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Appetite

Shiloah29
Posts: 17
Joined: May 2011

I am my husband's caregiver. He had surgery, 4 Mo. of chemo, 10 radiation treatments and is scheduled for 10 more. All of this has taken it's toll. His appetite has upped and downed but now it is down and I can't seem to get it up. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Things he used to like he turns his nose up. I try little things like half a sandwich and he eats one bite and doesn't eat any more. When I ask him about it, he says it is too hard and not good. A ham and cheese sandwich. He is getting so weak. He did drink an Ensure and a small glass of orange juice. Any suggestions. The final killer of his appetite was the pain meds they gave him. If I can't get him stronger, I will not be able to get him to his treatments much less him being able to take them HELP annd ideas or tricks that you have played to get food in a body will be appreciated!!!

catcon49's picture
catcon49
Posts: 388
Joined: Aug 2008

I didn't have chemo, but before surgery dr had me drink Boost twice a day to get me strong. My favorite was milk chocolate ice ice cold. If he is drinking supplement drink don't worry so much about food, it is fortified with plenty of vitamins. Maybe ice cold will help going down. Things like yogurt, ice cream, italian ice, may soothe his throat. Good luck with everything.

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

They also make a chocolate pudding that's good enough to satisfy a chocolate lover :) Easy to eat and surprisingly tasty.

Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Ex_Rock_n_Roller
Posts: 276
Joined: Mar 2011

... on my third round of chemo and last 1.5 weeks of radiation (toasted my esophagus). There are no easy answers, and to a degree, you have to psych yourself into getting started, because eating just may not be appealing, even if you feel better after you've done it. I really had to force myself.

The pudding suggestion is good, but I think I spent my last two weeks on a diet of nothing but finely-diced hot dogs and heavily-buttered spaghetti. The virtue of it, other than having calories, was that it went down fast and didn't get stuck in any particular place.

a-positive
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2011

The toasted esophagus comment caught my eye. This has definititely been a roller coaster ride but thought I was dealing with it rather well... until I got to my 19th radiation treatment of the 28 scheduled. When he said it was going to irritate my esophagus, that was an understatement. I've never experienced this kind of throat pain and am back on the Dilaudid again to try to deal with it. Now I'm on the treatment countdown just hoping my throat can hold out. So far this has been the most challenging side effects. I was dx with SCLC in June and have had 3 Chemo's so far and thank God, now almost through with the radiation. The throat burn (damage) whatever has almost completely wiped out my appetite, taste buds, etc.

Deb0202
Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2011

Chemo and radiation wreak such havoc on the appetite. I hope that by now your husband's appetite has improved. I had radiation and 2 rounds of chemo in Aug/Sept 2010, a right upper lobectomy in Nov., and then 2 more rounds of chemo in Dec. I am a nutritionist, so I know how I should have eaten during treatment, but what I could tolerate was a totally different story. After completing the third round of chemo I could only eat white foods - crackers, bread, cheese and plain, buttered pasta - they were 'safe'. To drink 4 ounces of fluid or eat more than two bites of a food was an accomplishment. Like you, my husband tried everything and was frustrated, though patient beyond belief. I knew I should be drinking protein shakes, but the smell made me gag. We called the oncologist and she had me come in for IV fluids because I was severely dehydrated. Though far from a cure-all, I was in much less of a haze, had a little more strength and a little more appetite as soon as they gave me the fluids. After my 3-day fourth round of chemo the oncologist scheduled me for 4 days of IV fluids to prevent the situation from happening again and I fared better. A high-protein, high-calorie diet would be ideal, but a 'diet as tolerated' is more realistic. Request IV fluids if the patient is unable to take in fluids.

lms1616
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2011

I give my mom chocolate boost or ensure and put a very large scoop of vanilla ice cream in it. Her appetite some days is much like your husbands. The doctor also put her on Megace to increase her appetite. According to her it tastes disgusting, but the small dose of liquid every morning has helped her stop losing weight. Hope you can find something that works for him.

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