Jump to content

Husband's cough is unrelenting


Recommended Posts

Hello,    

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?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi KDianne,

Welcome to our forums and I'm sorry you have to be here.  It surely sounds like your husband's coughing is problematic and needs attention.  I have not experienced this, but doing a search of our forums I found a number of posts on coughing and they can be found here.  In the meantime I'm sure that you'll be hearing from other members who have personal experience soon and they may be able to provide some treatment ideas for you.

I hope this helps a bit.

Lou

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure how effective Nexium and Tums are for GERD. I was given a prescription for Protonix when I had acid reflux from chest radiation. I also eliminated dairy from my diet during that time. 

I believe others will recommend an air purifier in his room and also steam therapy, both of which are good ideas. I would also suggest checking outdoor air quality every day. I use the AirNow app. When air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups, I can get shortness of breath that lasts an entire day. 

Also, have you considered seeing an ENT in case your husband has allergies/post-nasal drip? I had a dry cough that started last year, and it would wake me up at night. My pulmonologist diagnosed allergies, and Claritin really helps. 

Finally, you might want to consult with an integrative medicine physician and/or palliative care doctor since the cough is affecting quality of life for both of you. My integrative medicine physician (also an acupuncturist) works directly with my oncologist. I really liked acupuncture and found it very relaxing. 

Hope both of you get some relief! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Judy M2 said:

I'm not sure how effective Nexium and Tums are for GERD. I was given a prescription for Protonix when I had acid reflux from chest radiation. I also eliminated dairy from my diet during that time. 

I believe others will recommend an air purifier in his room and also steam therapy, both of which are good ideas. I would also suggest checking outdoor air quality every day. I use the AirNow app. When air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups, I can get shortness of breath that lasts an entire day. 

Also, have you considered seeing an ENT in case your husband has allergies/post-nasal drip? I had a dry cough that started last year, and it would wake me up at night. My pulmonologist diagnosed allergies, and Claritin really helps. 

Finally, you might want to consult with an integrative medicine physician and/or palliative care doctor since the cough is affecting quality of life for both of you. My integrative medicine physician (also an acupuncturist) works directly with my oncologist. I really liked acupuncture and found it very relaxing. 

Hope both of you get some relief! 

Hello,  

Thank you so much for your reply.  My husband is on Claritin but seeing an ENT/Pulmonologist is a good idea.  We are using an indoor air purifier but i do wonder if our 10 year old cat has become a problem for him.  I will download the AirNow app.  He is open to seeing a palliative care doctor and we will discuss this next week at his OSU appointment.  Your information is appreciated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, LouT said:

Hi KDianne,

Welcome to our forums and I'm sorry you have to be here.  It surely sounds like your husband's coughing is problematic and needs attention.  I have not experienced this, but doing a search of our forums I found a number of posts on coughing and they can be found here.  In the meantime I'm sure that you'll be hearing from other members who have personal experience soon and they may be able to provide some treatment ideas for you.

I hope this helps a bit.

Lou

Thanks so much.  I plan to read through the information in the link that you provided.  

 

Kathy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...