Liquid food replacement whilst recovering from cancer

My 84 year old father was diagnosed with bladder cancer last April. He had his bladder removed and his left kidney was found to be cancerous and was also removed. He has been told that there is still cancer 'floating about' but he is waiting to see the consultant to find out where it is and what treatment is advised. My main concern at the moment is that he seems unable to eat very little, he has no appetite which means he is not gaining weight which is the last thing he needs having lost weight in hospital when he was on a feeding line for a month. May I add that 4 days after his operation he had a cardiac arrest,and a collapsed lung, my poor father has been through so much. I was reading about Ensure Plus as a beneficial meal replacement for cancer patients but I was wondering if it is worth him trying these, given that he is still coughing up mucous? Many thanks.


  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
    Hi Kerry
    Yes give him anything that he will eat as he needs to gain as much weight back as possible. Also let the doctor know about it as he might need to put the PEG tube back in until he can do better.

    Wishing you the best and welcome to CSN.
  • nowrest
    nowrest Member Posts: 48 Member
    Carnation Instant Breakfast
    I receive a case of this stuff every month, it is basically the same as insure. Cancer fund of America supplies it free. The web site is or phone 800-578-5284.It sure helps with the finances
  • NWSue
    NWSue Member Posts: 2
    edited October 2020 #4
    Somewhere between chemo

    Somewhere between chemo radiation steriods thrush and other medications I lost my sense of taste and smell.  It made eating almost impossible.   Not bad as diets go but does nothing for energy.  My husband got the stink eye from my doctor when I admitted all I managed to chock down was a piece of bread a day. Hey! It's not like he can force me to eat.

    Anyway, I knew I needed the nutrition and protein before I slid off a cliff.  I tried various brands and flavors and found which ones went down easiest for me.  I treated it like medication morning and night even if I had no appetite.  I stuck with the high protein stuff and got the big packs from Walmart.  I stopped losing weight daily.  Can't say it's all the protein drinks but I'm sure they got me out of the gully of no eating.  Eventually taste and smell have come back so I've been adding more to my diet.  What I learned is to go with cravings.  If i have an interest in something/anything give it a try. The odd bits of variety don't always work but they get me interested in eating again.

    High protein supplements drinks helped stave off my weight loss until things turned around enough that I had an appetite.   I still keep my fridge stocked for days when I'm not up to meal prep

  • cjc49er
    cjc49er Member Posts: 1 Member

    I have been almost 3 months out since my last chemo & radiation for lung cancer. During the process of radiation, my esophagus was burnt to where I couldn't eat for nearly two months, consequently losing 20 lbs. I lived on protein shakes, Carnation Instant breakfasts, Ensure, and anything that was remotely healthy. At night I would attack a carton of ice cream, just to try to put some fat on my body. I finally gained 4 pounds, I know that doesn't sound like much, but I was thrilled to see any kind of weight gain! I had gotten down to 94 lbs! Slowly, my ability to actually eat normal food returned. I still drink healthy drinks, eat a lot of protein, and still enjoy my ice cream at night. I'm hoping someone else may see a light at the end of their tunnel by reading the journey I have taken, so far.....