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vomiting

VivianLee5689's picture
VivianLee5689
Posts: 546
Joined: Aug 2012

Poor David is having such a hard time. We start chemo/radiation on the 30th and he hasn't eaten solid food since September 18 and that was only soft foods. He has lost over 40 pounds. He is down to 139 pounds and to top it off he is starting to vomit. Not only coming out his mouth, but his nose as well. He is so miserable. I wonder if he caught a stomach bug, but he has only been out of the house long enough for doctors visits since the last surgery. I am unsure what if anything I can do to help. He is getting very discouraged.

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 3017
Joined: May 2012

Hi VivianLee5689,

It could be the flu or it could be the side effects of chemo. Are you taking the anti-nausea drugs correctly and at the correct time? If it is nausea vomiting you have to get in front of it and try to prevent it. Throwing up out the nose is not unusual; it will take the path of least resistance and when the patient is weak and tired, they can hardly care. Make sure the nurses know of your concerns, they probably share the same concerns. Hopefully, you can both get these rough few weeks behind you. To be honest, the flu makes me feel sick all over and all the time, cancer side effects kick your butt sporadically leaving moments of feeling normal (almost). You decide.

Best,

Matt

It does get better.

luvofmylif
Posts: 344
Joined: Sep 2012

Things just have to get better for David soon. I know how much my husband has been through but with time things got better before we had to endure the next treatment regime( going through chemo and radiation now). It seems like your poor husband has been stuck in the same place for so long...but, the body is amazing and can endure alot and heal from the most difficult situations. So, please don't despair(I know it's so hard) and tell him that it won't last forever. He will get there and so will you.

Joan

Ingrid K's picture
Ingrid K
Posts: 811
Joined: Mar 2011

Vivian, forgive me but I don't recall if David has a feeding tube. If not, you might inquire about getting one. This is not the time for him to be losing ANY weight...just the opposite..trying to put on weight was encouraged prior to tx starting.

If he has a tube and it is causing the vomiting, perhaps the feedings are too fast. slowing down the rate might help him. Or ask about a pump for overnight feedings.

As Matt said, stay ahead of the nausea by taking the nausea meds pretty much around the clock. Got to get that under control, hopefully before the rads start next week.

Just be the squeeky wheel and mention all of this to the docs/nurses. They can usually come up with some sort of alternative for you. Wishing you the best !

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

I'm so sorry you guys are going thru this. My advice is to first of all make sure he is taking his anti nausea meds regulary and not only when he thinks he will need them. It's too late at that point. If they are not working please ask for different stronger meds....they are out there and available to you.
Let your dr or RNs know that he is vomiting so much and ask about dehydration. He may need some IV fluids, I went 3 times a week for 5 hours at a time and I felt so much better afterwards.
As far as vomit coming out of his nose, ugh been there done that. It is very painful and I feel for him. Just have a little comfort in knowing that it does get better, I promise!
I will be praying for you both.
Billie

blackswampboy's picture
blackswampboy
Posts: 341
Joined: Jul 2012

vomiting can be a gift from rads too.
I was vomiting three times a night toward the end of rads. no nausea, just sudden and violent mucous heave. I was down to 115 lbs, and losing nutrition that I couldn't afford to lose.

tried a couple of nausea meds, they didn't help. then they wanted to give me a suction machine for the mucous, but I resisted that. fortunately, ativan finally helped some--at least it let me sleep.
and when the rads ended, so did the vomiting.

Hard12Find
Posts: 208
Joined: Sep 2012

I echo what a lot of others have been saying, get different anti nausea meds, I found a suppository of fenegren works wonders for me and I had been same boat, vomiting and loosing weight. Dehydration.....The food pump is now my only source of hydration / nutrition and has been a lifeline. My oncologist yesterday thought she had seen some thrush in my mucous menmbranes and started me on an anti bacteria, and anti fungul meds which made me sick all over again, so my radiation doctor looked in my mouth said no thrush stop taking them, so I am building back from that. I am like swamp boy sudden mucous fits with gagging, but working on getting a suction pump. cant wait til we are all on the other side looking back.....
Jim

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3787
Joined: Mar 2012

but he's vomiting now, and hasn't yet started chemo, right? Blackswampboy says that rads made him vomit, but that ativan helped (Atavan helped me a lot during rads and getting amifostine)...I'm wondering if you called the Onc, and asked what they could do about getting him on anti-nausea meds before he starts chemo. Also, pain meds can cause nausea big time...especially on an empty stomach. He's lost a lot of weight already, so it's important that someone on your team knows what's going on. He may be getting dehydrated from the vomiting...and I swear dehydration makes a person feel more sick than anything else I experienced during treatment...

I know it's hard to go without solid food for a long time, but so many of us have had to do that...and it's doable...most of us eat again...some sooner, some later...as long as he can get his soft foods, or liquid nutrician down and keep them down, he will be ok. I went from July 3rd to the last week of September on liquid only...thought I was going to starve to death...but that part was just in my head.

p

katenorwood
Posts: 1853
Joined: May 2012

Hey Vivian,
Any fever with this vomitting ? He starts treatments on the 30th, I would make sure it isn't anything that needs to be addressed before he starts. I am so sorry David is going through all of this...thinking good thoughts for you both ! Katie

hawk711's picture
hawk711
Posts: 525
Joined: Jan 2010

I vomited every 4 hours for a few weeks from the thick mucous that I had. When you lie down the thck saliva/mucous will drip to stomach...My solution that worked for me, was a suction machine that allowed me to get the thick crap out of my body before i swallowed it. If his problem stems from the thick mucous, I'd suggest the suction machine. Insurance paid for it too.
all the best going forward,
Steve

VivianLee5689's picture
VivianLee5689
Posts: 546
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks for all the comments and encouragement. David talked with the nurse today and she suspects a stomach bug. She wants him to take his anti-nausea medication around the clock until chemo starts. David told me tomorrow he thinks he wants to go in and request fluids. David has never been a worrier since I've met him, yet he is very worried about his health right now. The doctors all say he should be bulking up and swallowing before he goes in for chemo and radiation, but that doesn't appear it is going to happen. I have agree with others that we need to consider continuous feeding through the night. The gravity bag even dripping on its lowest setting doesn't seem to sit on his stomach well. The other thing I think I will have him ask for is the suction machine. He is spitting constantly and gagging sometimes. He hasn't started rads yet, so I know this is going to get worse. I know he would rather suction the stuff out rather than gag and spit. You head and neck survivors are one tough bunch. I wish I didn't have to be here, but I am so glad I found you guys.

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

I remember a while back you said David was on ensure, is that still the case? Honestly his food might be what's not settling with him and not so much the act of feeding. Or it could be combination of both as it was in my case. He needs more nutrition than ensure has so hopefully they have changed that. Ensure is more of a supplement and not a meal. Insurance should pay for RX formula. Just a thought.
Billie

VivianLee5689's picture
VivianLee5689
Posts: 546
Joined: Aug 2012

He was on Ensure plus, but they just put an order in for Boost VHC. It is 560 calories per 8 ounces. We hope this helps him. He has thrown up multiple times today and hasn't taken any calories in. I am worried about him. He just sits around or sleeps.

Grandmax4's picture
Grandmax4
Posts: 585
Joined: Dec 2011

what's going on with David, I'm wondering if he's on any type of anti-depressant, I truly feel that attitude and determination is a big part of the feeling good factor. I don't mean to read between the lines, and please forgive me if I'm over-stepping boundries, but it seems like David is feeling really sorry for himself and not really trying to feel better...Cancer is a head game, but it can be beat as many on here have shown. I sincerely wish you an easier time as the caregiver., and strength for David to kick some Cancer A$$!!

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3787
Joined: Mar 2012

It is thicker, tho....so I used thin it out with whole milk to get it down the tube easier. Sleeping is good, so is resting...but like Grandma mentioned...is he doing this because he's depressed? I took anti-depressents during treatment, and I've never been a depressed person...BUT, all of a sudden I was just too tired to want to fight. The anti-depessents gave me the boost I needed to get in there and truly do some kick ass.

Somebody also mentioned staying on his nausea meds...that just because he feels fine now, doesn't mean it's because he IS fine. He needs to take them on schedule, to keep feeling fine (this was one of my mess ups, too...I kept quitting taking them when I felt good...and them boom...nausea would rear it's ugly head).

p

boardwalkgirl
Posts: 263
Joined: Jun 2012

I am so sorry David is going thru this and you too. I was on Jevity for my tube feeding and never had any problem with it. When I had the mucous at the worse, I slept with a wedge pillow so my head was elevated and it seemed to make me not get as nauseated. You might try that too. When nothing else was helping my nausea, they gave me a presciption for BDR Suppositories which was a special compound the pharmacy made but they really helped. I hope things start looking up for you. I will be praying for you

VivianLee5689's picture
VivianLee5689
Posts: 546
Joined: Aug 2012

At 3:30 this morning I had to take David to the ER. Severely dehydrated and they are ruling out a bowel obstruction, pneumonia and bacterial infections. He had a chest xray already and the will CT his abdomen and kidneys in a few minutes. He is finally resting thanks to the phenegren through the IV. They are talking like the may admit him. He really got the dr.s attention when he said I can't stop vomiting and then proceeded to vomit. They are really taking care of him. We didn't even have to sit in the waiting room. Straight to triage and then a room. Only thing I found that has been good about this cancer is they really respond quickly when you say the C word.

katenorwood
Posts: 1853
Joined: May 2012

Vivian,
He's in the place he needs to be. The fluids will help...and hopefully they'll find out whats up. Both of you are in my prayers please keep us posted. Katie

Greend's picture
Greend
Posts: 679
Joined: Feb 2010

If/when he goes on an "Ensure" diet please watch for constipation. It was/is a constant issue for me and he certainly doesn't need that right now. My solution was adding powdered Miralax to my Ensure at least once a day.

Prayng that things work out for David.

Denny

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3787
Joined: Mar 2012

painful constipation....VHC really put the plug in me. I ended up taking 3 100 mg capsules of stool softener per day...and it was still painful, there was a few times I thought I was going to have to go to the hospital for help.

I'm glad he's in the hospital, and they are paying attention to this vomiting...dehydration is no joke. A person feels so miserable in every way, sick...weak...dizzy...but never feel thirsty. He's safe now, and you can start to breathe easier.

p

VivianLee5689's picture
VivianLee5689
Posts: 546
Joined: Aug 2012

Ok they have listened to his bowels and said they are hypoactive. The suspect a bowel obstruction. They have pumped him up with phenegren so they can put the contrast through his PEG. Even then he feels it going up his esophagus. I don't know why he is having such a hard time. I had hoped since chemo and radiation starts next week and he had surgery 5 weeks ago that we would have been able to have a nice weekend together, but his body had other plans. he takes a liquid stool softener three times a day, but hasn't had a bowel movement since Tuesday morning. Thanks for the prayers. He needs strength and hope right now.

Grandmax4's picture
Grandmax4
Posts: 585
Joined: Dec 2011

for you both, David is where he needs to be and I hope they keep him until this illness is figured out

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2194
Joined: Nov 2009

Glad you two are at the hospital. How scary and frustrating! Hoping he can get sorted soon.

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