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Severe loss of weight

Hello. I am on here because I am desperately trying to find a way to help my Dad. He was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer in June and it has metastasized to every organ. He has loss a significant amount of weight. In April he weighed 210; currently he is at 132 with clothes and shoes on. He has no appetite. The doctors have tried to give him meds to make him hungry but it does not seem to work. When he does eat it is hot dogs, hamburgers, and temales. I know calorie intake is key right now but I wish he would consume something alittle more nutritional once in awhile. We have tried Ensure, smoothies, Naked drinks but he won't take those anymore because he says they fill him up and he won't eat for the rest of the day. I guess I am at a loss. If anyone has any suggestions I would truly appreciate it. Even if it is not food related. I just want to bring him comfort of any kind. I appreciate all of you!

Comments

  • Steve.Adam
    Steve.Adam Member Posts: 463
    edited December 2017 #2
    Hi deep-rooted

    The traditional way to gain weight is to eat sugary high carbohydrate food but that is also an unhealthy diet and probably very unhealthy for someone with cancer.

    My only suggestion is to find nutritious versions of food he does like and make it available to him.

    But when you have no appetite and feel full it is really impossible to eat. Trying to force food down won't work even if you could do it..

    Steve.

  • AnnissaP
    AnnissaP Member Posts: 632
    I am sorry to hear this. I

    I am sorry to hear this. I cannot help, but I am sure many will give advice soon!!

  • APny
    APny Member Posts: 1,995
    I think tamales are

    I think tamales are nutritious so if he likes to eat those let him. And if you make hamburgers from scratch and use very low fat sirloin that should be ok too. I know you're concerned and want him to eat healthy but at this point with his low weight as long as he eats, that's the main thing.

  • Steve.Adam
    Steve.Adam Member Posts: 463
    Appetite Enhancement

    What about marijuana? It is supposed to improve appetite.

    Maybe it is an option where you live.

    Steve.

  • Deep-rooted7
    Deep-rooted7 Member Posts: 4

    Hi deep-rooted

    The traditional way to gain weight is to eat sugary high carbohydrate food but that is also an unhealthy diet and probably very unhealthy for someone with cancer.

    My only suggestion is to find nutritious versions of food he does like and make it available to him.

    But when you have no appetite and feel full it is really impossible to eat. Trying to force food down won't work even if you could do it..

    Steve.

    Thank you Steve that is a

    Thank you Steve that is a great suggestion. However you are right we can not force him to eat. 

  • Deep-rooted7
    Deep-rooted7 Member Posts: 4
    edited December 2017 #7
    AnnissaP said:

    I am sorry to hear this. I

    I am sorry to hear this. I cannot help, but I am sure many will give advice soon!!

    Thank you Annissa. Yes I

    Thank you Annissa. Yes I agree. Hope you had a nice holiday. 

  • Deep-rooted7
    Deep-rooted7 Member Posts: 4
    APny said:

    I think tamales are

    I think tamales are nutritious so if he likes to eat those let him. And if you make hamburgers from scratch and use very low fat sirloin that should be ok too. I know you're concerned and want him to eat healthy but at this point with his low weight as long as he eats, that's the main thing.

    Thank you for the response.

    Thank you for the response. That is true and we are keeping that in mind. I like your idea about the hamburger option.; we will try that. 

  • hardo718
    hardo718 Member Posts: 853
    Don't have much to offer

    Other than to say, let him eat whatever he likes.

    I will keep you & him in my prayers,

    Donna~

  • foxhd
    foxhd Member Posts: 3,181
    edited December 2017 #10
    I think I understand

    I lost about 65# a couple years back. Can't gain a pound. Only time I eat well is when I'm on steroids. I was pretty rugged. Now I'm like the stick figures on a soccer mom's minivan rear window.

    At this point any calories help. Indulge.

  • pamstayner
    pamstayner Member Posts: 111
    edited January 2018 #11
    FOOD

    When I was at my lowest point, side effects wise, there was no interest in food at all.  Although the food looked good on the ads, they tasted like cardboard.  EXCEPT a MacDonalds quarter pounder with cheese, with big mac sauce.  That's it.. nothing else.  My mouth still waters when I think of them.  I was not interested in food. My Oncologist said if that's what you want and stays down, eat it.  So that is what I do.  If there is an inkling of appeal with a food, I try it, if it stays down, and stays in, then it makes my list of food.  If we eat out, I will always come home with the leftovers, and have at least 2 more meals of whatever it was.  Again, all it has to do is pass the interest test, the digestive tests, and I am okay.

    I hope your Dad eats a tamale every day.... has good stuff to keep him alive... 

    Over time I found that red meat does not do well (although STEAK looks good) and chicken and tuna are the best.  Hot, Spicy mexican or chinese food is not good for me, although plain pork or chicken fried rice does well.  I do not do well with fresh fruit, and most green vegies... digestive upsets are the worst with those.  Am I worried about nutrition... no, the blood tests always tell the truth, and if any vitamin nutrient is low, I get told to take a pill.  

  • SkepticalRealist
    SkepticalRealist Member Posts: 4
    Any food is good food

    I can't claim to know what your father is going through , since I have no idea what medications (if any) he is on , but I do understand how worried and upset you must feel watching someone you've loved and looked up to for most of your life , slowly deteriorate and dwindle into this husk of a human being you barely recognise , because I saw first hand how my deterioration effected my family. From the moment I was diagnosed with stage 4 RCC I was put on the drug ''Sutent'' and it wasn't long before the side-effects began to take effect , the most obvious of which impacted upon my appetite by distorting my sense of taste and smell ,as well as lowering my tolerance for spicy foods. Add to that the almost constant nausea I felt and the fact that at least half of what I ate would inevitably be vomitted back up within a short time after eating , you'd understand why putting on or maintaining weight would be difficult at best. 

      The regimen they had me on was 2 weeks on, then 1 week off, meaning that for 2 1/2 weeks I felt like crap and eating was difficult , then for 3 or 4 days things would almost be back to normal and my appetite would improve enough to enjoy a few decent meals , but over time as the drug built up in my system ,the toxic side-effects increased to the point that it seriously impacted my quality of life. After approx 1 year I even asked my oncologist to be be taken off the drug , but he insisted I carry on until tests showed it had lost it's effectiveness , however the nausea got worse and keeping down any food at all became difficult ,and on top of that I got mouth ulcers which made eating painful .The end result was that I deteriorated to the point where I was a bedridden bag of bones on the point of complete organ failure , and when I presented to my oncologist for my next consult , he took one look at me and had me admitted immediately to the cancer ward , where I spent 2 weeks re-building myself enough to be released. Needless to say I was taken off the ''Sutent'' and life improved significantly.

       The most important lesson I learnt while recuperating was from the dieticians looking after me, who basically said ''theres no such thing as a bad food''. As long as you can eat something to give your body somethiing to work with , it won't turn against itself and start breaking down the muscle's or organ functions to maintain operation. I would suggest that you have your father take a good multivitamin and magnesium tablets daily to help maintain regular body functions , but there may be other deficiencies he may need help with. Speaking with his oncologist and understanding his blood test results would help you help him , but as long as he's eating something each day I'd encourage him as much as you can and worry less about what he's eating.

        I hope this has helped a little in understanding your fathers needs and how you may assist him in his struggle against RCC , but mostly I send my best wishes and prayers for you and all your family. Stay positive and don't let the negatives overwhelm you ,there is always a silver lining behind the dark clouds.

         Best wishes