CSN Login
Members Online: 12

You are here

Cutting through the Mucus/Flem

cureitall66's picture
Posts: 912
Joined: Aug 2012

In my last post I was explaining that we have completed tx and our instructions were to start swallowing food and drink without the use of the PEG. Because the mouth seems so sore, it's been rather difficult to start this transformation. As I'm trying to help encourage my loved one that he must do this, I've been watching closely to see what the problem is. We tried sliding some water through a coffee straw to control the amount going in....so here's the problem....the mucus/flem are getting in the way....he can not get the water past it without gagging etc. He constantly hacks this thick, stringy mucus that he sometimes has to pull it out of this mouth...sorry to be so graphic. How do we get this mucus/flem cut down to start this process up? He's doing his mouth washes (magic mouth wash)...Thanks for any advice on getting this stuff reduced/out.


Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1511
Joined: Nov 2011

Some on here use a suction machine with great results, I never had one. I too had the horrid mucus ...uuugh, it's the worst.

I saw you said you use magic mouthwash ..but is he too gargling with warm water slightly salted? That can aid in breaking it up before he tries to swallow anything. I saw a swallow therapist one time and she noticed I was spittin constantly (into my trusty little styro cup) and she said she undrstood why, but to try and swallow even that stuff as hard as it may be...of course I looked at her and said it's like trying to swallow Elmer's glue, she laughed and said yes, but swallowing was that important to do as much as I can.

I also tried gingerale with some success at times.

The bottom line is don't let him beat himself up, if you can't you can't, but it is very important to try.

The first full month (nearly 6 weeks actually) after treatment was the worst for me, I hope he turns his corner soon, but no matter what each day puts him closer to being done with all of this!



blackswampboy's picture
Posts: 341
Joined: Jul 2012

as Tim mentioned above.
I didn't use one, but was about a day away from getting one before the vomiting stopped.
if I'd tried to swallow that stuff, I would've puked it back up. nasty stuff. *shudder*

cureitall66's picture
Posts: 912
Joined: Aug 2012

We have the suction machine. It has helped. Maybe he needs to use it more often?

Tim, I never thought to ask him if he wanted to try and swallow that "glue"...LOL. What was it like for you once you swallowed that stuff? I can't imagine him trying to swallow it.

I know he's doing the MMW on a schedule...and trying to increase his baking soda/salt water rinse. The anxiety of it all is they keep telling him by the next visit (2 weeks) they want to see some swallowing and they are also weining him off his drugs, which is another worry for him. I know this is all going to take time, but it seems like they are pushing hard and it's putting some stress on him.

Thanks for the help guys...


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Man, they must have him on the hardcore cancer club plan...

How long has he been out of rads now..., less than a month and they are trying to ween him from meds...

From most of our expereinces, it takes a good 3 - 4 weeks post last rads to start turning the positive direction.

Also, I'm pretty sure that 90+% of us give up the meds when we no longer need them anyways.

Depending on his attitude and personality, that could cause him more grief.

If I bug my wife about something, and try to suggestively force her into something. I just make it worse for myself, LOL... She's going to take longer just to make a point.

(The key is to make her "think" it's her idea, LOL...).

OK, Ingrid, don't narc me out, LOL....

As you (IK) know, she always gets her way eventually anyways...


cureitall66's picture
Posts: 912
Joined: Aug 2012

I agree John. I think they are concerned about the dependency of the drugs, so they are warning him. I don't like the pressure of it either. I keep telling him we'll work on it the best we can.

Sounds like you have your wife figured out...LOL.

Posts: 761
Joined: Apr 2012

My husband has been out of treatment for the second time since July. The mucus had gotten better before the second round of radiation and chemo, now it is bad once again. He spits it and uses a suction machine. As far as pain medication, his doctors keep telling him to use the pain medication if he needs it because it promotes healing. He doesn't use much in the way of pain medication and hasn't since day one, he has always been afraid he would become addicted to it. But the doctors kept telling him that if he needs it to use it. Funny thing is that the pain medication for some reason helps with the mucus. Don't ask why, because even the doctor doesn't know.

He will be 76 next month and the doctors have been amazed at how well he has done since he was first diagnosed in July 2010. Even his surgery was smooth. But now I find that he doesn't even want to try and swallow food. He just says he's not hungry. This has been since his second round of radiation and chemo. His throat was dilated in October and the doctor was amazed at how easy it was because he thought it would take two of them to dilate. So we know he can swallow and he does drink the nutrition drinks just doesn't want to eat food. He has always been very underweight and the doctors are concerned but I just keep saying this is him and always has been.

MichaelHill1's picture
Posts: 13
Joined: Aug 2016

I just started getting the crap in my throat three weeks out, and the geniuses at UCSD Moorse cancer center have decided that I am taking too many pain meds.  I doing better and the pain is going away slowly but it is a good day bad day thing.  When it's bad it's on my knees bad.  Except for killing the pain I don't see how people get addicted to this stuff.  I'd much rather have a Martini but I can't because I'm in recovery.  I will tell all that if I have another night like last night, I'm going straight to the liquor store for some martinis.  I feel like a criminal asking for pain meds, but I am applauded for driking.

By the way they pulled the same crap when I had surgery.  I was in the hospital four days after surgery.  I was dying and no adjustments. Begging, no adjustment.  Surgeon was top notch but stay away from UCSD if you think you will have pain of any kind.  They don't care.


Subscribe to Comments for "Cutting through the Mucus/Flem"