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norme

swallowing problems - anyone got any ideas.

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My husband, age 70 was found to have Adenacarcinoma of the left upper lobe on 7/31/02. Was operated on 9/11/03, what a day... Cancer was found in the upper lobe but had to remove the whole lung because of the location of the two cancers. He has had chemo and radiation treatments after this operation. When that ended, he started having trouble with his hand shaking and his balance. Mets to the brain and 10 more radiation treatments. Started having trouble swallowing. Had swallowing test but it showed no radiation burn to cause the problem my spouse was having. You see, he can swallow and have no trouble in the upper part of the esophagitis. His pain is down right before it hits the stomach. Swallowing really gets bad there. He just got over another 10 radiation treatments to the rib area for cancer was found in the bones. Again, he could not eat for over three weeks. Swallowing hurt to bad again down at the same area. About three days ago he started eating Vegetable soup, about two cups a day and that is all he can get down. Has anyone out there had this problem. Medicines were tried but nothing helps. Pain med takes away his breath so cannot stop pain in this area.

Have been through my mom and dad and brother who all had nsclc but none had this problem. They had eating problems because of nausea, not pain down in the esophagitis.

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Chemo can cause swallowing problems, primarily (I think) acid reflux. I don't know if this condition can manifest itself further down the esophagus, as your husband has. Nothing helped my problems with this. Over-the-counter drugs were useless. Eventually the problem went away. But, I have heard people on this board say that frozen drinks help relieve pain. See if cold things are better for him. I hope his problem just *poof* vanishes!

JudyB

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Hi,

I'm sorry that things aree going so badly. I have had quite an experience with radiation induced esophageal problems too. Fortunately, most seem to have finally resolved. I had an esophogeal ulcer that the GI doc did NOT SEE at endoscopy but I convinced him to do an old fashioned barium swallow and there it was. I was made worse by the high dose prednisone I was taking for radiation pneumonitis. I was told that we probably would not get it to heal until I was off the prednisone, or at least on a lower dose, and that was true.

When I had it, I found that cold foods and beverages, things that were acid, greasy, spicy, salty or excessively sweet were the worst. What does that leave you say? For me it was eggs, noodles and warm water. Sometimes a food would be good one week and bad the next.

As far as meds go, carafate really didn't help and neither did the antiacid meds (Prevacid, Nexium, Aciphex, Protonix and Prilosec). The numbing medicines helped but very briefly and they taste horrible to me. A few people told me to try Aloe Vera juice or gel. I did and I can't say for sure that it helped but I did start to get better around that time. It can't hurt.

You just have to try lots of different things. It does get better. Good luck.

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Yes, my wife, Lucie, has had trouble swallowing after each chemo and formerly during radiation. I agree with Judy that cold liquids seemed to be the best for her. At those times, we have used Ensure, Boost, CrystalLite, milkshakes -- liquids such as that. Also, soft things like yogurt seemed to be okay. Good luck. Don

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My mom had that same exact problem, doesn't hurt when you swallow, its down by the stomach, and it radiated to her back, and ached for a while after a swallow. The thing she did, ate small frequently, NO SPICES of any sort, she grinded things up, and then she ate ALOT of Popsicles. It felt good, and after she ate a popsicle, she could get food down. Also, she would take Mylanta right before she ate, and that sometimes coated it so she could eat. Another good thing is the PediaPops, they're frozen Pedialyte pops, they get you electrolytes back on balance, and they give you a little energy, especially when your not able to eat. I hope this helps and I will pray for you.

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions for my husband, some of the ideas he has already tried and some ideas he will give a shot at. Everything is worth a try. God love all of you.

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Wanted to thank everyone of you for your suggestions regarding my husband's swallowing problem. Want you all to know that he is now able to eat more. His swallowing started getting better about a week ago and still has some to go but hey, it is a sign of progress. He is still very weak but everyday he tries to walk a little out in front of our home and as bad as he has been I know this is helping him to build up some strength. I think my homemade chicken and vegetable soups have helped tooooooo.

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Norme,

I'm so glad things are beginning to get better. Sending strong prayers your way for your husbands' continued success

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