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not able to eat - losing weight

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2008

My boyfriend just finished having both cemo and radation treatments done. Treatments went thru about 4 months. In this time period and since the treatments have stopped, he has lost 70 plus pounds. He can't seem to keep any food or liquid down. He had cancer in 3 different areas - lypnoids, lungs and colon. The lypnoids and lungs are the same type with no primary area found. The Colon is a different type. The doctors have said that he appears fine at this time except we can't get his weight to go up. Any one have any ideas on what we can do? Hes losing about a pound a day......just over a 100 pounds now.

terato's picture
Posts: 383
Joined: Apr 2002

When I came home from combination chemotherapy, my father made me high protein, potassium, and calcium milk shakes consisting of two raw eggs, one medium sized banana, two scoops of vanilla ice cream, and 12 ounces of skim milk, blended until smooth and drinkable through a straw.

Today, you can substitute Omega-3 eggs or egg whites for heart health, acidophilous milk and frozen yogurt for lactose intolerance, and cinnamon powder or sugar-free ice cream for blood sugar/insulin concerns.

It really helped jump-start both my appetite and energy level and went down surprisingly well, considering the fact that I had been vomiting my insides out just the day before!

Love and Courage!


soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Terato's concoction sounds like a great way to get back in a positive direction. I would add that yogurt is also good for digestive system.

I would strongly suggest consulting a nutritionist at the hospital, on referral from your family doc or surgeon. They can provide wonderful ideas as well, and have probably worked with others with your boyfriend's particular circumstances.

This is probably stating the obvious, but I wonder if he has tried compazine or fenergin, or other drugs designed to alleviate nausea? If not, he should ask his doc to consider these.

Finally, I am surprised if you are suggesting that the doc is not alarmed by this. I know my doctors are monitoring my weight (or were until very recently) very closely, as I also lost a great deal of weight through surgeries and chemotherapy and continued to slide for some time. I would stay on the doc regularly about this, until he can tell you why the guy is continuing to lose weight while offering solutions as well.

Good luck with this!

Take care,


Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2008

I want to thank you both for getting back with me so quickly. The doctors have put Carson into the hospital twice since the treatments started trying to get him to regain some substance into him. He is and has taken several different medications to combact the nausea and none seem to be helping.
His mental attitude seems to be going down each day - doesn't feel hes going to be able to fight this. He had been on a paid leave until they thought he was able to combat this however recently work took him off of the payroll and he is now applying for disablity. I think that makes him feel that they have confirmed the idea that they believe he won't pull thru.

slickwilly's picture
Posts: 339
Joined: Feb 2007

I am sorry about your situation here. Its quite possible that it has nothing to do with the stomach or food put in it. It might be an emotional or mental problem brought on by the Chemo drugs. Many people get so sick during the treatments that they quit eating so they don't have anything to throw up. Then they require booster shots before their next chemo as their numbers are too low. Many of us completly change our diets to cope with chemo. Over time the brain develops defenses to deal with the drugs and pain. His stomach is telling him he is hungry, and his brain is telling him he is going to get sick even before he eats. I know that when I finished my CHOP+Rituxin and went to the bathroom only blood would come out. My digestive tract had been completly stripped. It was a slow process getting everything working again. And the diets mentioned above are both great. 5 years out I still have daily yogurt. Anyway for what its worth the doctors might want to look at more than just the medical side of this. It could be he has built up defenses in his brain that have to be taken apart. I doubt you would find many of us here that have not faced some kind of mental issues from dealing with cancer. We each cope in different ways. Hoping for the best. Slickwilly

Posts: 11
Joined: Jun 2008

It sound like he's giving up, but there is hope and we all have it. If he's in bed get him out, set and talk about what he wants. There are alot of people that just give up and lay there waiting, thinking their time is up and he doesn't want to fight it. I know where he's coming from, I have lung cancer and that's what I did, I just said screw it. I went down to 67 pounds and if it wasn't for my brother I would have die. And I'm marry but my husband the type to leave me along, he didn't know that I wasn't eating. Sometimes you mite have to push him to eat and the others gave you good advice. There are all kinds of drinks that well build him up. I well pray that you well come up with a idea that well help you. You both well be in my prays.

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