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Diagnosed Three weeks ago

Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2006

Thanks to all of you for your strength. I'm so relieved to have found this site.
My favorite person on the planet (my sister) has just been diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. She has metastasis to the lymph and peritonium. Her colon has been removed and she has an ileostomy. Does anyone have any suggestions for helping with her apetite? She is having a difficult time eating, and hasn't even started her chemo yet (the doc's won't start it until her incision heals).

Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Murph -

So sorry you have to be here. I was Stage IV and can tell you that my appetite was seriously depressed until about 3 months post surgery (it was surgery-related, not chemo, as I did not start chemo until 7 weeks post surgery). My luck - I didn't lose much weight from the appetite loss - but a few bites of whatever and I was full. It frustrated my husband (that's another story.)

So, please know that my appetite did improve and get totally back to normal. One thing I found, pathetic as it is, is that when my appetite was really suppressed, really bad "comfort foods" - as one BC friend said "the foods of my childhood" - worked better. So mac n cheese, chicken noodle soup etc worked well. Not a diet for the rest of your life, but maybe a diet to help get thru the post surgical period.

Best wishes to your sister,

katienavs's picture
Posts: 88
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi Murph,
I, too, have stage IV colorectal cancer and had surgery on Oct 24th and was given a temporary ileostomy. I didn't have any appetite for the eight days I was in the hospital or the first week home. Nothing really sounded good and I would get full after several bites. BUT it came back in full effect about three weeks post surgery, so hopefully she will also get it back soon! In the mean time, the thing I found most appealing was ice cream and tons of juice and other cold liquids. Also, my favorite comfort foods that my mom would make. I couldn't eat much of them but at least they seemed appealing. It will get better and from my chemo experience (started another round today) I only have a depressed appetite for about two days. As you've probably heard so often, everyone reacts differently. I'll be praying that your sister recovers quickly from this surgery and handles her upcoming chemo well :) Hang in there!

Monicaemilia's picture
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

I am also Stage IV and have an iliestomy. My surgeon suggested several small meals a day would work much better than trying to eat big meals. That worked for me and my appetite and weight came back within a few weeks. Also remember to keep well hydrated with an iliestomy. She needs to drink at least two litres of liquid a day (not counting coffee), and my surgeon suggested a cup of chicken broth (which is salty) to get salt back into the system. I hope these suggestions help. Don't hesitate to e-mail me if you have any questions or concerns. Monica

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy, Murph -

Welcome to the SemiColons - you're a caregiver, ergo, you're a Semi (even though your colon is still all there!) I think it's really a great thing you're doing reaching out for info for your sister.

Doing light physical activity - especially outside - would help with the appetite and will also help combat depression if she's feeling some of that. Often there is a direct link between appetite and emotional state. In the mean time, have you looked into liquid nourishment to ensure she's getting the vitamins, minerals, and calories she needs?

Welcome to our group.

be well...

- SpongeBob

chynabear's picture
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Murph,

Welcome to the group but sorry you have to be here.

I was dx Stage III. After surgery, I really had no urge to eat due to the surgery. I would choke down a few bites and that was it. Also, after everything had been "fondled" inside, it hurt to digest. It took a while, 4-6 weeks maybe more, and then I was able to eat again. Although, then was time to start chemo and again nothing sounded good.

Maybe you could check into some cancer/nutrition books to help with finding small amounts of food with high nutritional impact?

You are an angel for looking out for your sister. Please remember to look out for yourself too, and that means getting screened yourself.



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