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Best Friend Fighting Stage 3 Throat Cancer

Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2012

So my best friend was diagnosed with stage 3 throat cancer in the middle of my semester in school this fall. I live 3 hours south of her. It's really been rough. I have felt horrible about not being able to be there for her during this time so I've tried to be there in other ways. Sending her cards and trinkets in the mail every day. She said it's helped her have something to look forward to. I finally got a chance to go visit her last weekend. It was nice and horrible at the same time. She's had one unit of care and she's now waiting to have her follow up PET scan to see if the cancer is gone. But now she's been trying to get weened off the opiate based pain killers and having complications. She was told she would be thrown into menopause by the treatments and the opposite happened. She wound up bleeding for 2 weeks. Then while I was there she's been battling getting violently ill and throwing up. I called to see how she was doing yesterday and she sounds super weak. She recently was told she had gotten pneumonia from aspirating vomit & or mucus and has also been fighting a bladder infection. Yesterday I was told they are thinking there may be a GI issue. Seems like there has been one thing after another. I don't understand why they wouldn't admit her to help her deal with some of these issues rather than have her at home where she's not improving. I'm worried for her.

Amjosmom's picture
Posts: 231
Joined: Jun 2012

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. Hopefully we can help. I have sent you a private message.


paul61's picture
Posts: 1268
Joined: Apr 2010

It does sound like your friend is suffering from the side effects of some of her treatments. Does she live alone or does she have someone to help her with daily activities? If she is alone, it sounds like a short hospital stay may help her medical team treat the side effects of her cancer treatment, and to get to the bottom of her GI issues.

It sounds like she is receiving chemotherapy. If so, pneumonia with a weakened immune system can be dangerous.

There are medications her oncologist can prescribe to help with the nausea, and with pneumonia, she should be getting IV hydration support to avoid dehydration and nausea.

If you can tell us specifically what type of treatments and medications she is receiving we can make better suggestions about what may help. Right now it sounds like the physical support she could get in a focused medical setting like a hospital might be the best short term step.

What treatments is she receiving?
Where is she located?
Is she scheduled for surgery?
What kind of personal support system does she have?

I know it is frustrating for you to be separated at school and unable to be there in person to help, but just having someone thinking of you and checking in from time to time can be very helpful. She is lucky to have you as a friend.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams
McCormick, South Carolina

DX 10/22/2009 T2N1M0 Stage IIB
12/03/2009 Ivor Lewis
2/8 through 6/14/2010 Adjuvant Chemo Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU
Three year survivor

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

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