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Severe burn - cannot eat

Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2009

My mother finished her rounds of radiation and chemo two weeks ago. All seemed to be going great the last session of chemo really did her in. She says the pain in her esophagus if she tries to swallow is on a scale of 1-10 a 14. This is from a woman who has a real high tolerance for pain. Her doctor has given her liquid codeine as she waits to hear about a surgery date. She is down to 107 lbs on a 5'3" frame. It is scary to see her! She is feeding herself on the bag but says she can only take about 4 oz. every few hours. The concoction she makes for herself cannot be too thick or it won't pass through the tube. If the mixture is too rich (ice cream, etc)it makes her feel sick and vomit. Her doctor said she could check herself into the hospital and get into "pain management". I think that means lying in a hospital bed with a morphine drip? She won't do that.

Does anyone have suggestions on the following:
-How to manage or lessen the burn?
-What to put in the feeding tube? She currently uses a lot of Ensure, Boost etc.
-Just any stories of how to go through this phase in less pain.
-Anything really you feel will help

I read all of your posts and even though I do not write much, it really helps in the Hope department.

Betty in Vegas's picture
Betty in Vegas
Posts: 311
Joined: Jul 2009

Ask your mom's oncologist or radiologist. On the ACOR list this is called "magic mouthwash" it worked much like the stuff they use in the dentist office--numbing before the injection--only it numbs the throat and esophagus so you can eat. Layne only had to use his twice...but it was good to have around.

Why is she not on a liquid nutrient in the tube? There are things specifically MADE for the tubes.

chrisk06's picture
Posts: 114
Joined: Nov 2009

Betty is right. There are special nutrion formulas for the bags. Ask the Dr. about that. They are not too thick ot too thin. I can't help with the burning as Steve never experienced that or if he did, he never said anything. Good luck.


Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1566
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Nanse,
My dad was given a liquid med called stomatitis cocktail. It has a numbing med in it. He takes it before each meal. As far as her feeding tube is concerned, I would ask the drs about what other kind of liquid food you can use. Is her surgery scheduled? Just stay positive and take this journey one day at a time. I get on this site almost everyday, just to check in with everyone. It helps me tremendously. Good luck, and I will keep you and your mom in my prayers.

Caballero38's picture
Posts: 37
Joined: Sep 2009


When I started Chemo and Radiation, the real pain started. I know how she feels. I couldn't even swallow liquids. I did have a feeding tube and the nutritionist gave me "Replete with Fiber" with a feeding pump. Without the pump I wouldn't have been able to survive. I lost about 50lbs.

As for the pain, my doctor gave me liquid morphine, it seemed to help a little. When it got really bad I did drink that "cocktail" to numb the esophagus it only worked for a few minutes though. I also tried acupressure. There is a point P6 on the wrist that helps, at least it helped me. But google it and see if it helps her.

Good luck, I will be keeping you mother in my prayers.

Luis Rodriguez

Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2009

I passed all your info on to my Mom. Thanks so much! Her surgery date is scheduled for Jan. 4th so any prayers and thoughts would be appreciated. This is such an awful process to go through. My Mom was getting ready to retire this year and enjoy some time to herself after working for 45 years and raising 3 kids. It is just sad this is what she gets to do instead.

Well my prayers and appreciation is with all of you as well.


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