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Weight Loss During Chemo

KFen725's picture
Posts: 108
Joined: Jul 2009

I am wondering if you all have any tips on combating weight loss during chemo? Mom is on an every-other-week regime and has a hard time eating much during her chemo weeks and can't seem to quite make up for that during the second week.

Two questions:

1) Is it normal to lose weight during chemo?

2) Any ideas on how we can help her to keep up her weight?

Thanks for any and all advice!

PamPam2's picture
Posts: 376
Joined: Jan 2009

I was told to try to stay on high calorie, high protein diet. I did use the supplements like ensure. I had lost about 45 lbs before my surgery and chemo, but I did manage to start to gain some weight during the chemo. It is hard to find foods that are appealing and taste good, when on chemo, especially if nausea is a problem. I know they are not good for you, but sweets were one thing I could tolerate. Soups were also something I could do, and mashed potatoes, gravy. Let her try different things, whatever tastes good to her and she can keep down. Best wishes for your mom through her chemo.

GOOFYLADIE's picture
Posts: 233
Joined: Aug 2009

When I was on Chemo, I lost the taste for my favorite foods. But I did like mashed potatoes and gravy. I liked it because it tasted salty. On the day of my Chemo treatment, we would drive through Burger King and get a whopper Junior on my way to treatment which was 2 hours away and that would be my breakfast. Then, after my Chemo we would go straight to the spiciest mexican food I could find. I loved it. I could taste the rich flavors. Now, everyone is different. So you'll have to find what works for your mom.
I had to have my bath water drawn up about 30 minutes before I could get into it, because I could smell all the minerals in the water so strong I felt like I had them in my mouth. They also gave me Ativan for nausea. It is a sleeping pill and it is used for other purposes too, but for chemo patients its stops the nausea. Trial and error, my mom and husband and friends would bring stuff. They finally would just bring a few bites of left overs from their dinners until we figured out what worked. Eventually when your mom decides that she needs to eat to get thru, get over and carry on it gets easier to make yourself eat alittle something.
I hope this helps.

johnnybegood's picture
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

my lowest weight was 91 lbs and just could not eat anything.so when all else fails i called my onc and she prescribed MEGACE. after taking one dose even though i couldnt taste any thing it really helped me eat and put the weight back on.good luck to and your mom.....Godbless....johnnybegood

KFen725's picture
Posts: 108
Joined: Jul 2009

Thanks for the tip about the Megace. I guess we always have that in our back pocket if we need it!

KFen725's picture
Posts: 108
Joined: Jul 2009

...yes, she mentioned that mashed potatoes and gravy did sound good to her, too! It's so hard in the few days right after/during chemo, though, because NOTHING sounds good.

Thanks for your thoughts!

nudgie's picture
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sep 2006

food items I was told to try were:

a) Mike shakes
b) Peanut butter (add to shake as well)
c) High protien and carb drinks (ensure, boost, GNC)
d) Eggs
e) Applesauce
f) Soups
g) Bananas
h) Baked potato or sweet potato

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