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she's not eating...

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2011

hi everyone. i am living with and taking care of my mother who was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. (i'm afraid i'm not a very good speller) we have been battling this for oh, probably a year if not longer. she started with radiation with a 4% chance of coming back. the thing is that yes it did come back in a way that kind of had the doctors scratching their heads. it ended up spreading up effecting a few of her lymph nodes and causing a growth on her throat that could be felt. good news is that it skipped her lungs and chest and those couple things i said were the only things effected that the tests shows. she has been through six months of chemo and had one checkup after three months being done with chemo that looked good except now she developed a little skin cancer by her rectum and is going through another round of radiation.

the biggest problem right now is that she can't eat much. today she forced down a greek yogurt and that's about it. she is having a huge problem with gas buildup that never fully goes away. she was a good fighter up until her very last chemo. she never bounced back from that. she swears she doesn't have diarrhea or constipation and that it's trapped gas. we talked to a couple doctors and tried anything over the counter we could think of. no body seems to have an answer. she went to a stomach specialist and he wanted to do a colonoscopy and have her drink like a gallon of gateraid. she can't even handle a forth of that. each day i get more worried about here and i have run out of ideas on ways to help her. so please anyone with a little advice or insight, i would welcome a response.

dearfoam's picture
Posts: 82
Joined: Apr 2011

At least keep her hydrated - I think the body can do without solid food a lot longer than without liquids. My dad got to where he was barely eating for a while so I tried to keep him going with lemonade, juice, milk etc. He wouldn't take the ensure type drinks, but would at least drink milk with the carnation instant breakfast added to it, but no more than one serving at a time. He eventually started eating as it wore off and we put him on more steroid and ritalin, and has a much better appetite now.
good luck!

Posts: 1846
Joined: Aug 2010

I think a colonoscopy is in order, too, and I know that will be difficult for her. There are other options besides drinking all the fluid - some people get to take pills and some people even have insurance that lets them start with a virtual colonoscopy - just taking a special kind of picture with a contrast used. Also, does she have her gall bladder? I understand that sometimes a diseased gall bladder causes discomfort that can seem like trapped gas.

Talk to the doctor again and explain the dilemma. If that doctor won't help, find another.

I'm sorry your mom is going through this and that you are, too.

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2011

thank you for the good advice. it gives me some hope. she is trying to drink through the day. she drinks fusion a lot because it has some vegitables added to it. she hasn't gone for the milk much but i'll ask her what she thinks and yes she hates insure too. she tried a couple other brands but burned out of them very fast. it helps to know there is another way a colonoscopy can be done. i also received a hotline number for mayos and there has been talk about trying to go somewhere else. thank you again.

Barbara53's picture
Posts: 658
Joined: Aug 2009

Katie, so sorry to welcome you here. My mother has end stage ovarian cancer, and we've been through surgery and two chemo regimens. Now she says enough.

It has been a year since Mom was able to drink the stuff for a colonoscopy, so I asked that she get PET scans instead, which are a little easier than CT scans, which also require drinking all that stuff. The PET tells more about the cancer, too. I don't want to be a downer, but I don't think you've been told the whole story. Push for truth from your mother's doctors.

My mother has cancer in her lymph nodes and even though the last PET scan didn't show organ involvement, we think it's basically on a rampage. She could hardly eat a thing until her oncologist starter her on Megace. It's a liquid medicine that helps with the whole digestive mess, and Mom's appetite picked up within a couple of days. The Megace changes to a steroid in the body, so it's given Mom an energy boost, too. I may have spelled it wrong, but it's made a huge difference in Mom's quality of life. She's been told to expect to live "a few short months," so she's delighted to actually feel a little better, at least for now.

Good luck!

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