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Throat Cancer

scaredcaregiver
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2009

My husband is being treated for stage 3T throat cancer. Has had 6 weeks of chemo and 2 weeks of radiation. All was going ok until his food started tasting like metal and then the blisters/sores started. Does anyone know what to offer him to eat that wouldn't taste like metal. He doesn't want the feeding tube but still has many treatments ahead so that still remains to be seen. I will cook/puree anything for him if it helps. We tried the sourcream but didn't work. He's living on fruit/juice milk shakes right now. Also, the meds doctor gave him for his mouth sores isn't do much,any suggestion would be helpful. Thank you

oldejack's picture
oldejack
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2005

for me it was earl grey tea with honey constantly.
fluids and a bit of nutrients though not enough. won ton soup yumm.
a pox on the disbelievers but, yep here it comes, medical marijuana helps in a lot of ways. first off he won't feel as yucky or won't notice if he does. thats the best part because then you actually feel like eating in addition to the famed "munchies". now there are many who will disagree and try to put down the idea, usually with poor language choices, but are you more worried about him becoming addicted?
the doc can prescribe a numb**** gel to gargle with, aloe squeezings on the skin, after each daily treatment, those are the first things that come to mind. brewers yeast can be added to milkshakes for a protein boost. heck you can even pick up some "weight-gain 2000" at the local gnc vitamin shop to put in the shakes, thats loaded with stuff that helps but the taste was a little offputting for me when i was in treatments.

bright blessings,

jack

naturenaw
Posts: 26
Joined: May 2009

I had stage 4 throat cancer and also had the chemo and rad. I remember the metallic taste well. This sounds wierd but the only thing that I really seemed to eat that was a true solid was a Wendy's baked potato loaded just with butter and cheese. I would really mash it up before eating it so the butter and cheese was spread throughout. As time went on and I felt better I could take an occasional amount of bacon bits in it too and taste them. The bacon bits would scrape and hurt though so I wouldn't do them often. Cheese sauces on almost anything helped me out. I know too much dairy isn't good for nausea but creamy cheesy sauces really helped the food slide down easily and the cheese flavor didn't go away. Use plastic utensils also when eating since I think the metal utensils even seemed to magnify that taste. I think I lived off soup and creamy cheese sauces and those Ensure Plus and Boost shakes for a year or more!

For mouth sores, I would try several different "magic mouthwash" rememdies that the hospital had (some with nystatin to prevent infections, some with numbing ingredients, when I would get it mixed up I did not like the lemon flavoring nor cherry flavoring added since that sticky sugary stuff seemed to hurt more too, but for some people that may help). i would swish just before eating so it would numb things, then swish again after eating. I had one mouthwash that was to swish and spit out and one that was a swish and swallow. The swish and swallow made it easier to eat since it numbed down the throat too.

This must be very frustrating for you to want to get him eating and to figure out what to feed him - keep on trying and hang in there!

Fireman
Posts: 28
Joined: Jan 2009

I did not want the feeding tube either, but things had gotten so severe with radiation with the mouth sores, not being able to swallow or drink anything without it burning, and finally not being able to brush my teeth because my gag reflex was so sensitive. I did not get the metallic taste, but eventually I did get dehydrated and lost 50 pounds so had to get the PEG Tube. You can puree anything and put into the tube. It's takes patience, planning, and effort to deal with it. I did like smelling the food though. It took me four months before I was able to eat by mouth again and I had to do so slowly and with care. As long as you husband can eat right now, don't worry so much about the taste, but take delight in that he is still able to eat. Many people can't at this his stage. When I got to the sore mouth stage I was given liquid narcotics to help me swallow and there came a point where that too burned too much for me to tolerate it. After I got the PEG Tube and continued with radiation, I got an infection in my mouth and was put on Nystatin and Liquid Penicillin. Yes they all burned too but I was able to at least get them down. I was not concerned about taste at this point as I was about function. He has to keep his weight up or his doctors may insist he go on the tube. Think nutrition not taste. One of the small sacrifices one makes to get into the healing process. Hopefully someone else can provide you with an alternative, but I feel it important to prepare you for what may come and to commend you for doing as well as you are right now.

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