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Help eating

dirar
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2007

My mother has just finished a radioactive session and now she's in the hospital for the 4th day to get water out of her lungs. She's not eating or drinking at all, and if we speak with her about food she gets very nervous and angry. Is there away to help her eating?

Thanks

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I do not know how far along your mother's cancer is, but you might want to ask the doctor. I stopped eating after surgery for lung cancer. I just wasn't hungry. I tried to drink and take my oral medicines that I always took at home. After two or three days of not wanting to eat, one bite went in and then everything came . . . well, I'll leave it to your imagination! It turned out my intestines had quit functioning because of the anesthesia. Once I was up and walking, everthing started working better and I was able to eat. No amount of fussing would have helped me eat more earlier. Things just weren't working and I wasn't hungry.

My grandfather, near the end of his life, also stopped eating. He tried to please us, but it was obvious he wasn't hungry. We pleaded and begged as he turned meal after meal away. Finally my parents tried hospitalizing him thinking he was trying to commit suicide. Only after he died did we find out the problem was that he was in end-stage cancer. We knew he had prostrate cancer, but we didn't know it had spread and was causing the problem. The fluid build-up in his abdomen probably stopped him for being hungry and though he never complained of any pain, I'm sure that stopped his appetite some too. I am sorry now for all the fuss we made trying to get him to eat when he was not able. We didn't know any better, but sometimes your gut just isn't hungry.

In short, it is something the doctors need to address. If your mom has lost her appetite, they need to evaluate the cause. Is it the drugs she is on? Did the radioactivity affect her digestion? Is it the fluid build-up in her lungs or somewhere else? Would a treatment of steroids or another drug help her feel hungry? Does she need surgery? Is she in pain? These are questions they should follow up and answer for you so that you know what to do. Find out what the problem is and what can be done to make her as comfortable as possible. Oh, and don't forget to ask the oncology nurses. Sometimes they have ideas that will help too.

handle
Posts: 31
Joined: Feb 2006

Hi, I also had radiation to lungs, my throat was so raw , it hurt when I drank water, and it had to be warm water because hot or cold water was torture. I would ask her doctors if this might be the case because they could help this condition. I hope this helps and bless you and your Mother. Mike

dirar
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2007

Thank you for the messages. The cancer is spreading too fast and faster than we expected. I just hope that she won't suffer from it anymore.

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