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My throat is tight and hard to breath

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

Seems I have been waking up to take my hydroodones, to a sore throat, thick phlem, difficult to breath in the morning to eat my breakfast? I have to drink cold water to get everything going. last radiation and chemo was January 25, raspy voice still, still working through all of this, which makes it harder as well to keep mentally going, goin for MRI Today. The weight loss has been hard to combat, I've eaten breakfast, snacks and ensure to keep where I am. My stomach shrunk? To end my story, I've noticed a foul smell in the morning, is this from, meds, the radiation that tore my throat up, and i'm waiting to heal?...Anyone with info and the same problem, please let me know. Thanks Dennis. I keep waiting for a positive that will happen one morning, except the same issues. Back to my Cream of Wheats!!!, OH BOY

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5936
Joined: Apr 2009

First that is a great looking picture glad to finial see you. After almost 9 years and dealing with this stuff 3 times I find a lot has changed, my throat is smaller I have to take smaller bits and I am always first at the table and last to leave, but I find that life is still so good. My wife complains sometimes about the bad smell in my mouth, we found out that most of the time it is from food getting caught in the nasal passage, try using a nasal rinse to clean out anything that may get stuck up there; if it keeps up call your ENT.

One other thing I am concerned about that you are saying it is hard to breath; I suggest calling your ENT doc as soon as possible and tell him about this problem. After treatment your body is trying to get back to normal, but some times the throat shrink a little to much and needs to be stretched back to is new normal sizes.

Take care my friend

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

they think it's swelling still, i posted a letter below, they gave me a new drug to see if that will take the swelling down, suppose to talk to him Monday, i will suggest the throat stretching, I go to work and struggle, so tired of living like this....And your right Doctors tell us patients and time. Your guys are very supportive to alot of people. thanks so much

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

From your description, it sounds as though the breathing issue is a problem mainly when you wake up in the morning. If this is so, I would doubt that you have a constriction in your trachea (the tube that leads to your lungs). Air, after all, doesn't require much in the way of a tube to get where it needs to go.

It may very well be that the rads did a job on your salivary glands, such that during the time you are sleeping, not tending to your mouth, dry mouth is setting in, yielding the sore throat and the thick phlegm, the latter which consequently restricts your breathing (much as an allergy or a sinus affection might). Your mention (I think this is what you are saying) that drinking cold water clears up the phlegm AND makes it easier to breathe also suggests this is a the culprit.

If this turns out to be the case, consider buying a humidifier for use while sleeping.

A raspy voice may also be the result of dry mouth (and throat) or even dehydration. While doctors have debunked the old '8 glasses of water a day' bromide, it may be that in our situation it would be a good idea to make sure we DO get an extra measure of H20 daily, and, as well, that we refrain from alcohol, which dehydrates while also being a cancer agent.

Another possible cause for a raspy voice: if you are only recently getting back into the swing of talking a lot, believe it or not it can be both tiring and cause the raspiness you describe.

I would hope that your doctors are keeping track of your weight loss, dennis. At some point, if the loss continues, they will probably consider implanting of a tube, at least for awhile. It sounds as though you can avoid that however. You mention the shrinking of your stomach as a possibility, and I would advise that you think and act as if that were so when you eat, if eating is a problem, particularly if swallowing is a problem: have smaller meals but have more of them.

Speak to a nutritionist about a diet plan adapted to whatever your limitations are at the moment (if any). Those folks can really help because they know what you can do and also what foods and mixtures within that set are not only going to give you needed heft, but healthy heft.

The foul smell may very well be lingering odor of uncleared food. But it may also be the continued sloughing off of dead tissue and the fact that your salivary glands are not doing the cleansing job they once did. Dental hygiene is more important to you now than it probably ever has been. You should be brushing and rinsing with antiseptic after every meal now, no matter how small the 'meal' is: a candy bar requires brushing, even, something you might not have considered in the past.

It DOES get better, but it is important that you help it get better.

And if your problems persist, the raspy voice in particular, you should see your doctors about it.

Take care,

Joe

handl1983
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi Dennis!
My husband (Herb) has the same problems. His rads were finished in early Dec. and he still has burns that come out-so the Dr. tells him. His voice is also raspy and some days he cant breathe well either. It seems that he will have 1 or 2 good days followed by 3 or 4 bad days where he cant do much of anything. He is now the king of oatmeal! The Drs think he may need to have his esophagus stretched? I hear this is a very common proceedure, but not sure how its done. He also has 2 holes in his soft palate, so it makes it very hard for him to eat without coming out of his nose. The thing that kills me is that the Drs tell us to be patient!! How would they feel if it were them?? All bets would be off !!This probably isnt helping much except to know that you are not alone with your symptoms.
I have not noticed a smell, but everything else is very familiar!! Will keep you posted on the esophagus stretch!!! Hang in there!!! Lori

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I have had a couple of dilations (what you refer to as esophagus stretch). If your husband's mouth is sufficiently open that they do not have to do this via the nose, it is really not painful, in my experience.

I have a page on this site along with a blog, and in the blog I write about my experiences with the dilations (one was in January of this year, the other in March). Everyone's experiences are different, of course, but it might give you an idea of what is in store.

In any event, best wishes to hub and his family.

Take care,

Joe

handl1983
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi Joe!
Thanks for the heads up on the dilations. Unfortunatley, my husband cant open his mouth very far, so it looks like it will be through the nose. It hasnt been scheduled yet, but Im sure it will be great fun for him...NOT! He had a neck disection in July and the pain from that, he says, is worse than the cancer was! I dont know how all of you keep going?!
I guess its just one day at a time...... Thanks so much for your input and advice- its scary out there!! Lori

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

thanks for your input, i came from the doc who gave me another med for swelling in my throat, and hopefully will tell me something by Monday. He wants to explore again, i will suggest the strentching, it's scary to wake up and have to drink water to get your breathing back up to normal, or hoping you can get what phlem is there out, sound like a buzz saw..it's got to get better...thanks dennis, keep me informed as well

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