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Getting worried for my mom


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My mom has completed her first intravenous chemo last Monday. Her symptoms aren’t too bad: no vomiting so far, body aches went away and her cough isn’t so bad.

My concern now is I’m guessing my moms taste might of changed. It’s so hard for her to eat anything and been waiting so much food just to have her taste test foods she likes. Also, my other concern is she does not want to continue her chemo. She brought up this topic a couple of times.

Any one have any recommendations for foods she can try or words of encouragement I can share with her? 

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Let her eat anything she usually likes , no matter what it is. I ate so much ice cream when my chemo made me feel terrible at first. I also drank high protein meal replacement drinks flavoured with chocolate. I am not sure what stage your mom is and chemo can be certainly brutal but it will pass, try to have her focus on hope and better times after chemo. Make sure her oncologist knows as they may have solutions. She may benefit a lot from engaging a pain/symptoms management doctor as well as a counsellor. Wishing her the best!

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Hi I agree with lily just let her eat anything she enjoys I also had a complan drink everyday and it did help, I did lose some taste for things but it did come back and the chemotherapy will get easier I promise, its something unfortunately we have to suffer but it will be worth it 

Wish her well and take care 


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I ate a lot of ice cream and Trader Joe's macaroni and cheese because I had esophagitis from radiation when I was getting chemo. What I could tolerate changed from hour to hour, not because of taste but because of pain. She should eat whatever she can tolerate. 

I also strongly recommend a supportive/palliative care specialist for her quality of life issues. Of course, the decision to continue chemo is hers, but the palliative care doctor will be able to find out why she doesn't want to continue. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’m struck by your comment that your mom has said she doesn’t want to continue with chemo. Are there other treatment options?

How old is your mom? Mine is approaching 90 and has made her wishes about medical treatments very clear, in conversations and in written legal documents (i.e., advance directive). 

Does your mom have an advance directive or living will in place, in her medical charts and with the person who holds her power of medical attorney?

The topics in such a document are hard to think about, let alone discuss. And yet, having dealt with protracted illnesses of several family members, I can tell you that when the moment came when I needed this information, I was very glad to have it. 

I like how the Mayo Clinic explains the advance directive: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/living-wills/art-20046303?p=1

The hardest question to ask ourselves, I think, is whether it is OK with us to have our sick loved one say, “I’m done,” with a particular treatment (or any treatment at all). 

You and she are in a hard time. I wish you both peace, and the courage to speak honestly with and listen deeply to one another. 


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