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My Sweetheart has cancer

Christine Gabrielle
Posts: 20
Joined: Mar 2013

Hello everyone!

I imagine you will be my best friends throughout the next few months.  My husband was recently diagnosed with tonsil and lymphnode cancer.  We go to Stanford Hospital on Monday to find out the plan for his treatment.  We've been told by the referring doctor that he will have surgery and radiaton but we are not sure in what order.  I'm so scared for him and have searched the boards for answers.  This forum has been the best and appears to be honest with answers.  I need to know everything possible I can do to help him.  We have grown children but it will pretty much be me taking care of him.  Any questions we should take with us on Monday? We have some but since we are so new to this I'm sure you could give us a better idea of what to ask.  Thank you, thank you.... and God Bless you all.  You will be my examples to him when he gets frustrated and beaten down.  I love how positive and strong you all are.  I had this posted in the wrong place and already one of you has helped to get me on the right path.  Thank you again.

Posts: 4
Joined: May 2013

Thanks so much for the advice. He got up this morning feeling a little better. I will most definitely chek out the threads and stay on top of things. Thank you for the warm welcome and God bless!

Christine Gabrielle
Posts: 20
Joined: Mar 2013

Good morning!

You have just described what we have been living through the last 2 weeks. We have been told to really stay ahead of the nausea so he takes Prilosec every morning.  There is something in it that curbs nausea and doesn't have the same effects as other nausea meds.  As you have found out one of the biggest side effects is constipation. You need to ask your husbands nurse these questions as he may need something to move his bowels immediatley. But here is what we are doing to stay ahead of the problem. Be sure and ask his Dr. or Nurse prior to trying any of this.

  • He eats a oatmeal with prunes for breakfast (somedays he can only get Ensure down) so this is only when he can swallow well
  • He takes 2 Colace - 100mg  (stool softener)
  • 1 glass of Miralax
  • If he feels bound up he takes both the Colace and Miralax in the evening as well.

The Ativan will help him relax and sleep, that in itself seems to help him not to feel sick.  As with your husband, my husband Alan is very healthy other than this.

The people in this discussion board are wonderful, this is where I come for all my answers and they always seem to have the right one.  They have lived this and survived it!  God bless everyone of them.


Posts: 4
Joined: May 2013


             Good afternoon! thanks for the advice, I will definitely try all you have suggested. We are mixing Ensure with ice cream and a little milk,he seems to like it. I'm trying my best to keep him hydrated , he seems to like Gatorade to water. Thanks again  for all this info. God bless !

longtermsurvivor's picture
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mar 2010

Boost and Ensure area mostly water.  The point being that, if oral intake is limited, and both calories and water are necessary, gatorade isn't a need.  I had a month or more when my mouth was so sore I had a real struggle getting anything down.  I didn't drink water, therefore, I drank boost.  I got in enough to handle my calorie needs AND my fluid needs at the same time.  Just a little thought for the future.   



connieprice1's picture
Posts: 300
Joined: Oct 2010

Christine,    My wife Connie had Base of Tongue Cancer. Her cancer was Stage 4 and was inoperable and she did chemotherapy & radiation. At first, we were heart broken to find out her cancer was inoperable. But after 1 week of chemotherapy Connie had a dramatic response to Chemotherapy and her swollen lymph nodes were reduced to normal size after her first treatment. We were overwhelmed with happiness that the chemo & radiation might just work. Connie was diagnosed with cancer Oct. 2010 and finished her last radiation treatments in Apr. 2011. She has had clean scans ever since. We have been blessed to be able to be living a "new normal" life and love to visit our grandkids every chance we get. Connie cannot eat spicy food but that is a small price to pay for life. Try to keep a positive attitude for your husband that he will get through this and hopefully he will get through his treatments and get back to a normal life. The treatment is rough but the reward of Life is worth it. A nurse told us at the beginning to just take treatment one day at a time. Remember prayer is powerful and your doctors and the Almighty God will get you through this. If he can eat right now, try to get him to eat as much as possible as weight loss will happen with treatment over time. We were against a peg tube at first but later Connie and I both knew she needed one inserted so she could get the invaluable nutrition as she got to where she could not eat. So hang in there and listen to your doctors and someday you will be looking back a this as a test of yours and your husbands love and relationship that will help you get through all the "ups and downs of treatment"           Wishing you both the Best, Homer & Connie Price

Christine Gabrielle
Posts: 20
Joined: Mar 2013

Only 4 more rads and one more Chemo.  This time next week Alan will be finished with his treatments.  He has done very well considering he opted not to have a PEG.  He has only lost 19lbs. his beer belly is now gone.  He plans on replacing it as soon as he gets some taste buds back. 

I will never be able to thank all of you enough for your help through this process.  Your wisdom, suggestions and encouragement made this horrific ride so much more managable.  So many of your suggestions were the keys to his success and ability to manage without the PEG.  We understand that we still have a ways to go after treatment is finished, but it is the mending side and we are prepared because of you.

God Bless everyone of you!


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Always glad to hear great news...


hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

That is fantastic news. Other than a bout of thrush (I had several) my post tx time was rather uneventful. That's when my neck turned dark brown but never oozed or burned and I think week 3 I lost the hair between my ears in the back, otherwise, the healing process started fairly quickly for me. I hope the same for your husband.



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