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No appetite


pchefmichele

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My dad has Stage 4 Lung Cancer.  He hasn't had a chemo treatment for about 2-3 weeks now (he was in the hospital for 9 days for issues that were corrected), so I'm not sure we can totally blame his lack of appetite on chemo.  He has lost 50 pounds over the past few months and he has NO appetite now.  Dr. put him on Magas.  It doesn't seem to help...but we are increasing the dosage beginning today to 2 tsps. (10mil) twice a day in hopes it will do something for him.  I gave him one of his favorite dishes, spaghetti, yesterday for lunch.  He seemed excited to eat it.  Took 3 bites and 2 bites of a garlic bread stick and said, "I can't do anymore."  An hour later I gave him 3 blackberries.  An hour later I gave him a cracker with tuna salad on it.  About 1 hour later he ate 4 bites of a chicken pot pie.  Is this what we should expect him to do or have others found ideas that work better for them.

 

We find out Monday if they will continue chemo or stop....and it won't be because he is cured.

 

Thank you for your advice. I am so worried about him.

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Michele,

 

Lima Ohio - in my younger days, I commanded the US Army tank plant in Lima.  I know your hometown well.

 

I've known so many lung cancer patients that have an appetite problem over the years.  If fact, this problem extends somewhat to all cancer patients.  Chemotherapy is so disruptive of the gastrointestinal system that many suffer an eating disorder.  Perhaps better said as an "eating in order" because nutrition is essential to recovery. Consultation with your dad's medical team is of course necessary.  You may also consult a registered dietitian.  I am fortunate enough to have married one.  When I suffered, wife Martha devised a recipe that exercised every tastebud in my system.  Here are the ingredients:  2 cups of whole milk, 2 cups of heavy cream, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of protein powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (the good stuff), 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract, 1 cup (or more) of crushed Oreo Brand cookies.  All this goes into an ice cream machine and presto, I was (am) appetite cured!

 

Her theory is one needs to kick start the appetite engine and ice cream for me was just the trick.  Try ice cream if he relishes it.  Try anything he relishes.

 

Stay the course.

 

Tom  

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it is hard to deal with this issue.... lots of great ideas but what we found was whenever your hungry, eat no matter what time it is..always try to stay with caloric intake to try and keep weight up also using protein powders similar to what body builders use..weight loss is good but in moderation basically...you have to keep calories and protein levels up in order to prevent Cachexia. the muscle wasting issue...that is very hard to treat.. I have done research into that subject for Friends...think smoothies and things of that nature. I used to get up at 2 or 3 am to make what ever my wife wanted in middle of the night if she did not feel like cooking..

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grazing is a good way for him to get those calories and nutrients in when he doesn't feel like eating.  My dad, and many patients I've supported, have experienced lack of appetite and treatment anorexia.  Lots of things can cause loss of appetite, the cancer, the treatments, nausea, medications, depressions, and others.  Keep in mind that his not-eating is not a reflection of his willingness to get better.  He may only be able to handle a few bites at a time.

 

I put finger foods and snacks in front of my dad daily and switched them out every couple of hours.  He would pick and munch a bit here and there.  Protein shakes that taste like milk shakes were good too.

As with all concerns, please do let your dad's doctor know about this so he can check for dehydration and low red  blood counts and any other issues.

Good luck and know that you are not alone.  Keep posting.,  I look forward to getting to know you

 

Best hopes,

Katie

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