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Sister with NSCLC

Posts: 21
Joined: May 2004

I have posted about my sister before, look under Debbys. My question to all who has gone through the chemo and radiation is this but maybe to recap a little history first.
She was diagnosed from the beginning in Novemeber 06 with stage 4 non small cell with mets to the lymph nodes, right adrenal gland, shoulder blade, and a 8 cm tumor in the right lung with pleurel effusion and CA in the right chest wall.
She has underwent now 30 radiation on the lung and
shoulder + 8 weekly chemos with carbaplatin/taxol.
Now she gets a break. Next PET scan scheduled
2-28-07 and chemo starting again 3/7/07 1x3 weeks.
My question is this: She is suffering from a very hurtful esophagus to where she can barely drink or eat. The dr. saids it is the radiation that caused it and imagine it like a very bad sun burn only inside there. They have given her liquid hyrocodone to take for the pain but can anyone give me some ideas of anything else that will help the esophagus to start healing and allow her to eat and drink without so much pain.

Thanks to all who can help.

Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2006

Hi DebbyS,

I don't have personal experience either directly or indirectly, but my friend, Diane411's father experienced similar side effects where the radiation made it difficult for him to down foods. He lost a lot of weight. She rarely visits here anymore, but if you would like her advice or insight I can try to email her.

I have come across articles extolling the protective properties of D-extract of maitake mushroom. It's supposed to minimize the chemo and radiation side effects. I can't attest to it personally but you may want to look further into it with researching yourself. You can then decide whether your sister should give it a try.

Sorry I can't be further help but much luck and my best wishes to your sister. I'll be hoping for good results on the PET scan.

Plymouthean's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi. I had much the same experience with chemo and radiation. About 40 days into my scheduled 55 daily radiation treatments, my esophagus was so damaged that it was just about impossible to swallow. At that point in my treatments, I had lost approximately 50 pounds from my original 210. I was hospitalized for a total of three weeks and put on intraveinous supplements for nutrition, as well as other meds.
Take heart in the fact that, despite that experience, I am a five-year survivor, back up to the original 210 pounds.
It's not a pleasant experience, but it is do-able. I have no permanent damage from it.
My best wishes and prayers to your sister for a good PET scan, and a speedy and complete recovery.

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I know I can't be of much help since I haven't had that particular problem, but several of the folks with esophogeal cancers and neck cancers and such have talked about similar situations in the chat room. You might try posting on their discussion board about what cuts the pain and what is good to eat or drink. I recall one conversation where someone was talking about a special nutritious gel they could swallow after radiation treatment. It wasn't something I'd choose for dinner out, but it kept them going till things healed. Ice cream was another thing several of the throat cancer survivors mentioned. They didn't mention juicing, but that may go down easier than solids, even easier than applesauce. In any case, check on their boards for some time tested ideas from folks that have been there.

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