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Wife sleeping a lot and not eating

Winny's picture
Winny
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2017

Wife is stage 4 colon with Mets to liver, she just started her 4th chemo and last week or so she is slowly losing her appetite and sleeping a lot then before. Today she barely ate today, seems like her appetite is non existent and she wants to stay awake but can’t.  I’m worried about her, is this normal to have a slip during treatments or not??  Her blood work stayed the same. any feed back would bye helpful. Thanks 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5175
Joined: Jan 2013

It is one of the cruelest side effects of chemo.  I suffered greatly during chemo and more during radiation, but at the end of the day, the fatigue is what I hated the most.  I personally didn't sleep - Edit to say that my boys just told me that I slept all of the time and would fall asleep in the middle of a sentence. I guess I meant, I didn't stay in bed - , but I could not lift my arms at all, at times. I felt like a deflated balloon. It was the oddest and worst feeling I have ever experienced - and I've had a few in my lifetime -

While it is normal to have no energy due to treatment, it is definitely something that you both need to talk to your wife's Oncologist about. Any side effect, regardless of how 'normal' it is, needs to be discussed with a professional.  Be sure to talk to him/her at your wife's next chemo appointment, or, if you are very worred, give them a call. 

Wishing you both the best - at least the best that can be expected during treatment -

Tru

Lily Flower's picture
Lily Flower
Posts: 253
Joined: Jul 2017

Like Tru said, Fatigue knocks you out. I was bedridden during my first two treatments where I slept all day and had no appetite to eat. I lost weight. Every step I took to go to the bathroom was like a hundred mile walk. Maybe try have your wife to drink some Ensure? It has all the nutrients that her body needs to gain some strength back. Let her oncologist know so maybe they can reduce the dosage. They reduced my dosage by 10% on my 3rd treatment and it made a big difference. Good luck!

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6510
Joined: Feb 2009

Many of us that go through treatment are just totally spent by the time the end of the round hits - once the treatment is done we seem to crash and that crash can seem to last longer and longer the more treatments we have.  Mine included steroids so I'd be up for 3 days and then crash terrible for 4 days - not really sleeping but not wanting to get up to eat, talk or even take a shower.  It was a terrible chore to do daily chores or even try to get out during the day.  I'd force myself though but it was hard.  Let her doctor know about this as it is important.  Hoping that she feels better soon.

Kim

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 803
Joined: Dec 2017

I too get a steroid drip before the medicine. I was not tired at all the first 3 days. But the day after I got the 46 hour take home infusion removed, I was exhausted. I thought it was the iron drip I get for my anemia, but now I am thinking it is the steroid. How interesting.

darcher's picture
darcher
Posts: 257
Joined: Jun 2017

One, call the oncologist and ask for advice.  Two, this may seem silly but have her listen to comedy radio.  I discovered it by accident. I'd tune to the station as a matter of habit in the car.  A couple times I didn't and noticed a big difference by the time I got to where i was going.  It should be available on your cell under google apps or something like that if you don't have a local station in the area.

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1195
Joined: Feb 2015

I would eat less my chemo week pretty much from the beginning and dropped weight, though the off weeks I would eat pretty much normally.  The fatigue started coming into play about 1/2 through the treatments.  I would get disconnected on a Weds, by Thursday night I would start getting tired, and then would sleep for 40 to 46 hours (or more) from Friday to Monday. As Kim mentioned, there is often a steroid crash.  Also trying to sleep with the bottle takes getting used to, I wound up on a couch sleeping on one side with the bottle on the other.  Not the easiest way to get a restful sleep when hooked up.  

Comedy helps for sure like Darcher said.  One of the harder things was adjusting to resting in this for me - give myself and break and chill on couch watching TV, sleeping as needed as oppossed to going out and doing things.  I did keep active, for instance I would shoot sports in the evening, but would make sure to nap to do it.  There are times when it is difficult, but trying to walk a bit or some form of exercise will help.  And anything that is "normal" helps.  For me I would go to my local diner way more often than I normally do to grab a cup of coffee, some toast, an omelette.  Helped with my mind set.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6510
Joined: Feb 2009

It is helpful to your mind to get daily routines in.  We managed to go someplace during the day even though it was hard.  Although I'd never go out to eat because of bathroom issues we did venture out somewhat to go grocery shopping or visit the kids/grandkids.  It's good to try to stay somewhat "normal."

Kim

elemyrem
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2017

Hi Winny,

 

Look into Essiac tea since your wife is still in Stage 3? My mom was diagnosed with Colon Cancer March 2013 and it met to her liver as well, she has multiple tumors in her liver and 2 in her uterus , nodules spread to her lungs she is now in hospice care as of 11/15/17. Keep fighting! I recently discovered Essiac tea and have a close friend that had Liver Cancer and doctors gave him 3 months, he took the tea twice a day and his tumors are getting smaller. Since my moms cancer is now in the terminal stage , I don't think it would be as effective. Hang in there! Email me if you have any questions: elemyrem@gmail.com

carrieh's picture
carrieh
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2012

It seems it gets tougher the longer treatment goes on. Some people do better than others with it. It was very difficult for me...in some cases, people do need feeding tubes. No matter what happens, just remember it isn't forever and take it one day at a time. It can feel scary and disheartening, but as a person who literally almost starved to death in 2012 (long story), it is actually amazing how long it takes and the body can get by on very little for quite some time, as long as she's taking in fluids and some nutrition. Fluids are the biggie and keeping her electrolytes in balance. Her onc will monitor her weight loss and if it gets desperate, will intervene. Try phenergan or if she's open to it, marijuana is the best at increasing appetite. Personal choice, but no shame! Sometimes, just reducing the amount of chemo slightly can dramatically change the level of nausea, misery...I think I spent about 9 months this last time in bed. It was bad. Today, I'm 6 months NED and have gained 11 pounds. Just keep trying, don't give up, and make sure any weight loss is monitored. Lots of fluids with high calories can help. Soft foods like applesauce, jello..anything that sounds good to her. Small bites add up over the day. Best of luck to you both

carrieh's picture
carrieh
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2012

I forgot. Steroids can help with energy and increase appetite. Although there are instances an onc might not want to give them...never hurts to ask...

Winny's picture
Winny
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2017

Thanks for all the advice, few days ago found out she’s been given a few weeks to a month because liver is more cancer then liver. Oncologist has talked to a lot of other specialists and he’s been trying to doing everything but she’s been on board time since oct.  thanks for all the advice and help

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5175
Joined: Jan 2013

This is terrible news. 

I will continue to pray that your beautiful wife becomes a miracle, there is always that hope above treatment. 

If it is not to be, then I pray you both enjoy being with each other as much as can be. I pray she is comfortable.

My heart aches for you.

Blessings! 

Tru

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