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I am new to all of this - cancer, caregiving, message board posting. It's like being a stranger in a foreign land. Anyway, my partner of 23 years was diagnosed with NSCLC - adenocarcinoma, III-B w/ malignant pleural effusion on August 20, 2004. She had 2 thoracenteses and then a pleurodesis to eliminate the pleural space. That was mostly succesful and the fluid buildup has stopped. She is now doing Taxol/Carbo in 3-week cycles (Treatment Friday, then again the next third Friday) She has a very positive attitude and a HUGE faith in God. She believes she will be healed without any doubt at all. This was a huge load on me. I was so devastated with the Dx and so afraid but I could not let that show in front of her. I ended up in counselling and getting in touch with my spiritual beliefs. She is responding very well to her treatments, and we are taking life one day at a time. This whole scene is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. We do expect a miracle, though. Anyone got any advice on how to get a loved one to eat when they have no appetite? That is one of her biggest problems. Thanks for listening!

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Hi ?? (could it be Sandy? or should be call you Sand?)

Sounds like you've got all the bases covered - attitude, spirit, hope, determination and God! Can't do much better than that!

Anyone got any advice on how to get a loved one to eat when they have no appetite?

Nope! Not really! If they don't want to eat, you can't make them. However, you can encourage them with maybe just a few bites every couple of hours, or try to find that magic food or foods that will hit the spot. Don't worry about it being nutritional - if you can get her to take a few bites of a hot fundge sundae - that's good! Don Wood will probably be on here later and he might have some ideas on how to get her to eat a little every couple of hours. Trying to get my husband to eat anything when his appetite was kaput was like declaring war between 4 walls! Bet you can't guess who wears the pants in our family. :)

Take care, and let us know how we can help you, and WELCOME to our family.

God bless you,


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Hi, guy! Your story is somewhat similar to mine, especially being a husband of a lung cancer survivor. Yep, a lot of it was new to me, too, although the posting part was familiar because I had done similar for myself with prostate cancer.

On feeding, I had the same problem with my wife. The chemo tends to make taste lousy so they don't want to eat. Also nausea plays a role. I went to a lot of liquid things like Ensure, Breeze, Gator Aid, Smoothies, soft ice cream, etc. I would vary things around. Also, we went on a snack every two hours instead of a three meal day. This helped her eat something and minimized the nausea. My daughter called me the Food Nazi -- I would not give her the option to not eat -- I would give her two or three choices and insist she pick one. It worked for us. Liquid intake and nutrition are so important when under chemo and radiation to keep strength and stamina up. Good luck. Don

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The shakes are great, AndI have found when I ask my Husband if he wants to eat the answer is usually no, not now, I just go and get some snacks and leave them on the table when he is watching tv even small little sanwiches, tastycakes or crackes and he usually winds up eating them. I feel any food he eats at all is an acomplishment.


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When I had the icky taste in my mouth, I discovered the magic of popsicles! They were really good to help with the bad taste, and are a good source of fluids. Also, fresh pineapple helps the inside of the mouth really well -- fresh, not canned, if you can find it.

Otherwise, I didn't really have an appetite problem, just that things tasted bad, so a popsicle appetizer did the trick for me most of the time. Since I love oatmeal and grits (yes, I'm a southerner!) I had lots of that which was rather bland, but nutritious.

I think the others have given really good advice -- you'll find something that works for you, I'm sure.


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So much of what you posted about your partner sounds just like me at diagnois. I had the great attitude and acceptance and all that. Plus, I was in about the same stage that she is in. I, too, had the Carbo and Taxol, and it has worked for almost two years for me... Sounds like she has a lot of good stuff going for her, including a great support..

That eating business though... It was stressed to me by my oncologist early on that I MUST eat if I were to beat this thing. I decided that was one thing that I could control for better success.....so, eat, I did!! I gained forty pounds!! Big deal. At least I am here to complain about my big ole butt. :D

Little snacks. Pizza and spaghetti and spicy foods were not palatable for me. Anything white and processed had appeal.. bananas, cold and cooked cereals, graham crackers, puddings, mushy rice, mashed potatoes, easy stuff.

Best wishes to you both.

Cindi o'h

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I am very glad I found this website and thank you all for your advice - I will try them all. Like you, cindy, Donna has been advised to eat whether she wants to or not. She has lost some weight, but we are working on this.

By the way, my name is Sandy.

Thanks for being there! :o

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