer.  He is also getting Cetuximab once weekly--last treatment last Wednesday. 

As expected he has horrible, weeping, ugly sores on either side of his neck from the radiation--huge areas covering the whole side of his neck and creeping up his face a little. 

We are working on dealing with that. 

The problem that just started happening yesterday is that with the thick, sticky mucus he cannot sleep because it's choking him.  He's producing a lot of it and it's literally suffocating him when he lays down.  The only way he's been able to sleep is sitting straight up in an office chair--and that's not very good sleep.  

I started him on guafenisen (mucinex) this morning, he's had two doses and he refused to take a third dose! He said he didn't want to. He's sick of taking pills or doing anything to get better. 

All he's eaten today is one small bottle of Boost and he refuses to use the feeding tube because he's slightly nauseated all the time.  Even though the doctor said that putting stuff through the feeding tube would be less likely to make him vomit because he won't be smelling the food (Ensure) or feeling it in his mouth. 

I'm getting frightened as he's suddenly gotten so bad.  If he can't sleep I don't know how he'll heal or cope. 

He's doing baking soda gargles several times per day and we started adding salt today too. 

Any other reccomendations for the choking mucus?  Any magic words that may get him to eat or let me put something in his feeding tube?

Oh, and I'm mostly blind and have an autoimmune arthritis disease and fibromyalgia, so I'm really struggling being his caretaker. 

Thanks

Jennifer

Bin there

Please try edable cannabis. 1 gram thc per day .for a person  that ways 220 lbs or 100 kg person per day 

2 or 3 days he will get that mucus moving.

do for 90 days and no cancer

Please GOOGLE rick simpson run

We tried everything. Oral swabs help the thrust but the mucus is greatly helped by Ativan. Stops it for several hours.

RE: Choking/suffocating on Mucus

by Salomeas on Sat Mar 29, 2014 03:03 AM

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My husband is all better now.  No one would even know he was ever sick.  We used guafenisen for mucus--worked great!

He WEIGHS in at healthy 194lbs and he couldn't eat EDIBLE cannabis because it hurt his mouth so much and made the mucus worse.  We have BEEN doing lots of alternative treatments and it's worked.  He uses Biotene to continue moisturizing his mouth. 

RE: Choking/suffocating on Mucus

by Dlynn1210 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:59 AM

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Suzfitz -

I don't understand how ativan can help with the mucous head and neck cancer patients experience - and I speak from experience.  Ativan is a med prescribed for anxiety which my oncologist ordered to be given one hour prior to each radiation treatment because I am claustrophobic.  It had NO effect on the heavy syrupy mucous I endured. 

Oral swabs are generally used to moisten our mouths and would not help with thrush since thrush is a fungus that requires medication to eradicate.  I also experienced this - which is common for tonsil cancer patients.   

I see where this is your first response on CC and you don't provide any information on yourself - such as who the patient is/was and what type of cancer he/she has/had.  This is a tremendous website and provides a wealth of information but that is because we can interact with people who had the same type of cancer because every cancer is different in symptoms and treatments.

Diana  

RE: Choking/suffocating on Mucus

by Dlynn1210 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:07 PM

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Unless you have experienced the heavy syrupy mucous that comes with tonsil cancer you just can't understand it.  The tonsils are located adjacent to our salivary gland and radiating that area causes major problems.  Instead of saliva we produce the heavy mucous for weeks/months.  Treatment for tonsil cancer is rough and I have put most of it behind me but the one memory that still makes me shudder six years later is thinking about the mucous - how I couldn't even sleep lying down for weeks - the boxes and boxes of kleenex I used to clear my mouth - and the salt water rinses.  You begin to think it will never end - but it does!   

Diana 

RE: Choking/suffocating on Mucus

by Suzfitz on Sat Mar 29, 2014 01:03 PM

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On Mar 29, 2014 11:59 AM Dlynn1210 wrote:

Suzfitz -

I don't understand how ativan can help with the mucous head and neck cancer patients experience - and I speak from experience.  Ativan is a med prescribed for anxiety which my oncologist ordered to be given one hour prior to each radiation treatment because I am claustrophobic.  It had NO effect on the heavy syrupy mucous I endured. 

Oral swabs are generally used to moisten our mouths and would not help with thrush since thrush is a fungus that requires medication to eradicate.  I also experienced this - which is common for tonsil cancer patients.   

I see where this is your first response on CC and you don't provide any information on yourself - such as who the patient is/was and what type of cancer he/she has/had.  This is a tremendous website and provides a wealth of information but that is because we can interact with people who had the same type of cancer because every cancer is different in symptoms and treatments.

Diana  

Diana

Sorry I did not write more before but was in a rush. I am a nurse practitioner and my partner has tonsil cancer. Ativan has a drying effect on the mouth and a calming effect, and other uses. (My sister, who had ovarian cancer was prescribe it for nausea and vomiting). Keep in mind, most medications have more than one use. My partner, with tonsil cancer would take a Ativan after her tube feeding, if not her coughing and gaging on musuc would cause a gag relex and she would vomit the contents of her stomach. This was a final attempt before hspitalization and using TPN (Total parental feedings which is through the veins). Ativan works every time for her and she has gained 10 pounds in her last 2 weeks of radiation and chemo. It is short acting, about 2-4 hours for her, then the mucus returns.The great thing about the Ativan is that she was able to get the subligual form, which disolves under her tongue as she has extreme difficulty taking pills in capsul or tablet form.

 The swabs were not to eradicate the thrust, she took medication for that, but it would remove some of the white patches and make her mouth taste better. I had her try it becasue she was using a wash cloth to try to scrub the inside of her mouth. She said the swabs made her feels better after using. We have to keep in mind, what works for one does not work for all.  Sites like this provide many options for peole to try that worked for others. This week she had her last chemo and last 5 raditation treatments. Keeping our fingers crossed!!

Sue

RE: Choking/suffocating on Mucus

by Dlynn1210 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 02:44 PM

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Hi Sue

I am a Speech Pathologist which required extensive studies in anatomy so I know that  medications having various uses.  However, the last thing that tonsil cancer patients need during and post treatment is anything that has a drying effect because "dry mouth" to some degree is one of the after effects that most us will live with for the rest of our lives.  

As I said preiously, I took Ativan for a calming effect before going into the cement mixer (my name for the TOMO machine) but it did nothing to help with the mucous production.  I could see how it might help your sister with ovarian cancer but considering the after effects of treatment on tonsil cancer patients, I would never recommend Ativan.  

I used salt water rinses to help with the mucous as it acted somewhat like a scrapper.  Of course, it is short lived but can be used as often as needed.

I will mention one thing that your partner may or may not see but I really thought that it was as bad as it could get on the day of my last radiation treatment.  That was not the case!  In fact, I actually didn't have thrush until several weeks post treatment - and also the mucous production got MUCH worse post treatment.  It would have helped if I had been prepared for that.  If I had known that it would continue to get worse for 4-8 weeks but then would level off and one day soon it would be downhill from there, it would have been a light at the end of the tunnel but I began to feel as if it would never end. 

Best of luck to your partner.

Diana 

    

RE: Choking/suffocating on Mucus

by Dlynn1210 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 02:47 PM

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Sue -

One last thing that I had pop up weeks post treatment was the left side of my face swelling (left side radiated).  This also turned out to be a common occurrence - one that I was never told could happen.  My visiting nurse was frightened and tried to send me to the hospital in an ambulance (fear it would cut off my breathing) but I went to CC and asked if anyone had experienced this side effect.  The response was YES!  I waited a few hours for my husband to return from a business trip and had him drive me to the hospital. 

Diana

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