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Mom refuses to eat

Barbs_girls
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi,
My mother was diagnosed with Large Cell Lymphoma three weeks ago. In the weeks leading up to her diagnosis her health steadily declined. One major change was her appetite,she had a major aversion to sweets. Then she became severly nauseated, she couldn't keep liquids or solids down. She has undergone her first round of chemo and is due to start the second in a week or two -but- due to her not eating she was put on TPN which in addition to the chemo has made a world of difference. One problem, she is still not eating. The facility she is at is weening her off the TPN because they can't find any reason she cannot take anyhting by mouth. She even refuses or gives them an argument about taking meds by mouth. She has been offerd a feeding tube and is considering it. Is there any reason she may be this way or is there any info available to show her how vital it is to make that effort to eat despite how unpleasant it may be. Me and my two sisters are at the end of the road for suggestions or support. Any comments or suggestions? We love her but we can't force her to do it.

hodgkoid2003's picture
hodgkoid2003
Posts: 96
Joined: Apr 2009

I recall, decades ago, not so much my taste buds being affected, but rather psychologically being affected. The radiation didn't alter my eating, but the chemo did. For me, it was about feeling nauseous and I didn't want to feel nauseous with the foods I enjoyed (I'm a picky eater to begin with), and then not want to ruin my desire for them.

So, if there is no medical reason for her not to eat, then you have to ask, might it have anything to do with nausea? Eating issues could also be caused by depression. And face it, cancer is just one thing that can trigger depression, even with the strongest of wills (as I thought I had). And it could be as simple as a corelation to not wanting to "ruin" the taste of foods enjoyed.

What you could do, is ask the possibility of any tumors (from the lymphoma) could be blocking anything or putting pressure against anything. If this has been ruled out, and nausea is not the cause, then contact a social worker through the hospital (your oncologist or onc nurse should be able to refer you to someone).

Hope this helps.

Paul E. (Hodgkoid2003)

fsr12
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2006

there are scented candles that smell like foods that might tempt her to want to eat something. Strawberries or any favorite like chocolate. Is her appetite gone or is stomach hurting and she doesn't want to eat. Have you tried MaryJane or to help her appetite? I know its not sanctioned but it helps with chemo.

fsr12
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2006

Try low smell foods and differnt things then she usually eats. During chemo your taste smell and moods are affected. try something completely different. Hang in there she is lucky your there and caring. Felicia

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