• Lymph nodes neck, clavicle and hilum unknown primary

    Asked by Zzchap on Monday, May 20, 2013

    Lymph nodes neck, clavicle and hilum unknown primary

    My husband was diagnosed in August. He had a round of chemo, then another round of chemo/radiation was completed 5 weeks ago. He is so very weak....has lost about 30lbs and all of his muscle tone. He is 67 but has always been very athletic, now he has no strength what so ever. No appetite or taste.....tho taste is just beginning to return. Very depressed, very tired....major phlegm and coughing. In hospital last week for bilateral pneumonia and when chest CT scan was done, pulmonologist showed me an area in the lower left lobe that he thought was suspicious worried that it has spread to lungs, to the small tumors on hilum on scan looked almost normal in size. How do I get him healthy again? How do I get his strength, muscle tone and activity level back? Desperate....

    3 Answers from the Community

    • CAS1's Avatar

      Well its going to take time..Cancer effects the muscle tone in the body as do the treatments. And it takes time to restore from the Radiation. That's the kicker in the treatment..Its just tough on the body. He is just out of treatment so it takes time.
      Just stay hydrated, rest and when he is ready he can try and participate in exercise programs either Pulmonary/Heart rehab at the hospital or the YMCA Livestrong program. Tickle cancer got me started on it.
      Ask his Dr's what they recommend for a rehab program. Now that you have his coughing under control he will start to regain energy.
      All the best,

      over 3 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Hi ZZ, I have been diagnosed 3 times and fought through it all three. Each time I had some or all of the symptoms you describe. As CAS says, it just takes time. It's tough to exercise when you don't feel like it but it would help to get him up and moving as much as possible. I lost a lot of muscle tone too, I can't do half what I was able to do before my last dx, but I am getting better slowly. The taste will come back, mine was back after a month or so, but everyone is different in how they recover, or take the treatments. I drank lots of milk shakes, I still liked them and they are packed with calories. So I got as many as I felt like eating. Let him eat anything he will find a taste for, it will help some.
      We wish you and he the best, stay tuned in with us.

      over 3 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      I can understand your concerns and while it might seem like the best medicine is therapy and rest, what might best suit your husband is to see the big picture in front of him. What has happened is in the past, and yet if we do not embrace those moments then we cannot let them go. He has been through quite a lot and it seems as if the disease can be relentless and quite unforgiving, but you can't get a handle on it if you don't embrace it. I work as a nurse in oncology and in end of life care and in end of life care there is an old saying that is applicable both through the journey and at the journeys end so it applies in oncology as well. That saying is, "You don't get over it, you just get through it. You don't get by it, because you can't get around it. It doesn't 'Get Better,' it just gets different every day....grief puts on a new face."
      There is a battle afoot and although he is worn from the fight you cannot deny that he lives to fight another day. He is a warrior who at this moment has struck the last blow. Whatever races through his mind must also keep company with that fact. Apetite's will wane as does the taste sensations, fatigue is the most common side effect of any therapy in the war against cancer. Depression is his mind and heart reconsiling to each other. He has to see that picture that lies before him, his life, that very life now stands waiting for him and life is meant to go forward, ever forward. In time he will realize this and know that he cannot stand still and stop time in its track. If you compromise the promise of tomorrow, you still cannot stay in the now forever. You have to ask him who he is living for. If not for himself than by his actions he has become the disease he fought so hard against and that is the life he lives now. But his disease is not what defines him. All the unborn moments that lie in his path will be his legacy. But he must step into them first. So let him embrace the yesterdays, grieve for time and circumstance lost in the battle. Soon he will take up his armor and get back into the arena where tomorrow calls to him. Help him to see that he has to hold the past to him tightly for just a bit, but then he has to set it free and let it go. All other activities will follow. Just be patient. Allow him to be before he can do. He knows in his heart that the only true path is one yet walked. Best of luck to you, Carm RN.

      over 3 years ago

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