Nov 12, 2009 - 9:39 pm
My husband has hypopharyngeal cancer and is currently in the middle of rads and chemo. Has completed 23 of 33 rads, may or may not have another chemo session, depending on how his labs hold up. Does not had a feeding tube (his stupid choice), but was doing ok with hydration until last weekend. On Monday when we went in to chemo clinic, his potassium was way high, kidney function down and he was dehydrated. Doc immediately sent him to hospital.
They spent the next 48 hours (Monday and Tuesday) hydrating and getting his labs back in line. Hydration did most of it. Then they started talking about putting in feeding tube. He agreed. This was Wednesday. They came Wednesday afternoon to discuss and said the way they do it is to place NG tube in nose, blow air in stomach and then insert tube. Well, when they tried to get the NG tube down in nose/throat it would not go. There was blood everywhere, apparently he was not anesthetized enough and was in great pain, etc. So then they say, tube must be placed surgically. Husband not happy, but said he would do it, as of Wednesday afternoon. This was going to involve full surgical "stuff" - ventilator, general anesthesia, etc....
This morning when I arrived at hospital husband is dressed and pacing the hall, saying he has changed his mind about the feeding tube and he is leaving. I told him he may want to wait and see a doc before he just up and leaves! He said he had been up all night thinking about having major surgery for an implement he will possibly only need 6-8 weeks. We had already been told they could hydrate through the port and feed through TPN (again through port) if necessary.
So, we talked to 3 doctors and they agreed that he makes a little sense, as there is always risk with surgery and he is diabetic, has COPD, etc.
Tomorrow a home health nurse will come to the house and teach us how to hydrate through the port. They delivered all the "stuff" tonight and I am a nervous wreck. At this point he is still able to get enough liquid nutrition down, just not enough water to stay hydrated. I am not a nurse, but I'm also not stupid, so I can learn to do this - it just scares the krap out of me.
This has been a long, terrible day and I'm glad it's over. He is settled, had his nutritional shake, a bottle of water and a little diet coke and seems to be ok for the moment.
Ten more treatments... they can't be over soon enough for me.