choke when drinking water

Hi,
I've started quite a few discussions in the past few days, I wish that I don't have to post so much but this is bothering me. My mom, since she's diagnoised with lung cancer, she started getting hup-ups more frequent than before, not a daily basis but maybe a weekly basis, does anybody have the same experience. There are two things started yesterday morning are bothering me more, choke when drinking water and voice/throat.
She said before when she cough, she felt that the phleghm and the cough were from the lungs, but yesterday she started feeling that the phleghm is from her throat. She said her cough from yesterday is more from the tickle in the throat than the lungs where as before yesterday the cough was more from the lungs. When she talked she sounds like there is something stuck in her throat, like a phleghm is there.
What concerns me most is the choking when drinking water. I am not sure it is has anything to do w/ her tumor..., this is so scary. Anyone had experienced this before?

Thanks,
Mary

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8 replies. Join the discussion

I have not heard of the hiccups, but wanted to relay our long story with throat trouble...

Back in Aug/Sept of 2006, my father lost his voice - our first indication that his cancer might be back (It is - began treatment again in Nov. 2006). Around the end of Februrary, he started to choke and cough alot when he ate/drank. In April, they FINALLY sent him to an ENT, who discovered that he had vocal cord paralysis in his left cord - probably due to a tumor pressing on it or from the radiation in 2003. This caused a huge gap in his airway, so he couldn't get air in or out very well, choked on his food, had an unproductive cough, and caused him to lose his voice. Worst of all, he was aspirating everything he drank into his remaining lung, causing infection. They even mentioned a feeding tube, which ticked him off - he refused. On April 19, he had a procedure done where they removed fat from his abdomen and injected it into the vocal cord to expand it (out patient, very quick). He has his voice back and no longer chokes when he eats/drinks. The procedure was a success, but he has been going down hill ever since because he has been unable to have treatment since Feb. and I fear he has done permanent damage to his lung.

I'm not saying that is what your mom is going through, but at least ask if it is a possibility. If that is the culprit, I am sure they can remedy it before she gets into the trouble my dad is in. It took far too long for him to be diagnosed.

Here is where I found the inital info (thanks to someone on this site!):

http://www.mayoclinic.org/voice-disorders/vocalcordparalysis.html

Please keep me posted!

Jen

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Mary,
I am not coming with any answers because I haven't experienced it. What I would like to know is how old is your Mom. When and how did you become so mature and caring. Your only 17 and can take better care of your Mom than most adults can. She must just glow with pride for you. What a wonderful gift she has in you. I am truly amazed with you. I would like you to know I am always here following your discussions and your Moms progress. I always pray for you and your Mom. I tell God of this amazing young woman who is suffering and to please help her.
God Bless
Michele

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Hi Mary..... I can relate to some of what your Mom's going through, I also at times have difficulty swallowing food and even water. And I frequently get hiccups at meal times. I have been assuming all this has been caused by damage done to my esophagus after radiation treatments to my spine. Has your Mom had any radiation close enough to damage her esophagus? I don't really have alot of coughing though. I know at this point everything is such a worry, Take care and best wishes for you and your Mom...
Tina Irena

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Mary,

Choking and coughing with the swallow of liquids is generally a sign of the fluid trying to go into the trachea and then the lungs. I am a speech pathologist who happens to have stage IV lung cancer and recommend that you ask for a procedure called a barium swallow. This is non invasive and quick and will show all the structures that work to make food and liquid go where it is supposed to go. Be sure to ask for the procedure with a speech pathologist as you get lots more information about which structures might not be working and what you can be done about it. The danger is of course aspiration pneumonia and you certainly want to try and avoid that.
Hope she feels better.
Myrtle

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Mary,

The procedure is called a Modified bairum swallow. I just noticed I left out the modified which looks at the swallow instead of the digestion.

Myrtle

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HI,

Thanks everyone for the inputs. We will be visiting the doctor tomorrow and we will know her latest scan results and see if the tumor is pressing on her vocal cords and causing her voice to change. I hope it is not so complicated I hope it is something simple like a throat problem not paralyzed vocal cord, potential of aspriation, etc.... I really thank everyone for the inputs, because I could ask the doctor is my mom is likely to be experiencing such problems, the sooner we find out the sooner we can fix the problem. It is very nice to have such a supportive and helpful group in situations as this.

Mary

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Best of luck at the doctor tomorrow, Mary. Please keep us posted!

Jen

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Thank you for all your inputs. My mom had a barium swallow today and confirms that her right vocal cord is paralyzed. She's aspirating when she drinks fluids and the doctor recommends that she drinks w/ her head turned to the right and tilted down. The doctor said this will be better than surgery. We'll see.... Another things is that my mom will start on ZD6474 and taxotere, I hope the combination will work on her. She may start early next week but what's bothering me is her left leg pain..., I started a post on that I'll see what inputs I can get from you guys.

Thank you all!!

Mary

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