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My husband is half way done with radiation treatments

Posts: 49
Joined: Jun 2009

My husband has had 18 radiation treatments and 17 left. So far is is doing remarkable, I think. I know he might not think so since he is going through all this. And he has only 4 more Erbetux treatments......hurray!!!

I just hope he can continue to eat. There is always the blender we can use too when necessary.

The doctors didn't put in a feeding tube and hopefully it won't be necessary. He takes the Magic Mouthwash as often as he can. He was prescribed liquid morphine, but that hasn't been as effective. He is still eating some solids....mostly soft foods even though it is painful to swallow. I keep the freezer stocked with ice cream,as he eats a lot of that. He got tired of Ensure, but says he will start drinking that again to keep from losing too much weight. I just hope he can continue to eat. There is always the blender we can use too when necessary.

My husband was never offered tongue surgery. His tumor is at the base of the tongue. He had the radical neck dissection to remove lymph nodes and a saliva gland. The cancer had spread to one lymph node.

My husband sleeps a lot, but all in all I think he is doing good. He is taking a shot to preserve his saliva glands and has to premedicate with Benedryl, Zirtech and Zofran and all that makes him tired too, along with the radiation draining him.

I haven't been on this site as often as I would like, but I hope I can get back on track with all the discussions. Everyone has helped me with their comments and encouraging words.

Thanks again to you all,

John oldtmr
Posts: 33
Joined: Jun 2009

Hey Penny,

My wife, Ruth, just ask if you had been on lately. Glad to hear from you. And glad that your husband is doing so good. I've had 12 rads and 4 Erbitux and about gave up on eating. I got the tube in before any treatments and have the Glucerna food for tube, but am drinking them like shakes right now. Everything tastes so bad and my mouth is so dry that it is hard to eat bread or meat without a gallon of water.

After reading your post to Ruthie, I thought of rice pudding, tapioca pudding, and maybe vanilla and choc. I have been drinking some broth and that isn't too bad. It isn't that I can't eat and swallow, it's that every thing tastes so awful that it almost makes me sick.

Good to hear from you and Good luck to your husband,

Posts: 49
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi John,

It is good hearing from you. I haven't been on this site for a very long time. It seems my time runs out at the end of the day.

Sorry you are having such a bad time with eating. Hopefully you can continue to drink those shakes and if needed you can use your tube if necessary. The doctors didn't think my husband would need a tube since he was having the Erbitux chemo and since this chemo was not as hard on the body.

Sounds like you are almost half way done with treatment. That is good news.

I was reading one of your posts about the Ethyol (Amifostine) shots you were getting. My husband has been getting them too. He has been tolerating them so far, except the injection site seems to get really irritated and red. He has to premedicate before the shots with Zofran, Benedryl and Zirtech.

My husband has the dry mouth problems too. He carries around a water bottle all the time. He does eat puddings and a lot of ice cream. I am fixing him food and adding creamed soups and gravies.

My husband had mentioned that the food tastes really bad too. Hopefully he can continue to eat or drink the Ensure and Boost drinks.

What are you using for pain? My husband uses the Magic Mouthwash. he was given morphine, but that isn't as effective.

Take care John, and I wish you luck in the days to come. Please let me know how you are doing. Tell your wife Ruthi hi for me. We have a lot in common.

SASH's picture
Posts: 399
Joined: Apr 2006

If you husband is losing too much weight even eating what he is, try adding some weight gain powder to his pudding and drinks. These can be found online or at health food stores and add extra calories with no additional effort to eat or swallow.

Posts: 49
Joined: Jun 2009

Thanks for the advice on that. I never thought about adding it to his food that he eats. He has been drinking some of my son's protein shakes, but maybe just adding the protein to his pudding and Boost. Would the protein be the same as the weight gain powder? At this point anything is worth a try.

Thanks again.....Penny

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