I am thankful to have found this group.. My 67 y.o. husband has been fighting an aggressive form of myoepithelial carcinoma (very rare) for the past 3.5 years. The cancer metastasized to both lungs 3 years ago. The initial lesion was in his leg. Prior to his cancer diagnosis, he had never been ill, other than an occasional cold. To date he has received the maximum allowable SBRT (radiation) to his lungs at the Cleveland Clinic. He tried Cisplatin with Paclitaxel but progressed after 3 months. He was recently referred to the James Cancer Center in Columbus to be evaluated for a clinical trial. He didn't meet the trial criteria but was started through compassionate use on Opdivo and Yervoy.
He has remained active throughout his treatments but of late, has increased fatigue and has developed a chronic unrelenting cough while awake. His cough completely stops when he is asleep. I know, from having read his chest CT reports, that he has good reason to cough. His current cancer, current treatment and prior radiation can all cause cough. I am glad he can rest but I don't understand if the cough can stop at night, why not during daytime as well?
His cough is significantly diminishing his quality of life. Often, he can barely speak in between his cough. His oncologist prescribed a cough syrup with codeine but he didn't tolerate it. He was prescribed an albuterol inhaler, which helps a little. He was unsuccessful with tessalon perles. He has tried a myriad of over the counter medications which have not helped. He was started on Nexium and Tums for GERD. I've read that steroids can interfere with the efficacy of his immunotherapy and they have not been offered by his oncologist.
I try to be supportive but have found myself isolating in different parts of our house (not a big house, lol) to get away from his cough. It's harsh and loud and sets my nerves on edge because it is constant. I can only imagine how miserable it is for him.
I do wonder if his cough has a psychological component but would not suggest that to him. It's just that it completely stops at night which makes me think perhaps anxiety or depression contributes to it.
Sorry so lengthy, I needed to vent. Has anyone been successful in helping their loved one diminish their cough?