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My husband was diagnosed in October, he had a bleed in November and wasn’t expected to survive. However after a stay in the hospice he plateaued and came home for Christmas. He is doing really well with his mobility but hiccups have been a major problem. Also he continues to lose weight and his voice his hoarse. There are no plans for him to have treatment and he hasn’t seen an oncologist. I don’t know why they aren’t doing any more investigations or monitoring but how do we know what the cancer is doing without this?

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Hi Annieb,

I am so sorry to see that you and your husband are going through all this, I cannot give you an answer for the hiccups (my husband has it sometimes usually when he is eating but it goes quite quickly) my strong advice to you is chase your GP, chase the hospital....I think you should have been given a specialist nurse to contact at your hospital, speak to the hospice, call the specialist nurses on here....they are lovely and will give all the help and advice they can. We have been dealing with my husbands inoperable pancreatic cancer now for 18 months, at the beginning we were naive and thought appointments etc., “just happened”.....they didn’t....we now know after every check up, scan, blood test etc., to make sure we know “what next and when?” Write it down and if nothing happens we make that phone call to ask nicely if there is an appointment scheduled! My first move if I were you would be to the specialist nurses here and take it from there....do not delay and make that ‘phone call on Monday. I have to add that my husband is being very well looked after now by our local hospital Oncology team. I wish you well and hope that you will get the answers you need to help you both.

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PCUK Nurse Rachel R

Hi Annieb,

I'm Rachel, one of the specialist pancreatic nurses. I am sorry to hear that things are so tough at the moment for your Husband and you. Annabelle has given you some great advice, especially about trying to contact a specialist nurse. In terms of the hiccups, it would be good to try and establish a cause of these, a plan to help manage these can then hopefully be put in place.

I wonder if you would be happy to call or email us and we can chat in more detail about possible suggestions to help? Our contact information is in the strip below.

Hope to be in touch soon,


Rachel Richardson

Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse

Support Team

Pancreatic Cancer UK

email: nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk

support line: 0808 801 0707

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Hi Annieb,

My partner has been diagnosed early November and he is struggling with severe hiccups since the last few days in December. Wherever we turn hiccups cant be explained. We ended up in the A& E under observation and we were given Omeprozole, Metaclopramide and Chlorpromazine.It all helped for a while. Ten days ago he had a stent fitted in his bile duct which helped with the nausea. He lost so much weight that he was nearly to weak for any food intact. We could not get an dietician appointment and without that you cant get any ensure suppliment drinks or creons.We learnt that you can buy Ensure drinks on amazon which we did and that saved him from falling apart . Being on morphin gave him not sufficient pain relief and made him feel so sick and absent. In a last effort I got the GP to change the painkillers to Oxydone and he is now first time on a satisfying pain level.

Coming off morphin caused severe night sweats. Two days ago the hiccups came back, slowely,but more aggressive leading up to an incident where he could not breathe out anymore. Very,very scarry, it lasted maybe a minute. If that happens you both must stay very very calm. It will pass and there is enough air to get through it. We had two incidents today again. The palliative nurse says the tumor presses against a nerve which creates spasm in the diaphragm. Unless he gets chemotherapy and the cancer reduces in size the situation of hiccups will remain. We are the second day on steroids, so he is eating again. This is of course very good, but the nurse says after days without food, the intake might also trigger spasm/hiccups.We have been prescribed an additional medication to relax stomach muscles called diazepam. This has been a long journey and no chemo in site yet, however without constantly ringing the doctors, googling, talking to Jeni on the pancreatic helpline, visit to our nearest Maggie centre nothing would have happened. Nobody is coming to help. We have seen the oncologist twice. Once to tell us the prognosis,second to inform us about the treatment/ chemo, which did not happen after all. Be active, ring, ask, suggest.... it takes a long time to find out all the information and when it comes to hiccups nobody seems to know....I hope some of the information above will safe you some time.

Best Wishes to both of you.


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