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Refuses to eat.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2009

My mom was diagnosed with Large B-cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She has had her first round of chemo and since she has been home she doesn't like to eat. She tells us that food tastes terrible and metallic. We have been giving her Ensure to drink but she won't eat anything else. Is this a side effect? She has lost a lot of weight and she now sleeps a lot and is very weak. She has to go to the hospital for a second round of chemo on Monday. But what can we do for her at home? I am so upset because I feel so helpless. Any ideas would be helpful. Thank you

Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Daughter, Wife goes thru the same thing and it is frustrating! I was lucky that she hates hospitals so I said this "Look, Food tastes bad, you're not hungry, no argument. But the body needs all the help it can get, Our options are taking in as much as you possibly can in whatever form you want or your doc will have you back in the hospital with a tube in your arm getting probed and poked." We joked about how to disquise things and ended up with carnation instant breakfast milkshakes. Heck, throw some insure in there, did your doc say no to icecream? Her's didn't....lol How about fruit smoothies. Guess what I am trying to say is that we challenged the medications side effects in a positive light. Worry begets worry.....stress begets stress.... Peace and hope to you and yours.

Posts: 19
Joined: Jun 2009

hi daughter
I have been through what your mom is going through. Kharmicbook is right. I especially found soft cold things nice. I ate applesauce and canned peaches. My mouth had an awful taste but not a metallic taste, for a while most things just tasted too salty, even if I knew it was not salty!! And things will probably change during the course of her treatment, I have been off treatment for two months , I still can't eat chicken or pork, but have started eating crackers and bread again. My best to both of you yu are in my thoughts and prayers

MichelleHenry's picture
Posts: 11
Joined: May 2009

Ok, I know this is late, but if it helps great, if not, maybe it will help someone else reading. My doctors gave me this drink Scandishake. You can even get a recipe book for them. It's a powder and it taste great! I hated the Ensures and I still have some left over that my kids drink. NOT I! They taste metalic to me! Anyways, ask about the Scandishake. Full of calories! Yeah!

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2009

My husband had the same thing. Yes it is a side affect. He liked to eat baked potatoes, jello, and fresh fruit. The taste was not the best but he was able to get these down. Also sometimes cereal well work. I know how you feel, but please know you are doing great! Try to get her to drink a little more and that well help with the taste of things. My husband like slurpees. If you can get her to eat a little every two hours it seems to work better.

Posts: 148
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi DD,

Not eating because food tastes terrible is a very common side effect of chemo, I had the same NHL as your mom, and I can tell you that it is indeed very difficult to eat. I finally learned to prepare whatever came to mind that sounded like it might be good, I sort of dreampt up the "Perfect Lunch", and went down and got it at the store. I loved peaches, ice cream, crackers, . Staying hydrated is also and could always get a bowl of Chicken Noodle soup, down. I also made and ate a LOT of Jello, and Ensure, (but only chocolate), I liked chocolate pudding too. Usually the nausea and food aversion only lasted about half the time between Chemo sessions.
Staying hydrated was also a big problem and I had to force myself to drink enough water to help the kidneys eliminate the Chemo and cells that they needed to.
You might just try to sit down with your mom and just talk about her favorite foods, (pre-chemo) and see if anything appeals to her at all, doesn't really matter what it is, and just make her some.

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