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She won't eat

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2004

I am confused about how long someone with liver cancer (stage IV) can survive if they do not take in nutrition. My mom is currently in a nursing home healing from surgery from colon cancer in which she got the colostomy. Since the end of June she has lost 20 lbs but for the most part of July and August she was on IV feedings. She will eat a bite here or a sip now and then, water just sips etc. She is on an anti drepessent that is suppose to increas appetite and is supplementing with ensure but only sips. She complains about a feeling in her chest of a gas bubble and will try to burp but will start to gag. Have given her wine and even that does not seem to help.
Where are we with this, what if anything should we do? and what are indications that the end is near? Will she die before she gets home?

Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2004

First, my heart goes out to you and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. My Dad has bile duct cancer w/in the liver. He use to feel extremely bloated/gaseous/gagged after eating. He doesn't seem to feel as full as he did a few months ago. He has lost about 40 pounds. Recently, he has been able to eat A LOT more. A medication call "Ragland" (not sure if the spelling is correct) helped him. When he was unable to eat very much, he ate a lot of mashed foods w/milk or cream added. Fruit also seemed to settle well. Recently he has been drinking smoothies w/tufo. He is receiving chemo right now. He is also getting Zometa (IV) to lower his calcium. See if you can find out if your Moms calcium level is high. Once Dad received the Zometa IV he felt a lot better. The first time he received the Zometa he was REALLY sick. He gets the Zometa once a month now and it does not make him sick and he feels better and is able to eat more. I hope something in this reply will help. Best wish and again you're in my thoughts and prayers. May God give you, your Mom, and your family strength.

Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi, I have found your posting here. As this was 2004, I am not sure I can still reach you.
My aunty is 62 and with Bile Duct Cancer spreading to Liver also. She is not eating and the doctor says the chemo won't work her anymore. Wonder if you could share with me any treatment or things that we can do to improve her appetite ? How else we can do to make her
feeling more comfortable ? Please email me at mlfooec@yahoo.com. Thanks.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2009

oh my god its so hard my mum has colen cancer and its spread but the doc said with the chemo it has shrunk but she is a changed woman and i understand u thinkin is it near the end its so hard to watch them change from a confident woman to one like someone of ninety. what has ur doc said bouther

corey kaye
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2009

My mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 in March 08---Colon Cancer---she had a large tumor that was blocking her way to eat---the cancer spread to 4 lymph nodes, both ovaries, lining of abdominal, and the lining of liver.
The chemo has killed all cancer except two small spots on liver, (they have shrunk down to almost nothing). Her cancer marker went from 199 to 15 but just went back up to 35, (Jan-09).
She had surgery when she found out it was cancer in march 08--they removed tumor and resected her colon--they cut out as much as they could. The surgery took a major toll on her, (she is age 54). She was sick with fluid in the lungs and hurt badly from the surgery--she stayed in the hospital for about 2.5 weeks. Her recovery from surgery was awful!!! Enough for her to say even today--Jan 09--that she WILL NOT have anymore surgeries because she just can't take it! Her appetite came back about June/july 08---she has a good appetite now but her incision is still hurting her---infact she will be having a scan next tuesday because she is hurting so bad. She ate lunch the other day and said she felt full before she could finish it. The doctor is going to check it out---her cancer marker would be up higher if cancer was back aggressively so they want to kick it in the tail now before it has a chance to do that.
I found out about something called Buffer PH from a friend with Colon Cancer---she takes it and it helps take out all the acid in stomach--cleans you out, relieves you so you can eat..ask her doctor about this.

louisevruiz's picture
Posts: 14
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi there,
My heart goes out to you. Tonight my Daddy announced he doesn't want to try eating anymore, he's given up. He's been plagued with diarrhea since late November. He was diagnosed with Stage IV liver cancer in late November. He began Nexavar on Deccember 25, 2008.

He's not taking much fluid nor food. He's afraid to eat. He's loaded with gas.

Thanks for the name of the medication. We'll ask the oncologist tonight.

I"ll keep praying for you!


Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2009

I am sorry to hear about your father. My 22 year old son was diganosed with Fibrolamellar on the 9th of Dec and we have been battling the fluid and discomfort issue since then.

Ask your doctor if they are willing to put a Shunt from abdominal cavity into the neck. We are discussing this procedure with our doctor at Stanford. We have had to remove 48 liters since Dec last one on Jan 30th was 13 liters with 7 the Tues before and he is filling up already. Have him eat small meals 5 or 6 through out the day it is the only way I can get my son to eat.

Keep in touch and all my best

louisevruiz's picture
Posts: 14
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi Ernie,
So sorry to hear about your son. I am pleased that the doctors have found a procedure to help him with fluid accumulation.

Since my dad is 80 and also losing ground, he entered the hospital last week and was finally released yesterday. He was so dehydrated and hasn't really eaten for about three weeks now. The doctor never found a solution for the diarrhea and a blockage that interfered with his ability to eat.

He has been released to his home. He began hospice care today. He has slept almost all day and we've been told he doesn't have too much time left with us.

You too keep in touch,

Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2009

sorry to hear about this. i hope she is well. what chemotherapy did they use to shrink the tumors? thanks.

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