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Mouth sores and sore throat?

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Mouth sores and sore throat?

Postby cindyz » Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:58 pm

Hi everyone...I'm sure there has been this posted, but I can't find it. My husband (well almost...getting married next Saturday!) is taking Folfox and Avastin (he has stage IV colon cancer with mets to liver and LN) as his chemo treatment. He takes it at the hospital on a Monday and goes home with a 48 hour pump, then takes it back on Wednesdays.

He's only had two treatments, the second one ended this past Wednesday. He is getting cold sores and has a sore throat...is there a remedy for this? He gargles with salty water and that helps somewhat, but as the day goes on the soreness seems to come back and is persistent.

While I'm at it, do you all find that chemo treatments are 'cumulative?' Can he expect the same stuff to happen to him since he's been through two treatments so far, or will different things surely come up? The cold sensitivity is the same as last time, as well as extreme fatigue for the first week...as soon as he's feeling somewhat normal it's time for another round of that stuff. Is this just gonna beat him up so bad he'll have to stop it eventually? Does it just wear you down or is it very different for each individual?

Thanks in advance. You are all a wonderful source of information and support...I tell everyone about this message board.
Wife to Stephen, dx 5/13/09; 45 yo
Stage IV w/numerous mets to liver, 2 to LNs
Colon resection 5/25/09
Folfox/Avastin, Folfiri/Avastin, Folfiri/Erbitux-progressed
Sir Spheres 2/2/2010
Admitted to hospital 4/23/2010
Passed away 5/09/2010
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cindyz
 
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:17 pm

Re: Mouth sores and sore throat?

Postby justsing » Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:17 pm

First of all, congrats on your impending wedding!

Second of all, all of the above.

Chemo is definitely cumulative, but it's always full of surprises. I found that I couldn't really count on anything being the same from week to week. Most people find that they get into something of a rhythm from cycles 2-7 and then from cycle #8 on you have to be ready for almost anything.

The neuropathy will most likely become worse over time, but not necessarily!

As far as mouth sores, ask for some special prescription mouthwash with an anti-fungal in it (mine was called "Magic Swizzle" -- no kidding.) The anti-fungal will battle Thrush infections.

The cold sores could be a continuation of the mouth sores, or they could be viral in which case a special cream with Acycolvir in it might help.

Sore throats can also be caused by "reflux" -- google "GERD" -- and he should be on some sort of anti-acid reflux med like Zantac or Prilosec or both.

Hope that helps!
justsing, 46
Stage IV
colon resection 12/07
Liver resection 04/08
Phase I vaccine trial
liver, lung LN mets
tried Oxi, Iri and Avastin
now trying new chemo combos then sir spheres
College prof in theatre & voice
2 girls 18 & 14, one son 10
User avatar
justsing
 
Posts: 1623
Joined: Sat May 10, 2008 2:55 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: Mouth sores and sore throat?

Postby cindyz » Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:49 pm

Yes, that helps a lot, thank you! We're leaving Wednesday for Exuma, where we'll get married this Saturday....but I'm a little worried because Exuma doesn't have much of anything in the way of stores (especially drug stores). Once when we were there we couldn't even find a video cam tape. It's pretty remote, so perhaps getting some of this stuff you speak of would be a good idea before we leave.

It seems to get better as week 2 approaches, but I tell you what...that fatigue just kicks his butt. He's lost so much weight and so rapidly...and now I can look at him and instantly know he's beat. His eyes are red and even though he's sleeping well it seems like three days of continuous sleep would be something very beneficial to him. I can't stand to see him so beat up...wow... He tries to fight through it with exercise and grim determination...sitting still makes him depressed as he's normally a very active person. I'm not sure which is worse; trying to convince him to take it easy and sit around the house for a few days right after chemo (and have him go stir crazy) or have him do what he wants and be exhausted in the process.

You know what? Chemo absolutely sucks. So does cancer. We're not even close to being the kind of people who say "why me" because the answer is quite simply "why not me?" But crap...what you all go through I never knew until Stephen was diagnosed. The binds and ties of families and friends and lovers and animals and birds and flowers and the sky and clouds and air and everything we know sure do make the fight a solid and directed one. There is no other choice.
Wife to Stephen, dx 5/13/09; 45 yo
Stage IV w/numerous mets to liver, 2 to LNs
Colon resection 5/25/09
Folfox/Avastin, Folfiri/Avastin, Folfiri/Erbitux-progressed
Sir Spheres 2/2/2010
Admitted to hospital 4/23/2010
Passed away 5/09/2010
User avatar
cindyz
 
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:17 pm

Re: Mouth sores and sore throat?

Postby Terry » Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:15 pm

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

Have you told the oncologist about his sore throat problem. I was having trouble with mouth sores and sore throat when I first started and told my doctor and he lowered my Xeloda (Similar to the 5FU), so make sure you tell him. The rest of the info Justsing gave you sounds right on.

Good luck with your wedding!
DX 7/3/07
Chemo, radiation, 20 mo. chemo, IMRT, cyberknife, 6/11 lobectomy.
1/16 resection perm. colostomy intraop. rad.
PET 2/12 nose, thyroid, liver, lngs
Folfox 3/12
Lord I know You'll keep me here until
you know I cannot suffer any longer!
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Terry
 
Posts: 5536
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:36 pm
Location: Silver Cliff, Wisconsin

Re: Mouth sores and sore throat?

Postby cindyz » Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:11 pm

No, last time he didn't mention anything except the fatigue and the cold sensitivity. I told him he should have mentioned the sore throat, but it really wasn'tt hat bad then I don't think. When you lower the dosage, is it less effective?

Did you feel very tired? What about weight loss? He seems to be continuing to lose weight and it's quite distressing. His appetite is okay but the pounds keep coming off.
Wife to Stephen, dx 5/13/09; 45 yo
Stage IV w/numerous mets to liver, 2 to LNs
Colon resection 5/25/09
Folfox/Avastin, Folfiri/Avastin, Folfiri/Erbitux-progressed
Sir Spheres 2/2/2010
Admitted to hospital 4/23/2010
Passed away 5/09/2010
User avatar
cindyz
 
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:17 pm

Re: Mouth sores and sore throat?

Postby justsing » Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:23 pm

In terms of lowering dosages, I think it's a balancing act. You need to find the maximum dosage that you can tolerate, and that might not be the same for everyone. When they do trials for these drugs to determine dosages, they keep increasing the dosage until the patients reach a point where the side effects are too much to handle. Then they take an average of what was effective and didn't kick people's asses too badly.

So you have to remember that you are most definitely NOT average, and be ready to work with your oncologist and tweak things as necessary.

But before you mess with the dosages, see if there are meds or other ways to treat some of the symptoms.
justsing, 46
Stage IV
colon resection 12/07
Liver resection 04/08
Phase I vaccine trial
liver, lung LN mets
tried Oxi, Iri and Avastin
now trying new chemo combos then sir spheres
College prof in theatre & voice
2 girls 18 & 14, one son 10
User avatar
justsing
 
Posts: 1623
Joined: Sat May 10, 2008 2:55 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA


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