Jump to content

How to get Mom to gain weight??


Recommended Posts

Posted my general info on Intro's thread. Mom's got NSCLC that is acting like SCLC as far as growth and spreading. She has active MAC as well so they can't tell from the PET scan what is infection and what is cancer except for the 4.77 cm mass in the RULobe is definitely cancer. Mom just finished 1st week of radiation and is beyond exhausted. Fed her a good dinner and off to bed! But she is only 77# dripping wet!! She is on massive antibiotics for the MAC which is causing some GI problems but she is feeling better. She also has celiac sprue which means she has to be so careful with what she eats or she will be back down to 62# before we know it. (where she was when she was diagnosed w/celiac 10 yrs ago)

What are our chances of survival of the loss of appetite?? She is not on chemo yet; the docs have requested she gain 10#'s. She can do 1400 calories in a day and then is down to 800 the next so how do we gain weight?? And this is with no side effects yet.

Totally terrified that she'll not make it thru the first round of treatment.

Praying for a miracle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can your mom handle something like Ensure Plus? That's 350 calories in a good-tasting (my opinion) 8-ounce shake -- for several weeks I needed to drink 3 of those or something equivalent every day in addition to my other meals to maintain weight. Cancer causes weight loss in a variety of ways, including metabolism changes, and to maintain or gain weight your mom needs a lot more calories now than she did before cancer became an issue. Some of our members who are familiar with celiac disease may have other or better suggestions.

Best wishes and Aloha,

Ned

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You may also consider Boost weight gain shakes, or another through the hospital i think called Skandy shakes. This one gets mixed in with something like milk or anything drinkable and has been reccommended by many members. Another thought that has been recommended is Weight gain powders available at Nutrition stores. Kinda like what body builders use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the support. She refuses to drink Ensure and won't take the body building supplements. Doc gave her Rx for Megace but won't take that because of the alcohol content. (It might have grain alcohol which sets off her celiac.) Have a message in to Bristol Meyer Squibb to confirm type of alcohol in it. Refuses the Megace pill because she is "already taking too many pills". Doc considered Marinol but then changed his mind on day 1. Haven't questioned it since we had the Megace.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about Carnation Instant breakfast-- would she take that? It has all the same nutrients and tastes better than Ensure because it's made with fresh milk. Try pudding, ice cream and whatever she will eat that is high calorie. If I remember celiac is no gluten? Give her whatever you can get in her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

During Mom's 1st 2 cycles of chemo, the only thing that she could drink was protein shakes. I'd buy her favorite coffee ice cream and put 2 huge scoops of whey protein in it. The nutritionist at the hospital (when she was hospitalized last week for an absess around one of the tumors) said that those protein shakes are exactly what she needs to keep up the calories. The hospital food was GROSS and even though the chemo was out of her system, she couldn't eat the horrible food. =( So, I'd sneak in my shakes. The nurses / doctors approved. She starts chemo again in 2 weeks. For now her appetite is almost completely normal again. But when chemo starts, we'll go back to protein shakes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mary:

I am unfamiliar with celiac sprue but I fix milkshakes for my husband. Low appetite is very common and he has difficulty with appetite. He won't drink ensure or boost so my milkshakes are made from carnation instant breakfast, vanilla ice cream, half & half cream, yogurt and whey protein powder if his protein intake has been low. You can also add fresh fruit, bananas, peaches, strawberries etc. I figure each shake is about 600 calories & the onc has told him to drink 2 each day. Please re-visit the marinol issue with your onc, it's the active ingredient in marijuana, or of course you could always take that matter into your own hands and handle it yourself. Good Luck & God Bless

wendyr

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestions - I have some new ideas to try now. Also Bristol Meyers called back this morning - almost fell out of my chair - and they have confirmed that Megace liquid is gluten free. I will take that on faith right now because I need Mom to increase her appetite. She hasn't started it but the bottle came out of the box. THAT is progress.

Thanks a bunch

Mary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another thing to try is the whey protein shakes that weight lifters drink. You can get them most places like wal-mart or GNC

They have up to 1000 calories in one drink (though you might have to start at a lower amount to make sure it tastes good).

Also there is a slight amount of evidence that whey may help fight cancer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mary,

The Ensure plus is an excellent idea that was suggested. Additionally, if she likes ice cream, I would get her the Haagendas Extra Rich vanilla and make a shake with whole milk and heavy cream and some vanilla extract.

It seems her appetite is small so you'll have to really think about what you give her to eat so you maximize the calories in every single meal.

If she wants eggs for breakfast, load them up with cheese and ham, if she wants a sandwich for lunch, consider pastrami with swiss.

The object is to never let a meal pass with mom eating anything but the most calorie-rich version of what she wants.

Hope it helps and much luck on making mom chunky! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

what helped my dad aside from the capful of Megace he tool everyday, was having ready to eat finger foods EVERYWHERE!! Every table top and coffe table was filled with snacks and fruit and other "grab" items. I'd go around and switch things up...never said a word...just put this and that out in front of him and he could either eat it or not...no pressure...

What ended up happening was he's graze here and there..and all those tiny bites add up. Also, with him, we learned right away never to ask if he was hungry...it was almost always "no" and if he was hungry- by the time we'd make him what he thought he wanted- he wasn't hungry anymore...so we just cooked and bought and put it all out there!

It worked. He gained back all but 5 pounds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Mary,

My mom was so stubborn and hated the taste of anything! If I even mentioned that something was to help her gain weight or was a vitamin she would refuse to eat it.

Someone recommended Polycose to me on this site. I hid it in her food and drinks. She gained weight and got some energy back! She was so excited as her biggest complaints were feeling weak. I finally told her what I had been doing... hiding Polycose, Flaxseed Oil, Vit C and A in food and drinks, and she supported it and had me buy more. Polycose is nongluten. Also Juven is supposed to help counter cachexia. I have extras that I received just after mom died if you would like me to send them to you - if the oncologist approves of course.

Unfortunately there was a complication, not related to the food, that led to her being unable to eat/drink and then she died a week later. I ONLY wish I had started hiding all the nutrients in her food sooner or hired a nutritionist - as she just hated being weak and that wore down on her having hope (even though her blood work was all good etc).

If your mom has an oncologist (mine didn't, she refused all treatment) double check with them to see what would be best to counter cahexia/help gain weight. If they approve of certain supplements you can try one at a time and hide them in foods/drinks and watch your mom to see how she reacts to them.

I wish you all the best in this tough time!

Warmest regards,

Kate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

# Resource Benecalorie; Very high-calorie, low volume supplement that offers a new level of concentrated calories.

# A whopping 330 calories per 1.5 oz.!

# One serving provides 7 grams of protein-equivalent to one ounce of meat.

# Easily mixes with creamy supplement drinks, milkshakes or soft foods like yogurt and mashed potatoes.

# Lactose Free

# Low Sodium

# Gluten Free

# Cholesterol Free

# Carbohydrate Free

Okay, I actually got mine on line as it was cheaper and I could not locate it in any drug stores near here (Tennessee). Gosh, I hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.