My 64-year-old husband has end stage cancer. What can I do when his breath is getting worse?

Follow
Share

I have the sponge mouth cleaners with mouthwash, but they don't help. He is too out of it to rinse and spit. He is not on any pain medication, seems in a good mood, laughs when I talk to him. Not eating, only taking small sips of water, or 7-up.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
4

Answers

Show:
Thank you, I should of thought of that. I used to work in a hospital lab. I know about ketones, and acidosis. He has barely eaten anything in over a month, and this last week just tiny sips of water. This morning he doesn't know me, and is getting combative. He went through a spell like this 6 days ago. This has been the hardest part for me,, not knowing what will happen next. I do have a friend going to pick up some incense this morning.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

meanwhile2 - My heart goes out to you and your husband. I lost Mom to Alz and suspected bladder cancer last month. She had been with me for 3 years and died at home.

There are so many natural changes our body can go through at this time and these strong odors affect many.

The last week of Mom's life there began an increasingly strong, fruity-musky odor from her mouth that somehow smelled familiar. I did some research, and together with the hospice nurses decided it had to be ketosis (I had done the low carb diet years ago, and had developed this sweet yet foul smelling 'ketosis breath' myself). In simple terms, Ketosis results from the body metabolizing its own fat.

Also, in some folks with liver cancer, there is also an associated odor known as fector hepaticus, which has a similar sweet/foul smell resulting from the livers inability to metabolize substances properly.

There was no remedy for Mom's breath. We used the mouth swabs after she she was no longer able to take anything by mouth. I had to hold my breath when near her face, as I routinely was for kisses, and I wore a cotton face mask when she was asleep. I did put 2 citrus odor absorbers (the kind that come in the round plastic container) in her room - on the bedstand and beneath her bed. This helped with keeping the odor down. I also burned incense.

My thoughts and blessings are with you in this difficult time. Your husband is a very lucky man to have you at his side.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thanks, I will try the mint. I really shouldn't complain. He is so much easier to take care of than he could be.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I'm pretty sure the odor isn't entirely from his mouth. The client I cared for who had cancer also had an odor... but I guess I never really thought about it in light of what was going on. Perhaps you can put a little touch of peppermint into the water he is sipping. Minty water may feel refreshing - and may help freshen.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions