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Coughing - HELP

Laurie_Lawrence
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2013

My husband was recently (November 7) diagnosed with Stage 4, Small Cell Lung Cancer with metastises to his liver.  His lymph nodes are also effected.  We've been through Cycle 1 of the chemo and start Cycle 2 on Monday.  He was doing fine until the last few days.  Now he's coughing almost constantly and his hair is falling out by the fist-full.  We were told that the chemo meds he's taking don't usually cause hair loss but I didn't believe them and I've been proven right.  My problem is this, I sit up listening to him cough.  It sounds like he's choking and I'm in tears.  I don't let him see me come apart because it would upset him too much but I don't know what to do.  He keeps telling me that it's just a cold but, after being married to him for over 30 years, I can tell the difference.  It sounds like he's gagging.   I already know that I'm going to talk to his doctor on Monday, but does anyone have any opinions on what I can give him in the meantime???

Thank you all for being here,

Laurie

Ladylacy
Posts: 517
Joined: Apr 2012

I would definitely put in a call to your doctor's answering service and get in touch with him.  If he doesn't get any relief, I would take him to the ER.  My husband's cancer spread to his right lung, but he doesn't cough.  Chemo can cause a lot of side effects and each person is different.  My husband went thru chemo treatment two different times and two different chemos and never lost his hair, it did thin though.

Laurie_Lawrence
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2013

Thank you for your advice.  We saw the doctor today (more chemo for the next 3 days) and I did tell her about the coughing.  She gave us some cough medicine and we're having a CT scan in a couple of weeks.  He's not running a fever but I am keepig an eye on things.

dennycee
Posts: 686
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Lori, 

i have to agree with the other poster.  Call the on call doc.   In the meantime use a cool air humidifier in the bedroom and move it to living room if he is out there for a while. Also put a warm moist poultice on his chest.   Put a bit of water on a cloth, microwave for 20 seconds or so and lay it on his chest.  Careful not too hot.  It may help to do the sinuses at the same time, put a warm moist cloth across his nose and cheeks.  Be careful not to get the cloth too hot.  If he runs a fever of 100.5 call the doc immediately and head to the ER.  

For chemo, I had cisplatin and etopicide.  My hair thinned but never came out in clumps.  

Please let us know the outcome of this weeks.  

Laurie_Lawrence
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2013

Thank you for answering my query.  All of this is new to us and I'm very confused sometimes.  I am keeping an eye on his temperature and I also spoke with the doctor today about his coughing.  She gave him some medicine that seems to be helping.  He's taking 2 medications on day one (I don't remember their names) and then only one of them on days two and three.  He goes in for a CT scan in a couple of weeks (before his next round of chemo) and we'll see how well the chemo is doing.

All of his blood work is fine, so far.  We don't have anything to worry about on that end.  I've seen so many people being told that their counts are two low to risk chemo on a certain day.  I find it very depressing and frightening.

The creepy thing about SCLC is that we didn't even know he was sick until he went to the ER in October because his heart was racing (187 bpm) and his blood pressure was stroke level (217/132).  They didn't find anything wrong with his heart but when they x-rayed his chest to see if the heart was enlarged they found a mass in his right lung.  If it hadn't been for that visit, we wouldn't have found out and he'd be gone by now.  I cry every time I think about the "what ifs."

Carlee
Posts: 100
Joined: Jul 2013

What chemo is your husband on Laurie?  I hope that it will get easier for him.

 

I also wanted you to know that I just recently got the cough too.  My doctors have me on all kinds of medicine from prednisone to cough meds to sinus and reflux acid meds.  And, mine is no better.  :(   What meds are your husband on for his cough?  Perhaps it is something that I could try and it might help me too.  I hope it continues to help him.  I have that awful cough too. 

 

I wish you and your husband the best and keep posting.

 

Hugs and prayers,

Carlee

Laurie_Lawrence
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2013

My husband had a CT scan on Dec. 30th to check the progress of his cancer.  We got the results back today.  While the tumor in his right lung has decreased in size, the lymph nodes and liver have increased.  We're changing from carboplatin (?) to something that starts with a "T".  I don't remember the name.  I'll have more information Friday.

Carlee
Posts: 100
Joined: Jul 2013

What chemo is your husband on?  I had the horrid coughing too and finally when I got on Prednisone, it helped.  I still cough some, but, not like before.  I am also on several other meds for the cough.  Talk to your onco and let us know.

 

Good luck!

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