choking and suffocating feeling ! please help

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roma1
roma1 Member Posts: 4
Hi All

Please advice if any one had to deal with this before.
My husband had a neck dissection in mid of april where they removed lymp nodes. Since after his surgery he has constant choking feeling, pressure against his windpipe. He feels some one is strangling his throat all the time.
Is it common to have to this kind of a feeling. When does this subside or go away ?


He finished radiation and chemo in december 2010.
His jaw feels like a wood.This is due to neck dissection.

Please advice if there are any kind of exercises or any thing else that I can do to make him feel better.

Thanks
roma

Comments

  • Daddisgrl
    Daddisgrl Member Posts: 116
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    Hi Roma; what he's feeling
    Hi Roma; what he's feeling is probably due to the surgery. What they do the dissection; they cut through a lot of stuff; if you look at thew pics below; you will see.

    He should call his dr to see if they can prescribe something.

    Neck dissection pic 1

    Neck dissection pic 2
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    Daddisgrl said:

    Hi Roma; what he's feeling
    Hi Roma; what he's feeling is probably due to the surgery. What they do the dissection; they cut through a lot of stuff; if you look at thew pics below; you will see.

    He should call his dr to see if they can prescribe something.

    Neck dissection pic 1

    Neck dissection pic 2

    Links
    Did you check your links.....they don't work for me.
  • Goalie
    Goalie Member Posts: 184
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    May be just fluid buildup
    If he only had the dissection in April then he is still going to be getting plenty of swelling. I had mine in February (finished rads and chemo December) and I not only get the wattle under the chin but very often everything from the ear down to the jaw is hard because so much fluid built up. Without lymph nodes it just doesn't drain well. My wife does some massages and there are beter massages and exercises that one can do. Check out the SuperThread for this topic. My wife did also buy an ultrasonic massager that did a good job and, for some immediate relief that does not involve pushing flesh and fluid around, a warm towel or hot water bottle or similar laid on the neck while lying down can soften things up some. There was a discussion on some of this about a week or so ago.

    No, I don't want to see more pictures, thanks. I rememebr looking in the mirror and it was plenty scary.

    Doug
  • MarineE5
    MarineE5 Member Posts: 1,031 Member
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    Stretching and Massage exercises
    Roma,

    Here is the link to the super thread that points to the posting of Stretching exercises and gentle massage that your husband can try on his own. If he does not see any results in a week or so. Have him contact his Doctor and request to see a Cancer Physical Therapist. They are good with Lymphedema patients and helped me very much after I had the radiation which followed my neck disection. I puffed up in my face and neck.

    Your husband feels the strangle hold feeling because the throat passageway is also getting narrow because of the swelling due to the fluid build up. The stretching should help in a few days, the massage is a bit tricky to learn and may take a bit longer to see improvement. But, if he does it right, he may feel better in a few days.

    http://csn.cancer.org/node/196680

    Copy and paste this or scroll down to the super thread and look for Stretching and Massage Instructions,,,

    My Best to You and Everyone Here
  • roma1
    roma1 Member Posts: 4
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    MarineE5 said:

    Stretching and Massage exercises
    Roma,

    Here is the link to the super thread that points to the posting of Stretching exercises and gentle massage that your husband can try on his own. If he does not see any results in a week or so. Have him contact his Doctor and request to see a Cancer Physical Therapist. They are good with Lymphedema patients and helped me very much after I had the radiation which followed my neck disection. I puffed up in my face and neck.

    Your husband feels the strangle hold feeling because the throat passageway is also getting narrow because of the swelling due to the fluid build up. The stretching should help in a few days, the massage is a bit tricky to learn and may take a bit longer to see improvement. But, if he does it right, he may feel better in a few days.

    http://csn.cancer.org/node/196680

    Copy and paste this or scroll down to the super thread and look for Stretching and Massage Instructions,,,

    My Best to You and Everyone Here

    Thank you all for your help.
    Thank you all for your help. I will start working on it right away.
    Thank you MarineE5 for posting the thread. I hope my husband starts feeling better with these exercises.
    God bless all of you.
  • roma1
    roma1 Member Posts: 4
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    Goalie said:

    May be just fluid buildup
    If he only had the dissection in April then he is still going to be getting plenty of swelling. I had mine in February (finished rads and chemo December) and I not only get the wattle under the chin but very often everything from the ear down to the jaw is hard because so much fluid built up. Without lymph nodes it just doesn't drain well. My wife does some massages and there are beter massages and exercises that one can do. Check out the SuperThread for this topic. My wife did also buy an ultrasonic massager that did a good job and, for some immediate relief that does not involve pushing flesh and fluid around, a warm towel or hot water bottle or similar laid on the neck while lying down can soften things up some. There was a discussion on some of this about a week or so ago.

    No, I don't want to see more pictures, thanks. I rememebr looking in the mirror and it was plenty scary.

    Doug

    Thanks you Doug for your
    Thanks you Doug for your help. I will use warm towel for temporary relief.

    Please advice regarding the ultrasonic massager. what kind is it and is it available in walmart or drug stores.
  • dennis318
    dennis318 Member Posts: 349 Member
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    I know the feeling
    They can't seem to find much to do, I had a tumor removed l/s, with a paralyzed l/s vocal chord, frustrated, i can speak barely, and the weather controls alot i feel, dry weather, chokes me, cool weather seems better, also sleeping on my l/s, head elevated on pillows makes my sleeping pretty normal, It is very frustrating and the tighness doesn't seem normal, but the Doctor says its the best they can do without opening more for air and drowning my lungs and loss of my voice completely. There was a cancer member who offered some hope, they had a new procedure called a nip and tuck by a Doctor in Arkansa, I wish I would have written the doctors name down and her name...good luck, I know it's not a normal life, I hate it as well, and get frustrated...Also keep bottoled water next to you, I have to drink and go to the bathroom, to get threw my nights of sleep anymore, this is a pain. Good Luck. Dennis
  • rkittine
    rkittine Member Posts: 1
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    dennis318 said:

    I know the feeling
    They can't seem to find much to do, I had a tumor removed l/s, with a paralyzed l/s vocal chord, frustrated, i can speak barely, and the weather controls alot i feel, dry weather, chokes me, cool weather seems better, also sleeping on my l/s, head elevated on pillows makes my sleeping pretty normal, It is very frustrating and the tighness doesn't seem normal, but the Doctor says its the best they can do without opening more for air and drowning my lungs and loss of my voice completely. There was a cancer member who offered some hope, they had a new procedure called a nip and tuck by a Doctor in Arkansa, I wish I would have written the doctors name down and her name...good luck, I know it's not a normal life, I hate it as well, and get frustrated...Also keep bottoled water next to you, I have to drink and go to the bathroom, to get threw my nights of sleep anymore, this is a pain. Good Luck. Dennis

    Same Problem and It Gets Worse
    Hi All,

    I too am a throat cancer survior. Primary site was my left tonsel. I had conventional surgery on my neck, where they removed 12 lymph nodes, 4 of which were infected. Fortunately they did not cut the nerve and I have feeling on that side, although it took a while to come back. At the same time I had robotic surgery in my throat performed by Dr. Eric Genden at Mt. Sinai Hospital. He is one of the few that use the DiVinci Robot for throat surgery and at the time had done the most of all of those that do this in the U.S. He was GREAT as was his team.

    I then had lower dose radiation and chemo (Cesplatin - Metal Based). Surgery was in October of 2008. Radiation and Chemo ended on the 15th of January 2011. The loss of lymph notes and the damage to my saliva glands from the radiation, first started out with almost no saliva and the need to carry water bottles with me where ever I went. As the saliva started to somewhat come back (I have regained what seems like all my taste, though some things now taste BETTER than they did before all this)it started to clog up my throat. The Surgeon, Radiation Oncologyst and the Oncoloyst, all said that this was normal as saliva has two parts, mucus and water and the water is the last to come back if ever.

    Mornings are the worst for me as I now sleep petty much throug the night and everything solidifies and dries out. When I drink in the morning, what I cough up is not nice. That casues irriation and though I am now 2 1/2 years cancer free, the uncomfort is actually worse. It feels like I have something in there in addition to the scare contraction and thickening of the throat from the radiaion.

    Mt. Sinai sent me for Swollowing Therapy both before and after treatment and I never had a feeding tube and was always able to eat, which I can still do, mostly even without drinking anything, but some times some of it gets caught in the restriction as well as do to the thick saliva. Anyway, they tell me that it may get better, but may get worse.

    I have scans next Thursday and will talk to the doctore about it again and if I find out anything new, I will post it.

    Bottom line, 3 years ago my first reaction was How Long do I have, when I was diagnosed and since then I have been able to see my daughter get married and I have been playing with my first grand daugher and flying my airplanes, so I feel pretty good about the whole thing, as far as what the alternative might have been.

    My E-mail is rkittine@aol.com and I am happy to talk to any other survivors or those that are going to have the treatment. Sinai gave me names when I was considering options and those before and after really helped.

    Good luck to you all - Robert
  • nmeacham
    nmeacham Member Posts: 1
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    Roma and All
    Roma,

    The heat to the neck works and wearing neck brace sometimes help with the strain. Good luck.

    I had throat cancer with tumor the size of a lemon on right side of neck. Primary site was at the base of tongue. I opted to due radiation and chemo then if didn't get it all opt for the disection. Started treatment Sept 11, 2001(Never forget that date) and as of March 2002 no sign of cancer. Next 5yrs went fairly well, put some weight back on, got use to the limitations with eating food, dry mouth, taste, neck muscle damage(from 18 1/2 neck to now a 13 -14 neck size)and chronic neck pain. Overall alive and okay!!

    Then, late 2008 things changed. One side of my voice box stopped working and general swallowing started to get hard. Started losing weight. Did a swallow test that went south. The barrium flooded into my lungs. Luckily barium is benign and coughed it up for next year. Then got asperated lung pnuemonia. After all that was cleared up my swallowing came to complete halt and they put a G-tube for feeding.

    That was up to end of 2010. Now I've been learning to deal with a feeding tube only. This has not been easy. I sure hope no one has to go through this.

    BIG QUESTION: Has anyone experienced major problems, paralysis, after 5yrs of post treatment? Also is there any type of growth hormones or steroid treatment that could build neck muscles? Or any treatment for the paralysis like acupuncture?

    Sorry, just reaching for straws but I do get down sometimes. Not trying to be a bummer just trying to see if possible treatment is available.

    Norm