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Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2013

I don't really know how to use this forum. I don't use the computer alot.

 My husband is sruggling with any food or drink by mouth, due to the cancer. This feeding tube stuff sounds really overwelming. I would be scared I would do something wrong. So many people seam so knowledgeable.

paul61's picture
Posts: 1255
Joined: Apr 2010

I know when they told my wife and I that I would have a feeding tube it sounded very scary. We were concerned that we would not be able to set the food pump up and keep it running correctly. What if something went wrong? What if the tube got clogged up while feeding?

We soon found out, it was not as difficult as we thought. When the pump was delivered it was pre-set for the right feeding speed and running the pump was just a matter of putting the food in the bag and starting the pump. The pump also came with instructions in case it needed to be reset and there was a number included in case we needed assistance. I had a jejunostomy tube or “j-tube” and it worked quite well for nutrition and hydration. Here is a reference for use and tips: http://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/B_EXTRANET_HEALTH_INFORMATION-FlexMember-Show_Public_HFFY_1104449363413.html

If you are concerned about your ability to set the pump up initially ask the surgeon that installed the feeding tube to write an order for at home clinical nursing assistance or contact your local cancer society for assistance.

It can be managed; and it will provide comfort and nutrition for your husband at this difficult time. If you can learn to take care of a baby, managing a feeding tube is easy.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams

McCormick, South Carolina
DX 10/2009 T2N1M0  Stage IIB - Ivor Lewis Surgery  12/3/2009 - Post Surgery Chemotherapy 2/2009 – 6/2009
Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU - Three Year Survivor



Posts: 93
Joined: Apr 2013

My husband had a J-tube for 5 months, which is not typlcal.  He had to have it re-inflated twice and experienced leaking throughout the duration.  Caring for the tube is one thing.  Caring for the wound, the discharge and the skin is another.  Wound care is typlically not considered a part of surgery.  You can ask to see an ostomy nurse.  If you have home healthcare assistance, they might be able to arrange for this.  

The tubes clog.  Coca Cola will unclog it.  We used an ostomy wafer to protect my husband's skin.  When that stopped working, we used liquid bandage, but you have to clean the area and reapply about every four hours.  The acid discharge from the wound will rip the skin right off.  I wore gloves because even a trace of it would damage my skin, too.  

Inspite of this, the J-tube saved my husband's life.  During the worst of the chemo/radiation, he could not swallow, could not eat.  He lost 20 pounds but it could have been way, way worse.

All the best to you.

luby's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2013

Please don't hesitate to have your husband get a feeding tube if he's unable to eat or drink.  My husband had his for 10 months how.  They will tell you how to use and take care of it.  They will give you a number to call if you have a problem.  I had to call twice, and they easily walked me through the problem.  Nutrition is very important, and he can get it through the tube.


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