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Mucus Build-Up Solutions

Greg53's picture
Greg53
Posts: 830
Joined: Apr 2010

Hello. New guy here. I've been checking out this site for a few days to see if I could learn anything to help with some of the post-treatment issues I'm dealing with. The most important thing I learned is that this is a great resource to get knowledge of how to deal with some these issues "straight from the horse's mouth" versus listening to doctors, who may be very knowlegdable, but have never gone through what we are going through. The best thing I've seen here is the amount of participation by members who are long past their treatments and the sincerity of the all members who respond to one another.

A little bit about myself. First off sorry for the bad pic (by the way I'm the one in the background). Non-smoker, occasional drink, HPV positive. I was diagnosed with SCC of the right tonsil, Stage 4, mets to 10 (out of 63) lymph nodes on my right side and 1 on my left in January '10. Tonsillectomy and right neck dissection followed shortly. My team of doctors recommended 35 Rads with 3 concurrent Cisplatin treatments. Last Cisplatin treatment was cancelled due to hearing loss. 3 Erbitux treatments were substituted for the last Cisplatin. PEG inserted in 3rd week of Rad and still in place. Last treatment in mid-April.

I'm about 3 1/2 weeks out from my last treatment. I'm learning to deal with many of the side effects from my favorite buddy - radiation, but there is one that is dealing me fits. The mucus build-up has affected me worse than anything including: sleep for maximum 1 hour at a time, quick gag reflex by me and mucus build-up results in throwing up quite a bit (and I know how important getting the right amount of nutrition is) plus the constant "hacking-up" is annoying to me, anyone around me and is the reason I haven't made it back to work yet. I am taking an over the counter expectorant, using several mouthwashes and my best friend for this is the baking soda/salt water mix that I'm constantly rinsing my mouth with (every 15 minutes minimum) to clear the mucus.

I have a couple of questions about this:
- Has anyone used Evoxac. My ONC Rad just prescribed for me, but for some reason I haven't found much on it?
- Any other suggestions for mucus build-up and for those that have had this, how long does it last?
- My radioligist said since I have so much mucus, I won't have as much issue with dry-mouth. Has anyone found this to be true also?
- Last, I need to research this more but when can accupuncture start for this as I've heard it can help?

Thanks.
Greg

delnative's picture
delnative
Posts: 452
Joined: Aug 2009

Wish I could offer you a cure for the mucus. To me, that was the most miserable part of my treatment and aftermath.
All that worked for me was time. But with you being 3 1/2 weeks out, I would hope you'd now start seeing some improvement. When I was at your stage, that's about when I started getting better.
FWIW, I had a lot of mucus and my saliva is essentially back 100 percent. I don't know that there's a connection there, though.
Hang in there. You'll get better.

--Jim in Delaware

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

HI Greg,

Good to hear you are done and now mending.

1. For the mucus, I was prescribed and anti-mucolytic called 'Fluimucil'. Comes as small satchels of power you mix in water and you drink. It breaks up the mucus. Worked for me.

2. I have been getting Acupuncture for about 5 sessions so far to try to stimulate my fried Salivary glands (I have 70 hits of IMRT to left Tonsil area - SCC Stage 1). I have started to regain some saliva though it is slow. The points for these glands are mainly in your ear.

My Acup'ist used an electric device to detect the points as well as chart from: French, German, US and traditional Chinese Acupuncture, to work out the points. She also pinned me in a few other points to rebalance my system (and you will also probably need the same) as the treatment screws up the body's Ying Yang (Chi). I also fond these treatments to alleviate the 'cold' feelings I have after treatment. Now not sensitive to the cold.

Hope it goes well.

Scambuster

CajunEagle's picture
CajunEagle
Posts: 361
Joined: Oct 2009

I finished treatment 6-6-09 and had horrible mucus problem till about the 1st week of August, 09. Like you, constant hacking and unable to sleep for more than 15 minutes without the need to expectorate. It slowly went away, but my mouth is as dry as the Sonoran Desert. There are days that I think the moisture is returning.... but overall, nope. Still mostly dry.

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

I finished treatment 5-15-09 and I am still dry as dust. I swear I could spit rattlesnakes and cactus needles. As the mucous went away, the dryer I got. I still cough up crap in the morning. I did have a salivary gland removed when I had my neck dissection though. I think that time was the only thing that helped me. At my peak I would got through over a pack of 100 napkins in a day. I just bought Biotene spray a few days ago. Lasts a few minutes for me. I tried mucinex liquid when the mucous was really bad, but it dried me out so bad that my mouth bleed even more than it was before. Had to stop it. My bad mucous lasted 6 months.

I can't stand the white sticky crap that I cannot get out of my mouth. At home I can rinse and spit, but when I am out in public I don't know what to do?

CajunEagle's picture
CajunEagle
Posts: 361
Joined: Oct 2009

That "white sticky crap" used to be only morning stuff. Now it's staying with me most of the day. I'm thinking it's spring pollen and the heat is getting into the 90's here already......may be the reason. I always have a travel pack of Kleenex in my back pocket to use when out in public. Yea, I know. Back pockets are a male thing. This discussion board is sooooo neat....in that we can talk about the grossest subjects.....and everybody understands. :)

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

How 'bout it? Mine is so sticky I cannot even spit it out. I have no spit. :( I have taken a napkin or paper towel and bit down on it, and used that to clean out my mouth a bit. I try to be discrete but not so easy. But then my mouth is even drier! That's why when I finally found the biotene spray I thought that would be good to carry around with me in my purse. At least it freshens it a bit. My mouth always feels like a cess pool. I hate it. I am self concious I might have bad breath when I talk to people. I brush my teeth like 5 times a day. Sheesh.

I absolutely HATE it when guys spit out in public. But after going through this, I am kinda jealous that they can.

wifeforlife
Posts: 189
Joined: Feb 2010

My husband finished his treatment March 6th. Mucus was horrible. lots of water!. saline spray in nose...to keep things as clear as you can. we put the biotine mouthwash in a small spray bottle so he could moisten his mouth renever needed.And mucinex. We had to get over the hacking... carried a cup with him everywhere. That is over now...once and awhile he has a little but NOTHING like it was... Now we have lymphodema.. that really freaked him out when it started...but we are getting use to that too!.

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5749
Joined: Apr 2009

Welcome to CSN, I am glad you found us. I use the Evoxac for 6 months and it did not do anything for me. What I found work better for me is the Mouth sprays. The two I use are biotene Moisturizing Mouth Spray I get at Walgreens, but the one I prefer is the Stoppers 4 Dry Mouth Spray. I have to get it on line at http://www.drugstore.com just a few sprays and I can sleep for 5 to 6 hours. Remember that we are all different and what works well someone might not work at all for some else.

All the best to you and please keep posting

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

Nice to see everyone! Everyone new to Cancer survivors, reguarding Mucus, I had to return last week to have my radiation in my throat scraped, yeah, you talk about gross, i woke up with a trach, and was told i would have to wear if for a week and a half. This thing is going to have to come out, MUCSUS!..I am trying to work to to the great health state we live in and my boss isn't great about paying for sick days. I wear a bandana around my neck to cover the air hose up first, and when the cough ing starts, god help ya. i feel like frosty machine, my boss grosses out and insist I am giving out strange odors, if this doesn't want you to live, you figure, I am in the process of applying for total dissability, and getting this in line, and getting out of and away from the caring person i work for, where this comes from, i have no idea, it was under control just before surgery, and they mmessed around with teh previous surgery, and fro radiation and layers of dead flesh, they scraped to generate healing, this better work , and they are now check ing to see if anymore tumor is alive? SweetBlood and Jim Glad to see you, Life doesn't get any worst, either the medicines that are taking me down or i sit here and hold my head and cry, the soreness in my neck and trying to keep eating is a journey, plus trying to pay my household bills, or get food on the able, I hope it is good news this Monday, The docotrs I have a feeling are guessing, or will see, or it could be..doesn't sound very promising anymore. Take Care All. Dennis

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

That man annoys me. I think if our paths crossed I would have to kick him in his keister. Hard.

not-so-'sweet'. :-D

staceya's picture
staceya
Posts: 701
Joined: Jan 2010

And make sure, when you kick him that you are wearing really pointy shoes!
They can be real cute pointy shoes and I bet you have plenty!!

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

Oh yeah, Steve Madden, "Curious" in red. So pointy we used to call it a cockroach killer in NYC.

wifeforlife
Posts: 189
Joined: Feb 2010

I'm thinking steel toed boots!

catya88's picture
catya88
Posts: 50
Joined: Dec 2009

Tim did papaya juice for his build up and it worked.

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

Good call, but I don't have them. Too manly for girly girl me. I do have my boots for riding on the Harley, but I still think a strategically placed pointy boot.........ahem.

Greg53's picture
Greg53
Posts: 830
Joined: Apr 2010

Thanks for all the responses and ideas. I didn't mean to stir a hornets nest on this though, but maybe that's good on occasion. I certainly feel like getting mad too, but I don't know where to direct it, so I just throw things (even though with my neck dissection I can't throw too far). Luckily no one lives behind me and I can fire a rock or two out into the woods. Thanks again for some of the ideas. If I haven't tried them already I might. This mucus-nightmare is driving me nuts.

Pumakitty's picture
Pumakitty
Posts: 653
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi guys,

I am not sure if this is the same thing or not. My dad is having bad drainage from the sore on his tongue. It sounds like mucus and some blood. He told the doctors and they did not seem concerned. They told him that he would start to get some relief from that about 3 weeks into treatment, but then the side effects from the rads would be so bad he would not notice. He has only had 3 rad treatments so far, so I know his promblems are coming from the sore.

When he wakes up in the morning he feels sick from the drainage and his mouth is really dry. I have gotten him all of the sprays, but I am not sure how much he is using them.

Did anyone else have problems with mucus and drainage from the actual tumor?

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

You didn't, sorry to go off track on your thread. Or highjack it. :) Sometimes I get feisty.

Greg53's picture
Greg53
Posts: 830
Joined: Apr 2010

Feisty is good! Especially with everything we have to go thru.

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

When I was a restaurant manager I had one delivery guy that everytime we had him for truck he would come into the restaurant and ask, "where's my fiery little italian??!!". He was sicilian too.

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

SHE PULLED A NEW ONE TODAY..THE SMELL IS ACTUALLY RADIATION OF DEAD THROAT CANCER, I ASKED A FEW CLOSE PEOPLE, BUT THEY FOUND IT NOT FOUL, SHE MADE ME WEAR A MASK AT WORK,THINKING THIS IS KEEPING MY ODOR DOWN.. THE DOCTOR HAS ADVISED ME TO GET A NEW JOB AS SOON AS POSSIBLE CAN, SHES A LOSER..LOL..I AM GOING FOR DISABILITY, AND JUST LEARNED TODAY THAT I AM CANCER FREE AND CHEMO AND RADIATION GOT IT ALL,REPORTED TO ME BY MY DOCTORS NURSE, WE WILL KNOW MONDAY, WHERE WE GO FOR MY VOICE, SO KEEP THOSE PRAYERS COMING, I NEED EVERYTHING I CAN GET....DENNIS,

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8076
Joined: Sep 2009

Funny you should mention that Dennis. When I was doing all of the Chemo and wearing the pump for four days with the 5FU. I'd take a bath and just soak for awhile. My wife would swear that I made the whole house smell. That the chemo was permeating out of my pores....

I know I always would smell an odor, kind of like cat urine, LOL....

JG

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

dennis, sent you a pm

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