Larynx cancer

Affected by larynx (voicebox) cancer? Join this group to share experiences and ask questions to people who understand what you're going through.

How to cope with taking care of dad post-Laryngectomy

scarlet0709
Posted by

hello everyone 

My dad underwent both a trachestomy as well as a laryngectomy about a month ago and he's been back home for two weeks now. He's had radiation and chemotherapy two years ago and was seemingly cured but the cancer came back about two months ago now. I go to school in a foreign country and had to fly back for the surgery. And now I'm here for three months. Thankfully we've had the help of an at-home nurse since he's been back home. 

I am obviously quite worried for my dad. He's been coughing a lot and we've got a Provox LaryTube for him as we've heard that's supposed to be more smoother? Has anyone had experience with this? Does the coughing get better? The doctors are quite positive that he may be able to do esophageal speech soon but we are supposed to meet with another doctor to seek advice on the possibilities of future radiation. Our family members (who all live in the same city) have also been very helpful in meeting with doctors, doing small chores and helping my mom with emotional support. 

My dad is 62 now and is already retired so at least he doesn't have the pressure to go back to work. What i'm more worried about is---me. I know it's selfish but I've had a pretty depressed childhood/adolescence myself and living in Canada (where I go to school) for the past 2.5 years has been amazing. I still have a year of my degree to complete which I have to do at any cost. What I want to know from people who've had laryngectomies in the past is: how much care do you need on a daily basis? Seeing how my mom will be left alone with my dad for the majority of the time, will my dad get better enough to do most of his basic functions so my mom will not be overwhelmed? How does daily life work for people who've had laryngectomies? This sounds selfish as hell but I really don't want to move back home for good. So i need to know that my dad will get better with time. 

Anyways, thanks everyone for listening. Any advice would be invaluable!

Scarlet 

GRANNY59
Posted by

Hi Scarlet0709 welcome to the forum and so sorry to hear about all the issues that you are experiencing.

Im wondering if you wanted to post you question into the ask a nurse forum as they may be able to offer some information and advice for you.

Sending some very best wishes for now.xxxxx

chris2012
Posted by

Hello Scarlet , at this moment in time your dads health is so important ! In time your dad will improve , the lary tube does help plus it stops the stoma ( hole in neck ) from closing  . The coughing will get better its just a matter of time allowing everything to heal up,  see what happens if he has more radiotherapy then they will see if they can offer some sort of speech. At least some of the family are here to help your mum emotionally ,she could talk to a Macmillan councilor if she gets to emotional , as a patient i know what its like and some people say the wife/carer go through more stress etc than the patient . Im sure you will not have to stay over hear for more than the three months , once your dad has stopped coughing and the radiotherapy issue sorted then he will slowly get better with his stoma and looking after it . By this time they will know if they can sort some sort of speech , all this will take about three months and im sure if he has other family members helping he will be ok , so all in all i would say your dad will get better in time . I did with the help of family ,friends and medical staff . I had mine done in 2010 but had two other operations for mouth cancer in 2008 /09 . Wishing your dad all the best in his recovery .

                                                                                           Chris