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Well Tom has had a bad week. He has been in a lot of pain. He can't feel his legs at times and keeps falling. His BP has been irratic going from 68/52 to 135/100. It is mostly staying low though. He is very tired and weak. He is not eating which is bad and worse he is not drinking enough either. He won't even drink the Ensure when I offer to make him a shake from it. He has lost another 10 pounds and is now 196 lbs with his clothes on. His coloring is very pale.

As a caregiver I am at a loss as to how to help him.

I can't force feed him or pour fluids down him. I don't know what to do. I am very saddened over this.

Denise

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I'm so sorry to read this. The only advice I have to offer is from experience I had with my dad. He lost alot of weight too. Of course we started the MEGACE prescription and he took a capful of it (it tastes awful!!) everyday and it did help him. But here is what we did at home.

Whenever we asked him if he was hungry it was always NO. Or if he was, by the time I finished making it, the appetite was gone and he didn't want it.

We bought tons of finger foods and packaged foods and fruits (muffins, crackers, trail mix, dried appricots, cookies, etc..). We would sit it in front of him on the coffee table wihtout saying a word, and every couple of hours replace it with some thing else. All throughout the day he'd graze....a little bite here a nibble there...it all adds up at the end of the day. We did the same thing with drinks- just set it in front of him and then replace it every 2 hours- no pressure) We just stopped asking him if he was hungry and stopped making "real" meals as he'd always say no and that just frustrated all of us.

He's not-not eating to be stubborn or difficult, so don't take it personally, he just doesn't feel well and the appetite is fleeting at best. Maybe it's time for a new tactic.

Also, be sure to mention to the Dr. as well. there may be a Rx. out there that will help stimulate his appetite.

Good luck sweetie and let us know how it goes. I am praying that things get better real soon.

(((hugs)))

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Hi Denise. I am saddened to hear that as well. As a caregiver all you can do is continue to make offers of food and drink. After that, however frustrating it may be, your job is done and you have nothing to feel badly about. Sounds like you could use some help on how to deal with though. Have you phoned the clinic or talked to a doctor? How are his spirits? I am worrying with you and am looking forward to hopefully a more positive update. Pain is also not good...something needs to be done about that. Please start phoning.

Take good care and just do the best you can like you have been doing all along, that is all that can be expected of you. I wish you continued strength, of which you have shown a tremendous amount so far. Hard to keep digging deeper though...but I am pulling for you.

Sandra

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Denise,

Remron (mirtazapine) is a name of a drug that Dad took to help with his appitite. It worked pretty good. You could ask the md about it. its a pill form, so no icky powder to mix with stuff. It's basic use is as an antidepressant. So if Tom has that going on , it could do double duty for him

Shelli

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Still having the dizzies today. He ate a smidge last night and had not quite half an Ensure shake. He ate a bit of oatmeal and a slice of toast today for breakfast. I can pretty much guarantee he has not eaten lunch.

He decided not to go to work today because everytime he stands up he gets dizzy. Smart move on his part.

I called the Onc and they want him to come in for reevaluation. They said he may even need more fluids. They were going to call him but right now he is at home so I don't know what became of it.

Denise

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Stopped at Wendy's and picked up ceasar side salads and baked potatoes for dinner. Tom ate about half of each. YEAH!!! Better than nothing.

I also went to the store and got a bunch of quick munchy things. Pudding cups, sippable soups, applesauce cups etc etc. He did say that he is starting to feel the lump in his throat hard to swallow feeling so I got him soft foods.

The Onc Nurse Sharon did call and talk to Tom. You don't mess with Sharon Tom says. He will go upstairs and see her after Radiation tomorrow. He also sees the Radiologist every Wednesday after rad. So he will get a double whammy tomorrow morning. :D

Tom says he will talk to Sharon and Dr. Kesslering tomorrow about that stuff for the mouth and throat Miracle something or other. I forget what it is called. I'm sure someone will remind me.

Denise

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Hi, Denise.

Sorry Tom's feeling so bad.

My radiation treatments caused my esophagus to shrink and it became uncomfortable to even try to eat. After I complained about it, they dilated my esophagus and within 2 days I was eating properly again.

This may have nothing to do with Tom's problems. I only mention it because I know Tom's been undergoing radiation.

Carole

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.--the late, great George Carlin

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