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Fatigue and nausea months after radiation

Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2004

I am the caregiver for my mom who is in her late 70's. She had surgery on her tongue to remove SCC tumor along with a neck dissection in Dec. 2003. There were mets to two of the nodes so she had 33 radiation treatments from Feb. through March. She had the usual radiation effects, i.e., dry mouth, lots of phlegm, loss of taste, sore throat, etc. She did not get a feeding tube and forced herself to get her shakes down and only lost 4 pounds through this whole thing.

For a while we thought that she was bouncing back as she went out in the yard and planted flowers and had an interest in her house.She had even got herself to church. But in mid June, she began complaining of excessive fatigue and the littlest thing was an effort for her to do. She just wants to lay down and rest. Now she is experiencing lots of phlegm again and is complaining of being "sick to her stomach". Have any of you experienced this delayed fatigue and nausea? What can I do for her? Does it eventually go away? She is starting to get very disgusted and I am afraid that she will just give up.
The doctor has tested her for anemia, sugar, non-functioning thryroid. She drinks boost plus and eats pudding, jello, soup, baby food, mashed potatoes, soft macaroni.
Any input will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Cathy

Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2003

Cathy. I am almost 6 months post and I still get sick to my stomach. I can eat and do anything I want but I still get sick to my stomach. Dont know why. My doctor tells me it is the Radiation and it's normal. I still get the phlem thing too. Not too bad but every once and a while in the morning it gets pretty bad. She should look into Diflucan. She might have a yeast infection in her throat. That worked for me. Aslo, if the phlem is too bad gargel with warm water and baking soda. It really thins things out. Not for very long but long enough to gather your wits and relax a little.

Let me know what I can do to help.
Robert Hamilton

Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2004

Did your doctor tell you that fresh mint is an instant cure for nausea? Of course not. Make sure you tell him how well it works and to pass it on. My Dad and mother-in-law both have cancer and it works great for them. I have also used it to treat nausea from motion sickness, hangover, high altitude sickness, slight concussion. Try it, you'll be amazed and pass it on. Anything that has a square stem and smells like mint will work- peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint(my favorite), catnip... it all works. You can buy it in the produce section but I think that something from a garden is more powerful. Just pick off a couple of leaves and eat them.

Hollyhock flowers are supposed to be a good cure for a sore throat and so is fresh ginger made into a tea. I eat a type of hollyhock that grows wild in my garden

laurena's picture
Posts: 16
Joined: Apr 2004

Cathy, is your mother very thin?? If she is and she has problems eating, then ask he doctor for a NG tube or a permanent one. I have a permanent tube in my stomach and feed myself 3 times a day. If eating is too hard it's the BEST solution to get nutrion and enough calories. Also if you can juice carrots and other veggies, she desperately needs good food and enzymes. Let her walk in the fresh air every day. The phlegm will be here to stay believe me, it might get less. (I'm an eleven year survivor age 56) If she can drink let her drink carbonated drinks for nausea. She might be tired because of malnutrition? At night take a sleeping pill. I took ativan for 3 years it gave me a good night sleep. All the best let me know how it goes. Laurena (see my website)

Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2004

Laurena, Thanks for the input. I just got mom to take vitamins...I found some really small tablets and she can swallow those. As I said her biggest issue right now is the phlegm, she is constantly coughing up mucus and I assume it is also the source of her nausea. Also, how do I get to your webpage? Hope you are doing well. Cathy

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2004

Hello there, I was just recently diagnosed with parotid cancer and I will begin treatment in 2 weeks. I was told that I will have a tube installed in my stomach cause the radiation will cause my throat to get sore and I will have a loss of taste and hard time swallowing. This is a shock to me because for one like all I love to eat. If you dont mind me asking, how is it having a tube placed in your stomach? Was it painful when they placed it in? I am just nervous and just wanted to talk to someone who went through the same thing. Thank you for your time.

Posts: 23
Joined: Jul 2004

My friend was diagnosed with SCC. The tumor on his tonsil and lymph nodes involved. He had all his teeth removed and a peg inserted. The peg took about 15 min. to put in and was only a little sore for one day, otherwise it is not painful at all! Thank God for it because his throat got very sore and swallowing was impossible. Don't worry yourself about getting the peg tube.If you wear long shirts you won't even know it's there!God bless!

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2004

my husband has also had a stomache tube. He can eat now alittle but then has to use the tube again for a few days becaues his throat is so sore almost raw once that seems to heal he tries again and the same thing happens. He has lost over 60 pounds through everything and is very tired. He is working everyday but is discouraged its been 2 months since his last chemo and radiation treatment. He also has problems with phelm it comes and goes and the nasea also like his stomache is burning. The doctors just keep saying it will get better and we are trusting in the Lord but I feel so bad for him. I need ideas on how to help him what to feed him and maybe juicing. Thanks

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