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Saliva problem?

Irishgypsie's picture
Irishgypsie
Posts: 331
Joined: May 2010

Hey ya'll, it's about 04:00 am and I can't sleep. Only sleeping about 2-3 hours at at ime these days! have something weird that started on Monday. It seems like a increase in saliva production or maybe it's because I'm swallowing less because of the pain and it's building up. But it's really a pain in the ass. i have to keep a wash cloth handy and a spit cup near bye. It is causing my lips to get chapped and I think that is why i am having difficulty sleeping; also I have to let it build up during my radiation session and then spit it out after the treatment is done. Don't get me wrong I still have the severe dry mouth in the rest of my mouth; but this seems to be directed towards the front and NO this isn't the mucosistis; that is the sores on my tongue and cheek. it's just weird!! Anyone else have similar experience? It bet it's because I'm not swallowing as much because of the pain!!!

Charles

altoman's picture
altoman
Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2009

Hey Charles. When I underwent radiation therapy in 2007 after a couple of weeks I had an increase of mucus production to the point where it would choke me in the middle of the night. I would cough up strands of a yellowish mucus as long as 6-8 inches, 1/2 inch thick. That all quit after a couple of weeks as radiation therapy continued. I believe that that was the point where my salivary glands were near totally destroyed. I had been told that people normally produce 1 liter of mucus each day. My cancer originated in my maxillary region, right sinus. So surgery left me with a big hole in my upper right palate into the right sinus as well as taking out my upper jaw and six teeth.

Today I have a slight increase of saliva production but am inflicted with severe dry mouth. None of the many, many commercially available remedies helped. Sipping water is the best but very impractical when speaking, exercising or working, or especially when sleeping. So I developed the dry mouth pump which you can read about at drymouthpump.com

It wets my mouth with very tiny amounts of water constantly even when sleeping. I no longer wake up with all my mouth parts sticking together. When my lips become dry I apply a very small amount of petroleum jelly before going to bed. That helps tremendously.

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1518
Joined: Jan 2010

I recall this happening mid treatment. Then it subsided. Later, I noticed an increase in mucous and snot production. That was a pain in the butt, when I was under the mask. I started using Benadryl about a half an hour before rads, to try to slow the mucous some. Then that subsided. Then, for the last few rads, everything became very very dry. Hang in there. Every day brought something different.

Deb

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

This is common, I was almost done till they put the trac in and i started all over with the mucus, not going to paint a rosey picture Charles, take a cup and a paper towel with you when you go to the store, i was constantly loading up like a chipmunk and having to find the restroom, Yes I know GROSS!!!! suggestion would be Robitus cough and chest congestion for adults, this slows it down and thickens it...you have to remember I'm on a repeat performance of this since Janurary...it has slowed down, the docotr also told me to start re-swallowing, How Sick, but if you don't you create more of a problem due to your throat mechanism of swallowing. Believe me you see me alot here giving my 2 cents worth, but if it helps somebody ease there pain, like i am going threw, and everyone else, so be it....take care guy, try to hang tough..Dennis in Tennessee

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5601
Joined: Apr 2009

Sounds about normal, the saliva glands are not producing like they should due to the radiation affect. Kind of like making foam in the mouth, mine sometime was very stringy as well; if I tried to spit it would always blow back on me. No natural lubrication in the stuff that is why you have the dryness with it.

Take care and hang in there

amy_evan2005
Posts: 42
Joined: Nov 2009

Evan has been out of treatment since Sept. 09 and still has to carry a spit cup everywhere he goes. But continuing swallowing is very important like he said to keep your muscles working if nothing else.
Take care,

Amy & Evan

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

Doctor told me to continue to swallow as much as possible to keep your muscles working down there, take your cup with you and a hankerchief, and don't forget you Robitson Head and Chest syrup, this cuts mine down greatly, and thickens it, it does get better, but it seems like you want it fixed now, and it aint gonna happen..take care all, Thanks Amy, Hope Evan is doing better? Dennis

amy_evan2005
Posts: 42
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi dennis,
I'm glad to say Evan is doing good. Since Sunday he has went from drinking water, to baby food, to about a 1/4 cup of potato soup last night. He has to do the swallowing excercices daily still, but like the dr. said, swallowing is the best excercise for it. He didn't feel at first that they were helping(aggravated & depressed), but they did. I suggest to anyone that has a problem swallowing to start the excercises early. Maybe if they had started Evan on them when he first started not being able to swallow his wouldn't have been so extreme. Also if swallowing becomes impossible, make sure that esophagus is not completely closed. Evan went from telling them it felt like a golfball in his throat to a baseball then a softball in a week. They told him it was early in treatment for swelling to close off the throat, but not unheard of. This is when a stint should have been placed to keep esophagus open.
Amy & Evan

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5601
Joined: Apr 2009

I am glad to hear you are both doing well. Somehow I was lucky and never had any problems swallowing after treatment but boy I had hell with it all the way through treatment. I did not have a PEG, don’t know why the doc just never offered me one and at that time I did not even know about them. When I would sit to try and eat my wife had to be there with me and encourage me to keep trying. Where would I have been with out her.

Thanks care

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

I was offered the peg at the first part of my radiation, but refused it, i should have taken it, but i thought it would be a snap...wrong...when i lost my 60 lbs, and could of die, they weren't worried about my cancer but my weight loss, if i remeber right, my throat went sore and felt the same, baseball material, unfortunately, the one doctor has informed me, he thinks they went over board on my radiation, and killed the cancer, but also good cells, so now i amd doing the hyperbaric therapy, to strengthen and build cells to hopefully get better, and give me some hope of getting rid of this trach i had installed, they thought i needed it when i went in for the last surgery to clean up the radiation mess, i was a unfortunate case of who do we blame, i went threw the first week of the therapy last week, it is a wierd sensation, they slide you in a large steel glass tube, feed your body pure hydrogen, turn on the t.v and sleep for 2-1/2 hours. they say you won't be able to tell the difference till after 10 days, I hope so, this is my last hope of getting better. I ask the one doctor to to please give me something for my depression. I don't know if it's meds or the cancer, or the time of recovering from this horror trip, but i can be on a high one minute, and my life drops out at the bottom the next, i want to give up, they say you have gained weight, and your heading in the right direction, i hope so, i'm tired of waiting and hoping i will wake uip and be able to speak, or breath, or cough without shootinhg phlem out of a hole, sorry, but life has been gross lately. I hope and pray for everyone here, and hope i can stay with the pack...I'll keep you briefed on the hyperbaric...I think this is a important treament that needs to be shared, and won't be over for 5 more weeks..Thanks Dennis

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5601
Joined: Apr 2009

I hope and pray it works for you so please keep us informed on how you are doing. I will be on Vacation soon going back to Honduras for some follow-up treatment as I do every year. I am thinking about during some hyperbaric therapy as I might need to get all my back teeth removed in the very near future. Thanks for sharing.

amy_evan2005
Posts: 42
Joined: Nov 2009

Evan also hated everything about the trach. His has almost closed up now, but they said he'd probably have to have another surgery to close it up all the way. Hope the treatments work.
Amy & Evan

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