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Stag IV Cancer, and chemo side effects

hope79
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2009

Hello,

My dad was diagnosed in 10/09 with Stg IV cancer, with metastasis to outside of the stomach. He had 3 chemo treatments pre-surgery to shrink tumor, then total gastrectomy in march of this year with 22 lymph nodes removed for which 9 were cancer-positive, and a round of 3 chemo treatments after. After surgery he lost some weight,about 20 pounds. he had no traumatic side effects from chemo pre and post surgery. He is going through the last round of chemo which he started last Thursday. He is now experiencing nausea, and cant seem to be able to eat any solids. We have just given him soups, just the liquids, and water but in very small amounts. Looks like chemo is going to be suspended, but has anyone experienced this? He had no traumatic side effects from the treatments, he did lose some of his hair but that's about it.

We are concerned because of the lack of apetite and difficulty to eat, and his current weight, we are ensuring he stays hydrated...anyone experienced this?what measures can be taken to counter act these side effects?

Tomissimo
Posts: 37
Joined: Sep 2008

All treatements and reactions are different for people. But Nausea is a very common side effect of Chemo treatments. I was 165lbs when everything started, but due to nausea and other problems after surgery I had dropped to a low of 102 lbs. Though I've gained about 12 lbs of that back. However my Dr.'s tell me I am outside the norm. Usually people do not lose as much or have as much trouble gaining it as I have.

You did not mention it, but if he is having Radiation treatments as well that can aggravate the digestive system as well (depending on where it's directed) and may cause a lack of appetite as well. Not sure if there is any real advice for you here, just that you are not alone. It sounds like you are doing the right things letting him eat whatever he can happen to eat at this time.

Oneshot
Posts: 60
Joined: Jul 2009

Hope 79

I had stage 3 pancreatic cancer and had to take chemo and rad treatments. They caused me to have little to no luck with eating and retaining food. My weight went from 170 lbs. to 120 lbs. For a few months before my surgery I had a feeding tube installed in my small intestine.
I think it was called a "J tube" This helped my body to maintain the nutrition (sp) it needed. The feeding tube was removed when I had my whipple done. I continued with the chemo treatments after surgery. At this point I could eat a little but, still had bad nausea and little weight gain. My Dr. had me take Dronabinol. This not only stopped my nausea, it made me eat like crazy! I gained back up to 163 lbs in just a few months. Might mention it to your Dr.

I know your dad and I don't have the same cancer but, maybe Dronabinol can work for him too.

claudia520
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi HOPE79, I'm so sorry to hear about you dad. My father was diagnosed with stage IV gastric cancer in July 2009. He's starting his third cycle of chemo today Aug. 25.I know exactly what your going through because my dad goes through the same very time he get chemo. I spoke to the doctors and they said that loss of appetite is very common because the chemo my dad gets is a drug that contains a certain metal that when it hits his body, it tends to kill the taste buds, so everything tastes like metal and smells bad to him. I am glad to hear that your dad is at least eating soups, mine will sometimes eat but he refuses to even drink juices during the toughest days of chemo. Ask the doctor to give him the high-calorie shakes to at least put some nutrients in his body, they have worked for my dad. They will lose ridiculous amounts of weight, that is normal because they lose their appetite as a result of chemo and the cancer, but I have noticed that when chemo ends, it takes a few days before he slowly start eating again. I recommend to make him tiny bite size food, slowly make him eat it.I make my dad super small pancaked and I try to pamper him with whatever he craves, even if it's just a bite. Also, this may sound silly but I tell him that if he doesn't he or at least try to eat, I will not eat either and I know that makes him angry bc he worries about us ( I do end up eating but I have to show some tough love too)
Hope all is well, and my prayers go to you and your family.

Claudia

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