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Post laryngectomy, my father having difficulty dealing with the frequent coughing. Does it ever get better?
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Hi Everyone,
I'm new to this discussion board but I'm hoping someone out there can help me. My father had a laryngectomy 5 weeks ago for cancer in his vocal chord but one of the worst things he is dealing with since surgery is all the coughing he is doing. It interfers with all aspects of his life. It especially disturbs his sleep. He'll soon be 81 but prior to his diagnosis he was a very active man. He excercised every day and spent hours working on his computer writing a book. But he is worn out now dealing with the constant coughing. Every time he coughs he removes the the lary tube so that doesn't get dirty from the mucous but having to do this over and over again all day and all night is really bothering him. I'm wondering if anyone out there has any advice or can talk about their situation. I don't know if this coughing will improve or will it always be the same? I know everyone is different, but just wondered what your thoughts were on this situation. My dad tries to drink plenty of fluids to keep his mucus thin and uses a humidifier at night to help make the air in his room moist. He wears a device in his lary tube which keeps the air moist and warm  during the day. He lives with my 83 year old mom who helps him as much as she can. Anyone have any tips or can share their experiences post laryngectomy? Thank you.
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2032 Posts
Hi Caffy‍ 
My heart breaks hearing what you're dad is having to endure.  Who would have that a simple bodily function like coughing could be so life (and happiness) altering?
In my very quick search on this site, I didn't immediately see any discussions or other members with a similar problem, but I hope someone with experience sees this and can reply to you.
I did find a website of Canadian Support Groups for International Association of Laryngectomees, https://www.theial.com/canada-club-resources and a laryngectomy guide which may offer some help or guidance to other resources, at least:   https://www.theial.com/the-laryngectomee-guide

Have you, or someone, spoken to his doctor about this issue? 

Your dad sounds like an amazing man who deserves to be given every resource to not suffer from this side effect.
What is the topic of the book he is writing?

I just wanted to hook you up with a coughing resource that came up in our lung cancer discussions. The whole thread is worth reading but here is a link to the specific post: https://cancerconnection.ca/discussions/viewtopic/68/64505?post_id=311766#p311766

Searches for cough and esophageal cancer and tongue cancer may turn up some information as well.

I would implore you to talk to your oncologist as well.  This is a pretty common side effect and there are simple things that can be done to help.

Let us know how things are going.

4 Posts
Hi Caffy‍,

Did the coughing ever go away for your father?

My father is considering a laryngectomy and I would love to speak with someone who has had this surgery if your father might be interested?

Please see my post here for more background: https://cancerconnection.ca/discussions/viewtopic/66/66574?post_id=333433#p333433


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