RADIATION BURN TO ESOPHAGUS

MY HUSBAND WAS DIAGNOSED WITH STAGE 4 SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER THAT METASTASISED TO HIS BRAIN. HE STARTED TREATMENT DEC 1, 2009 WITH RADIATION TO THE BRAIN AND CHEMO FOR THE TUMOR IN LUNG. TUMOR GREW WHILE ON CHEMO SO DR RADIATED THE LUNG TUMOR(TUMOR WAS PUSHING INTO HIS ESOPHAGUS) AND A DIFFERENT CHEMO. HIS BRAIN IS REMARKABLY CLEAR AND 85% IN HIS CHEST. HE GOT TO THE POINT HE COULD NOT KEEP ANYTHING DOWN, HARD TIME SWALLOWING, PAIN TO THE POINT HE HAD TO BRACE HIMSELF HOLDING THE TABLE TO GET LIQUID MEDS DOWN. HE HAS A VERY LARGE AORTA ANURSYM THAT NOW NEEDS TO BE OPERATED ON ( DR SAID IF OPERATED ON NOW IT CAN BE DONE WITHOUT OPENING HIM TO THE POINT IT IS MAJ. HE JUST CAME HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL WHERE HE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH SEVERE ESOPHAGITIS, ULCERATED AND THE FILM OF HIS THROAT HAD NO PINK AT ALL. ANYBODY HAVE IDEAS OF WHAT THEY WERE ABLE TO EAT OR EXPERIENCES. THANK YOU

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Hi--I had a discussion about this issue on Jan. 26 and there were quite a few responses with varying suggestions. You can find that discussion by double clicking my name above and going to the Jan. 26, 2010 discussion.

Good luck with this--it is not an easy path.

Susan

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I hear aloe vera juice.

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I too had severe radiation burn, actually developed a few ulcers. Couldn't swallow even my own spit.
put on pain patch and thin, liquid diet. cream of wheat, cream soups, soft boiled egg etc. lost 40 lbs before I got better. also put on Nexium. hope this helps

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There is a mouthwash that numbs the throat and you can swallow. I used it very little cause I hated it but it did work. Ask the Oncologist nurse. I had to eat soft cool foods. Lots of milkshakes cold beverages....

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I had responded to farmer wifes post in Jan. so I just cut and paste.
I had radiation for 30 days, base of neck for lymph node there. It felt like razor blades when trying to swallow and water was painful.
I was given the magic mouthwash - worked soso. The liquid hydrocortizone - strong nasty tasting stuff, worked ok.
But worked best was Carafate. You take it 30min before eating. It coats the throat to get down the food. Doesnt last too long as food tends to pull/rub at the coating, but helped immensely.
As for fluids - I found that fruit nectar had enough viscousity/thickness that it didnt hurt. I started out with grapes, but eventually Kern's canned drinks (no fizz) peach or apricot nectar was yummy. I loved canned peaches in heavy syrup as my dessert after all the pain of eating my solid food. You can also buy this stuff called "thick-it" which is like adding a jelly thickener to your drink. I added it to gatorade to get electrolites.
When I could, I had "Ensure on the rocks". Eventually I couldnt do cold, but try smoothies, since we are all different and calories are important.
I asked my dr for IV fluids on friday so that I felt good thru the weekend, since I couldnt take in much fliud.
As for foods, you just gotta try things that work for you. Chew chew chew, and cut up your bites or puree. Eat the stuff that requires more chewing (your protein/meat) etc, first- since its toughest to get down, then eat the easier stuff last since it goes down easy. Uses sauces/gravies, butter (no tomatoe/acids) No raw veggies/fruit - scraps too much.
protein is important to heal - i had refried beans w sour creme. Cottage cheese. yogurts. puree chicken - babyfood.
My last week, I was soo scared and crying those first 5-6 bites of my meal, then finished with treat of peaches or Dole frozen fruit bars. And had the mantra "I am tough as nails"...and crying, got me thru.
I upped to 4-5 meals a day since they were small and needed to keep up calories.

good luck

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The above post is what helped me help my Mother In Law when she had it. She also had lidocaine to numb her throat so she could eat at all. It lasted about 2 1/2 weeks.

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