Dec 06, 2010 - 7:47 pm
I was going to post this on the caregivers list, but it is really H&N specific. Doug is now 3 days post-treatment - he skipped the g-tube, as he could eat reasonably well until the 2nd chemo, which kicked the crap out of him. He lost 35 of his 175 pounds and so now we are trying to build it back.
He can drink thin milkshake-type liquids - Boost Plus is about as thick as he likes. We're up to about 2600 calories/day and about 135 g of protein/day with 4 Boost Plus, 1-2 milkshakes (Bluebonnet Whey powder, glutamine powder, milk, cream and vanilla syrup) and little bites of whatever we have for family meals. I'm also supplementing with an Mg, K, P, Ca and B3 liquid that I get from our local wholefood-type store. I've been making cream of everything soups - at the moment, his throat is still a bit raw and he has tongue sores, so many of those are not going down well - the problem seems to be the fiber, but sometimes also the acidity (like with tomatoes or peppers) gets to him. . . or the texture. . . or the taste (his stomach is still a bit touchy). So, he can swallow things like macaroni and cheese, but it' slow going. Mashed potatoes are a bit rough, still. He's not good at just sitting and eating all day - already he complains about feeling useless when he only gets a few hours of work done in a day.
So, suggestions? I've been looking into maltodextrin as a way to get more liquid carbs into him (he's a jock and I suspect his body is not used to having so many of his calories come from protein). How much can you mix into a liquid before it gets thick? Nestle's Glutasolve looks interesting, as a way to get glutamine and maltodextrin into a drink, but it's pricey and I've found no one who uses it to let me know whether it's drinkable.
Am I being too conservative on the protein? I'm seeing some muscle growth in him already, but his weight is not really increasing yet. (I should mention that, since he went almost 3 weeks without eating, we started out slow, on a refeeding protocol, and worked up over a week to the current level.)
It sounds like many of you are old pros - thanks for the advice!