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Mother recently diagnoesd

Posts: 86
Joined: Feb 2007

I am normally on the breast cancer side since I had breast cancer last year. Now my mother has been diagnosed with stomach cancer. She is 78 and this has been hard on my family especially for my father and myself having fought cancer.

My mother just had her suregery on Monday and as of today the hospital has not gave her anything to eat and now she can't even hold her head up cause she is so weak. Why are they starving her? Also what kinds of foods should she avoid? What can the family do to help speed up the heeling process? Any advise you can give would be very helpful to us.

Thank you in advance.

Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2008

Hi Jackie,

I don't know if this will help, but my husband has stomach cancer too and although surgery isn't an option for us, initially he couldn't eat as the cancerous tumors are on his stomach wall and the weight of them meant that the tummy couldn't pulsate as it normally would to send the food on its way, as a result he couldn't eat anything (if he would it would just come right back up). What happened for us was that in hospital a PICC line was inserted in his arm and he was given TPN (a white liquid food source) straight into the bloodstream.

Perhaps TPN could be an option for your mother? And then at least her body is getting nourishment.

All the best,

Posts: 37
Joined: Sep 2008

Late reply and it is probably already resolved, but I'll add my two cents worth in. Having had to have a total gastrectomy and removal of a 1/3 of my esophagus last September I can relate what my experience was. During the surgery I had a J-Tube inserted (don't ask me the spelling but its a part of the intestine called the jeujenum or something) and there was no sustenance that was given through that for several days. After a week or so is when they started the actual feedings through the feeding tube. They keep the nourishment to the body through the saline solution provided through one of her IV's.

I was on the feeding tube for 6 weeks after the surgery at which point the surgeon performed an endoscopy to verify the healing of the surgery. At which point there was a supposed two week weaning period which to go from very soft foods to regular foods. I started a 2nd round of chemo when I started eating again so that might have played a part, but it was more of a month or so to start eating some foods without difficulty.

Since she might not have hit the eating stage yet, pre-warn her not to look too forward to eating. Or be too optimistic anyhow. The constant dumping syndrome and trying to just simply how to get the digestive system working again was the worst part of the treatment for me. Sure I felt worse after the surgery, but I expected that. I had just optimism about eating again, but the trouble that comes with trying eat again led to a state of depression. Eating was such a miserable activity for a long period.

Of course it eventually passed, but I wanted to give my experience so hopefully your mother may not have unrealistic expectations as I did.

As far as recommended foods, certainly nothing with sugar. Grape juice gave me dumping syndrome (diahrea and vomiting for 16 hrs straight). Obviously listen to the Dr's advice but since I like tea, herbal tea's actually were helpful to me. Through I had some nurses say NO NO NO, and others say it was ok. You'll receive long list of what is good and what to avoid I'm sure. I had to have a nutritionist go over everything with me before leaving the hospital.

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2009

OMG! I was diagnosed a year ago and now my mom has stomach cancer. I feel like i'm going crazy. I feel so awful for my mom, It breaks my heart to see her suffering. Today we go see the onc for the first time and i'm so nervous. It's like reopening wounds and i'm so scared. I wanna be strong but i feel that i can't. I'm just hoping for the best and that there is something they can do for her. I really need to talk tot someone that's going through the samething and it is you. I know it's been a longtime since you've posted but i hope you read this. I need hope

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