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what is something good for you to eat when you dont want to eat?

json_2011
Posts: 110
Joined: Jul 2011

Hello and hope all is going good as we can. My Mother has been getting sick and cant even keep the meds down to slow this. Of course food and hydration is a big deal now and she has ate a bannana and maybey drank 1 ginger ale. I was trying to get some more ideas from you . I will be down in a week with a good blender/juicer- i hope we can do alot with that.

thankyou for any advice

Jason

NikiMo's picture
NikiMo
Posts: 346
Joined: Jul 2011

Jason,

Can she not eat becuase she can't swallow or becuase she has nausea? What meds did the doctor's prescribe for nausea? Finally does she have a feeding tube?

I think we can all give some tips, but we need to understand the problem a little better first.

Niki :)

json_2011
Posts: 110
Joined: Jul 2011

Yea sorry , she just started cystplatin and Paclitaxel this mon. About the 2nd day she was nausea and sick. No desire for any food. This just the first treatment. She is on a nausea med , but that didnt work. I know we can find anorther nausea drug - process of illimination here we go. I was trying to get some basic ideas of the foods that worked for you .

Jason

TerryV's picture
TerryV
Posts: 915
Joined: Jul 2011

My husband liked soups and ice creams while in chemo. Not much else. He has a J-Tube though and was receiving 2 - 4 cans of nutrition nightly via the J-Tube.

json_2011
Posts: 110
Joined: Jul 2011

thanks Terry , I will relay that . Liquids that makes since.

Daisylin's picture
Daisylin
Posts: 380
Joined: May 2011

Hi Jason,
Food and appetite seem to be difficult for people during chemo. Most importantly, find a nausea medication that works, don't be afraid to call the doctor for new prescriptions. I don't know about where you are, but we have 24hour on call doctors, that will call in any prescription to your pharmacy. We had to try several before finding one that worked best. However, be mindful that these will cause side effects, so be aware of constipation etc....

As far as food goes, we found that for the first 2-5 days of Lee's 2 week chemo round then one week break, he would feel lousy and not eat very much. He also suffered from nausea and vomiting. After the five days, he would feel much better and be able to eat just about anything for the next 2 weeks. And then repeat the cycle each time. I don't know if your mom has any swallowing issues, I don't recall you ever mentioning it, but if her swallowing is ok, perhaps she should try the BRAT diet, until the nausea settles (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast.) Lee just simply would not really eat anything, which is very frustrating and nerve wracking, but for him anyways, he always seemed to bounce back during the second and third week of the chemo round. Lee also found that drinking herbal tea helped ease his stomach a bit. You could also try broth soups or milkshakes. (McDonald's milkshakes have about a million calories) I know, not very healthy, and many here will disagree with me, but for a while, that's all Lee would take in, and for us it was better than nothing! Also, boost or ensure may be good. They are not the best tasting (my opinion only of course) but if she can get it down, there's lots of nutrition in it. During the bad spots Lee would not drink smoothies, but now he likes smoothies make with carnation instant breakfast, milk, ice cream and protein powder. You can also make them with yogurt, fruit, juices etc.... be creative with her favourite fruits. We have a Magic Bullet, which is the most fantastic thing ever for smoothies, soups and any other thing you need blended. Easy to use, cheap and small. I would strongly recommend one, especially if she's having problems swallowing.

There really are lots of suggestions, and I'm sure you'll hear many of them, but honestly Jason, and I know this is hard..... She may just not eat for a few days. Hopefully she'll feel much better within a few days, and her eating can return to normal. Try to make sure she at least stays hydrated, even if she's just taking little sips throughout the day.

Hope this helps a bit, I know your frustration.
Chantal
wife of Lee, stage ivb

Daisylin's picture
Daisylin
Posts: 380
Joined: May 2011

I forgot to mention, Lee (as well as others here) have had issues with food temperature. I think it's the side effect of one of the chemo meds, but not sure which one. Lee could not stand things being too cold. He'd take out his juice or whatever from the fridge before eating, to allow it to come to room temperature. (milkshakes and smoothies seemed to be the exception to this) He also found most food smells to be repulsive, so uncooked foods seemed to be best. (cereal, fruit, applesauce, crackers.....)

json_2011
Posts: 110
Joined: Jul 2011

Thankyou so very much for responding. I do keep up with Lee and new this issue , as Mom is stage iv and will be going through the same. I will write down each of these ideas . So greatful for this site!

Jason

TerryV's picture
TerryV
Posts: 915
Joined: Jul 2011

Fruit, too. My husband said that chemo changed the flavor of so many foods he liked, but fruit didn't have that problem. You might try some fruits.

My husband also mentioned white gravy as something that went down well. So anything with a good gravy over the top may be possible.

Best of luck! We're right here with you!

json_2011
Posts: 110
Joined: Jul 2011

Fruit !! Mom has ate a couple of bannanas we will add some more fruit. We will try some gravey on rice and mased potatoes and possilble over meat. Thanks Terry - and good luck with you also.

Jason

NikiMo's picture
NikiMo
Posts: 346
Joined: Jul 2011

Thanks for more info, there are just so many reasons that patients might not be feeling like eating. My husband found that using compozene and zofran on a 4 hour rotating schedule helped keep most of the nausea away, but I caution you like Chantal said if you use nausea meds you need to have a good bowel regimen. Constipation can cause bloating which in turn causes more nausea. We found that using 2 senokot-s every morning helped keep my husband regular and allowed him to use the nausea for all five rounds of chemo (and he was on a continuos pump). He didn't have a feeding tube so he had to force himself to eat, he ate a lot of yogurt, puddings, cream of wheat, and protein shakes (he liked muscle milk and carnation instant breakfast). But, he also could regular food too, he just supplemented his calories with the soft foods. I would also suggest trying to stick to 6 smaller meals through out the day, and if nausea gets bad try flat gingerale and saltines if she can swallow them. Hope these tips help.

Niki

json_2011
Posts: 110
Joined: Jul 2011

I will take everything you said and write down the different foods. i am so glad you responded. Good luck Niki with your treatment.

Jason

megmacmd
Posts: 94
Joined: Jun 2011

I have stage IV EC and rarely have an appetite or am nauseous alot sweet things do the best for me I eat a lot of yogurt banana watermelon applesuase and smoothies mostly fruit but also chocolate pudding does well I try to choose things with iron and vitamins to keep up the blood counts hope that helps . Unfortunately when your sense of taste goes everything tastes tinny to me so that is why sweet things seem to appeal since I can somewhat taste them good luck .I am on FloFOx every other week and on my 10th chemo I am still working full time but am inoperable due to nodes in my pelvis but I feel prettty good towards the 10th day or so 4 days prior to the next chemo so i try to pack it in then Meg

hopper52's picture
hopper52
Posts: 117
Joined: Apr 2011

I had the same problem with nausea and a total loss of appetite. The one thing that I could handle was a Carnation Instant Breakfast Shake.

1 cup ice cream
1 cup whole milk
1 packet of carnation instant breakfast.

Blend together and sip...........It's about 650 calories.

Good luck. I'll be praying

Michael Daniels T3N0M0
Brandon, FL

jthomas233's picture
jthomas233
Posts: 89
Joined: Jun 2011

I'd also shake up and flatten the ginger ale. When I was having trouble eating, I would find that carbonated beverages just filled up my stomach with air...

Daisylin's picture
Daisylin
Posts: 380
Joined: May 2011

Well Jason, I'm rereading my last post to you and shaking my head at my own stupidity...... I think I'd forgotten how bad the nausea and vomiting could be. Until last night that is. Lee has restarted chemo (yesterday) and was up all night throwing up. Even taking a sip of water would have him running to the toilet. It is so hard to watch your loved ones suffer, and honestly, there's nothing you can do about it. Hopefully it will just run it's course, and in a few days she'll be feeling a bit better. Lee has begged me not to even mention food to him. I've tried offering all the things I've so helpfully suggested to you, and of course, the thought of it just turns his stomach. So, here I sit wishing I could do something, anything to make him feel better. But, other than love and support, really there is nothing. This disease is such a nasty, miserable thing... I long for the days when I did not even know how to spell the word esophagus.
Be strong,
Chantal

Daisylin's picture
Daisylin
Posts: 380
Joined: May 2011

Well, I just called the on call doctor at our cancer centre, Lee has been vomiting since 3:30 this morning. They suggested adding another drug for nausea, now he's on 3 at the same time, I'm sure your doctor will be able to give you whatever he thinks best.
She did give me some helpful hints though, the get through the bad spell. She said to drink only a wee bit at a time, one teaspoon every 15 minutes or so. Try to drink any liquids at all, except carbonated ones. She suggested jello, popsicles toast and pudding if he was strong enough to eat.
And finally she said that drinking is far more important than eating for right now, if your mom develops a fever or has not peed in 8 hours or more to go to the hospital ER.
Just thought I'd share this with you, hope it helps.

TerryV's picture
TerryV
Posts: 915
Joined: Jul 2011

Just wanted to say, Lee (and you!) are in our thoughts and prayers. I feel your frustration as a caregiver when there is so little we can do.

Positive thoughts go with you through your day!

Terry
wife of Nick, Stage 3

json_2011
Posts: 110
Joined: Jul 2011

First thanks for the prayers - we all need them. We will try the mixture too , sound really good! Thanyou for responding.

Jason

Cindy Bear
Posts: 563
Joined: Jul 2009

A lady on another board swears by Carnation instant breakfast, the french vanilla one I believe. She mixes that with 1 plain or vanilla yogurt. Says it tastes like cheesecake.

json_2011
Posts: 110
Joined: Jul 2011

Very cool , sounds good ! Thanyou for responding , we will def. use this.

Jason

ritawaite13's picture
ritawaite13
Posts: 249
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Jason, My husband also has Stage 4 EC diagnosed on July 11, 2011 so we are new to this struggle. He also suffered from blood clots in his legs and lungs and he had a pretty severe stroke on July 20. He's been in the hospital receiving physical, occupational and speech therapy for the stroke symptoms since July 20 but I bring him home on weekends. So far he's had 14 radiation treatments and 2 chemo treatments. So far, things are going pretty well. We have been doing a lot of research on this type of cancer and much of what we've read steers us away from sugar. Most of the Ensure, Boost, Carnation Instant Breakfasts, etc. are loaded with sugar. Cancer feeds on sugar so while it's important to get enough calories and nutrition, too much sugar is not good. Boost does make a lower sugar(4 grams) variety and I've also found a high protein and 1 gram of sugar drink at Costco called Premium. It comes in a case of 24 for $24.00 which is much cheaper than the Boost too. We've been making smoothies with plain organic greek yogurt, fruit and ice, lots of soups, and soft casserole dishes, sauteed fresh veggies (onions and colored peppers), mashed potatoes and gravy and low sugar jello. He's also been eating blueberries, bing cherries and bananas. I have to admit that with maintaining a caring bridge site, 2 cell phones, home phone and 2 emails (mine & his), I'm not good at checking in on this site but I plan to visit more often.

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Oxaliplatin is one of the worse and Im sure cisplatin being right behind it...all which cause a neuropathy and also a cold sensation through the throat and fingers...ambient or warm temps in drink and food are a must when doing platin based chemos...I did 6 months of Oxaliplatin with CRC and 3 weeks after chemo ended so did my cold issue....and a milkshake was the first thing on my list......buzz

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