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Trying to put the weight on!


teriw

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Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for your fantastic attitudes. My husband (44 years old) was diagnosed with sclc about six weeks ago (10/06). It has travelled outside of the lung area. He's had his first cycle of chemo for three days in a row(carboplatin/etoposide), and will start the next in another week or so. We are both remaining positive and feel it can be beaten, but of course, it's all so new and frightening.

While we wait to see how the cancer responds, the biggest challenge is keeping the weight on him. He's been fortunate not to be sick from the chemo, although he's very tired. He's a super picky eater in the best of times, so this is quite a challenge. Does anyone have any advice for fattening up a picky eater?

Also, I've read about using digestive enzymes -- is anyone doing this? And did anyone use a nutritionist that specialized in cancer patients? I'm just thinking I'll seek one out -- we're in the Los Angeles area (San Fernando Valley), if anyone has any names to share.

Thanks!

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Teri,

I am so glad that you found us, although I am so sorry about your husband's diagnosis. This disease can be beat, and you can look at my dad's information below to see proof!

My dad has become a picky eater, although he never used to be. I think some of the best advice we ever got was from a man named Don, who often posts in the SCLC forum. He is from Texas, and I think he has a sticky that says, "How I beat cancer," or something like that. He talks about eating whatever you can. I am a believer in this, actually...if all he wants is ice cream, let him have it. My dad ate a TON of watermelon, and that was so good for the lycopene, as well as for hydration, because chemo and radiation will make one dehydrated.

Best of luck and God's blessings,

Jen

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Hi Jen,

Thank you for your encouraging note. The more I think about it, the more "eat whatever you can" sounds like the best course of action.

Looks like your dad has had basically the same treatment plan as my husband is just beginning.

I'm so happy he's had the great news!

Teri

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Hi Teri,

sorry to hear of your husband's DX. My husband was

dignosed in Jan 05 with extensive SCLC then had mets

to the brain. Alan is living a very full and productive life!!!!!

of course our biggest battle is his weight. He lost 63 pounds and we have

struggled every since to fatten him up. So he eats

whatever and whenever he wants. in the past year he

has put on 15 pounds and is now back up to 170 pounds

I hope your husband responds will to treatment. Alan

and I live in South Orange county so we are fellow

So Cal folks. Prayers coming your way.

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Hi Teri, welcome but sorry you have to be here. I had the same chemo 2 years ago. I found that I got dehydrated very easily so watch for that. Eat small meals (snacks) as often as he wants or can. Soup always tasted good, ice cream (not the low fat variety), toast with peanut butter. If I can remember anything else I will let you know.

I am in the La Canada/Pasadena area. Huntington Hospital has a nutritionist available, I just haven't used them yet - maybe someday. If you have any other questions, just pm me and I will give you my phone #. I am doing chemo once a week for the next 3-4 months. In the past 6 years I have had nsclc, and sclc twice (limited), 3 lung surgeries, chemo, PCI brain radiation and lung radiation. I am still working and right now, feeling really good. There is plenty of hope. Just let us know what we can do to help you guys.

Hugs and prayers to you both.

Nancy B

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I can't thank you enough for your encouragement, advice, and for sharing your very personal stories. I hope to be able to return the same.

It's been great to share all of your positive stories with Bill. Sometimes half the battle is keeping the positive outlook going. Of course, it's an uphill battle, but we all have to believe it can be beaten -- I do believe.

Debbie, reading the details of your hubby's ordeal and how he's come through was just amazing. I'm so happy for you both!

Nancy, you're an inspiration to say the least. Thank you so much for your offer of support. I would like to offer the same back. Stay strong.

Teri

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So sorry to hear about your hubby. My dad is elderly and extremely thin. He takes probiotics for his colitis and IBS. At this point he is doing fantastic with energy levels thlough always still skinny. He thinks probiotics kept him from dying several years ago. Takes a capsule or two with meals. Natural supplement that doesn't hurt anything. God bless you and your husband. pammie

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Teri-

There is a powder others have used called Weight Gainer- you get it at the health food store. Mix it in food for extra calories. Carnation Instant Breakfast has a lot of calories and the same nutrients as Ensure (and tastes better)- drink it between meals. Good luck.

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Hi Teri!!! When I started my battle I tipped the scales at 101. The first thing my oncologist said was for me to eat anything and everything I could because it was mandatory that I put some weight on. Well here I set 6 months later and about 20 pounds heavier than when I started. When I was to tired to fix anything or not feeling well enough to really worry about cooking I relied on Chocolate Ensure which I mixed with malt powder, vanilla, ice cream and chocolate syrup ... the malt powder and vanilla took away the Ensure "taste" so many folks don't like. I can no longer wear any of the jeans and stuff I could wear before but my oncologist is a happy camper that I actually able to gain weight during treatment. Prayer are going up for you and your hubby.

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Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and encouragement -- they're all great.

I bought some meal replacement powder and some Boost. I always add some meal replacement power to the morning smoothies I make.

My husband has an idea that drinking too many of the meal replacement type drinks (Boost, etc.) will give his body too many vitamins, which could give the cancer "energy," so to speak. Does anyone share this concern, or have they researched this at all? I would think that would apply only to taking mega-doses of supplements and that drinking meal replacements is really just like eating extra food, but I don't know that for sure. He has the same concern with weight gain powders.

Teri

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I would talk to a nutritionist if your facility has one available just to satisfy some of the more specific questions.

My dad was thin before cancer. He was a picky eater too. After the cancer dx., he lost so much weight due to nausea and loss of appetite from all the side effects he developed from his chemo(s).

We learned never to ask if he was hungry (he would always say no...when you feel rotten- you don't "feel" hungry and after a while he would get mad because we were always asking him to eat something)

We would put lots and lots of finger-foods, ready made snacks on the coffee table in front of the sofa where he would sit or lie down...he would get bored or have a moment where he wouldn't feel so sick and he'd nibble and take bites here and there of this and that..(those little nibbles add up throughout the day)

During meal times, we'd set a plate in front of him and sometimes he'd eat it and some times not- but just doing that and not asking eliminated the confrontations or the begging from us that he HAD to eat to regain/retain energy.

It gets frustrating to the patient when he doesn't feel good and people are trying to shove food down and it gets frustrating to the caregiver to take time and care to prepare foods only to have the patient not eat it......what we learned to do elimated that cycle!

Also, during chemo his tastes changed. He used to like Carb-type foods and meats, but developed a taste for fruits and seasoned veggetables and spicy meats (perhaps due to the metallic taste the chemo left in his mouth)

We also asked his doctor for a appetite stimulant called MEGACE. He took a small capful every morning and gained back 20 of the 25 pounds he had lost. It was nasty tasting stuff, but it was just a capful and did the trick for him.

I am also a firm believer in eating everything you can to retain weight and strength during treatments.

Hope some of that helped and please keep us updated. OH! There is a nutritional forum here too that you might want to look over and post to!!

Prayers for you both,

K

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Sorry about your hubby, however SCLC responds very well to treatment. He sounds like a strong guy, and you're there to support him through this, which is wonderful.

My father was told he shouldn't take any vitamins or supplements during chemo, however he was allowed to eat anything he liked. He gained about 20 pounds, during his treatments, and kept the weight on until the brain mets happened.

As KatieB wrote, Megace is a good appetite stimulant, ask the doctors for a prescription. I hope everything works out in your favor.

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Hi Teri,

I got pretty much the same lectures and did the same things Judy did. I also gained 20 lbs drinking those “super shakes” . Even on days when eating seemed impossible, I was still able to force down one of those shakes. Of course, my wife was pretty insistent that I eat every day, so drinking at least one shake was my way of avoiding the arguments KatieB mentioned. As far as supplements go, during treatment, I only took a multi and a vitamin D3 supplement. My doctor didn’t comment one way or the other on the vitamins. Talking to a nutritionist is a pretty good idea.

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Thanks to everyone for their great weight-gaining suggestions. Bill is holding steady -- a few pounds up, a few pounds down. But not dipping below a certain point.

We definitely notice that on days when the attitude is at its highest, so is the appetite. So, that's an important consideration.

We also talked to the doc about the concern of using too much Boost or those types of things. He definitely said that nourishing the body has to come first, so it's chalky milkshakes from now on! It does make sense. Drinking Boost is really just like eating extra food, right?

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone...

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Teri,

I lost 4 pounds my first week of chemo. I then went into my eating mode. Here is what my breakfast was every morning through chemo. I gained 20 pounds that I am now shedding.

A bowl of oatmeal (1/4 cup dry steal cut) plus 1 pint of blueberries 2 tablespoons of Flax seed ground, ¼ cup raisins, some chopped almonds and about a cup of so milk.

Then I had a 4 egg white omelet with salsa.

I finished off breakfast with a toasted English whole wheat muffin covered with a lot of Almond Butter and a little naturally sweetened jelly.

That got me off to a good start.

If you want to know more of some of the other things I did let me know and I can e-mail them.

Stay positive, :lol:

Ernie

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  • 2 weeks later...

Weight loss:

Are there any <>? Sounds like many in the group have kept their weight, although it can take some work.

I was Dx'ed with Stage 3 five months ago and have kept my weight steady with veggies and fruit, whole grains, legumes and soy, essential fatty acids, and meat sparingly. I didn't eat much sugar food before and continue to avoid it since seeing how my tumor glowed happy when they put that sugar stuff in my veins for the scan.

Does weight loss happen much more in stage 4, and not much in stage 3? How common is it for people in stage 3 to maintain their weight?

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