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Dave has had his frist chemo treatment Monday, severe fatigue hit Tuesday night and Wednesday, now the issue the last two days is he will not eat, claims nothing tastes good and no appetite. Any suggestions? Hard to not have constipation before long if he takes in no food, is getting some liquids down but is taking some "nagging" which I hate. Any ideas of things to try...I have run out! He has lost about 11 lbs the last 6 weeks and really didn't have it to loose so need nutrition ideas, even tried liquid breakfast etc.,

ThankYou

Deb

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There are the usual drinks like Boost and Ensure and lots and lots of water. Also, there are prescription meds that may work.

My dad took a liquid form of MEGACE (Megestrol) It was absolute YUCK but he only had to take a small capful every morning and it really boosted his appetite back.

Also, and this one is from tried and true experience...if the food is there (no nagging) they might grace and pick at it. And every bite adds up.

My dad spent most of his chemo days on the sofa in the living room. We learned right away not to ask him if he was hungry because the answer would just be no....or after a meal would be fixed he just "wasn't hungry" anymore.

I think from the time he said he was hungry to the time the meal was fixed- the appetite was just gone and replaced by nausea.

What we began to do was put ready-to-eat foods on the coffe table in front of him (without saying a word, no nagging, no pressure) We put mini muffins and fruit bowl and cereal bars and brownies and OMG you name it, we'd put down 3-4 different things at a time and then a couple of hours would go by and we'd replace one with something new and rotate it that way.

He's get a small urge to eat and something was RIGHT THERE, and he'd take a bite or two. He'd be bored or even without thinking, he'd pick something up and munch on it.

This really helped eliminate the "you've got to eat" battles and the Megace and the munching helped him gain back 20 of the 30 pounds he had lost.

Good luck to you, I know how hard this part of the journey can be.

There will be others with some advice as well.

Please keep us posted!

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Deb--

I know how frustrating and scary it is to watch someone NOT eat. This was a real struggle with my dad. We found that Ensure was our best option....but we always had to nag. Like Katie, we also would give him many mini-meals...Making "shakes" with full-fat ice cream, half and half, and a banana also worked sometimes.

It could get especially frustrating at times because his palette would change from day to day. One day potato chips were okay, the next day they weren't...he was very sensitive to textures. The key is to be flexible and focus on high-calorie options (full-fat ice cream, whole milk etc. etc.)

Megace, unfortunately, did not work for us. Nor did Marinol (which is derived from marijuana)--but I know they have worked for a lot of people. Also, a little prune juice along with metamucil helped somewhat for the constipation.

My thoughts are with you.

Best,

Leslie

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Deb,

I'm sorry to hear of your husband's diagnosis. Chemo does mess up the taste buds. My husband said food tasted like cardboard. Here's the deal, some people have serious weight loss issues with lung cancer. Tony lost 18 lbs. before he was diagnosed. He realized that part of his survival meant he HAD to eat and regain/maintain his weight, even when he had no appetite. He forced food down that was completely tasteless to him and made sure he stayed hydrated. (Hydration did have some element of "wife nagging" though.) :wink:

Frankly speaking, you can try all the tricks you want and some may help. If your husband doesn't embrace the idea that food equates to survival benefit, all the nagging in the world won't make him eat. Plain and simple. If he doesn't want to listen to you, as a typical man :roll:, then have the chemo nurses emphasize this to him.

I wish you the best of luck in a tough situation. Is nausea an issue for him? Milk shakes were a staple in our house too!

Welthy

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Deb, that's a frequent problem, one I've had myself and still do to some extent. It's not just a matter of "doesn't taste good" -- that can be handled with a good dose of willpower and the desire to survive, as long as the item is not so gross as to cause nausea. The entire GI tract is affected, and many or even most foods can be irritating or actually painful going down. In addition, the stomach simply cannot handle the quantity that it did before starting the chemo. I still have a bit of that myself, though my other eating problems have almost resolved.

Here are two of my earlier posts that go into more detail on these issues. You might also find the adjacent messages to be useful.

http://lchelp.org/l_community/viewtopic ... 878#316878

http://lchelp.org/l_community/viewtopic ... 385#332385

Good luck! Very frustrating for you and for Dave, though in different ways. And the rules as well as the goalposts change from one day to the next. Aloha,

Ned

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Thank you for the information and suggestions, some I had already tried and some I will. I suppose it should be some comfort to know this is somewhat "normal" response to Taxol/carboplatin but it is still hard. He has always been such a good eater with a fast metabolism that always frustrated me, as he stayed the same, I gained eating a lot less. Now seeing him refuse to eat anything is really frightening to me and I think the suggestion of having the nurses talk to him may be helpful. The doctor already talked to him about it but to tell you the truth it was at a time when a lot of information was being dispensed. He says he knows it is important but still refuses, tonight he at maybe 1 Tablespoon of chocolate ice cream which he asked for, all total he has had maybe 600calories today...scary! I will keep trying to think of things and have sat out "ready" things if he feels the need but the last two days...NOTHING!

Ned your explanations were very informative and I thank you for sharing your personal battle.

Deb

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Deb,

We did a lot of peanut butter, ensure, ice cream, carnation instant breakfast..nesquick. We added calories to everything. We made a milkshake of 4scoops of peanut butter, nesquick, ensure, and herseys choclate syrup (it was thick and tasted like a peanutbutter choclate shake) Rootbeer, choclate milk, (use whole milk), make potato soup with lots of sourcream and cheese. Lots of butter is how we made it through a lot of the chemo and radiation,

It is hard but once you master the calories and where to hide them you've got half the battle won!!! Good luck and it is very fustratuing

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Hi there. The best advice I received during chemo was drink, drink, drink....and if you can't eat drink some more. This will really help the patient "tolerate" the chemo and if you can tolerate the treatment, the more effective it will be. And the best a caregiver can do is prepare food, after that it is the patient's choice and you should not feel guilty. Sounds like you are doing all the right things and have received some good suggestions here. Take care

Sandra

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Sometimes the only thing John could handle were Popsicles. Try to buy the good ones that actually have some real fruit juice. It will keep him hydrated and help until he gets an appetite. You could also try telling him to think of eating like taking medicine-- it doesn't taste good, you don't want to take it but you do it because it will make you feel better. Good luck.

Rochelle

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