Topic: Update..more questions..

Hi all, been quite awhile since I've posted last about my mom. The last time I believe I posted it was about the insurance for Y90...wow has a lot happened since then! We were able to get that treatment and the 1st round went great and the 2nd lobe not so great. She ended up w/ an ulcer and could not eat for days but rallied back and the procedure proved for us at least to be effective st keeping the cancer at bay. Since then it's been an up and down ride, which we all kno goes along w/ this disease. She was able last sept to be off chemo for a few months so we could enjoy a family trip and allow her body to build up to keep fighting this cancer. After those 3 months we found out there were more spots, which was a risk we were willing to take knowing her body needed a chemo break. Since then the chemo stopped working (gem/cis) combo and we are on the 2nd round of folfox. Mom has lost a great amount of weight but has been fighting this since oct 2012... Were a lot further than we ever thought we would be, which is amazing but It's gotten harder and harder for her to eat and this chemo seems to really be zapping her energy/appetite. She's also been going in for almost weekly drains from fluid on her abdomen. Which also does not help her eating. So with that quick (haha) update my questions I have for all you amazing people are what I can do to get her to eat or what could help the ascites? The dr is hoping this new chemo regimen will help but seeing her so weak and not wanting to eat and how thin she's gotten scares the day lights out of me. What have all of you experienced with this?! Thanks for taking time to read and answer any questions. I may not post often but visit frequently for help from all of your experiences....truly greatful to have found this site!
God bless, Kami

Re: Update..more questions..

Kami -
You definitely have had the roller coaster going on. And glad that she got some time in for the family trip. Sometimes that is the most important thing.

One thing you can ask the docs to do is put a permanent drain in her abdomen to drain the ascites if if has not already been done. This allows you to do it without it being a hospital stay and can easily be done at home.

Getting protein in her will help pull some of the fluid back into her blood system. But as you already know getting her to eat is tough. If her appetite is poor there are things that can help with that....Megace is a hormone that often times increases appetite, also there is Remeron (Mirtazapine) which is in an anti-depressant given mostly at night which can stimulate the appetite or even Marinol which helps too.
If her taste is off (which it can be related to the chemo) often times stronger flavors work better - marinating in Italian dressing, squeezing a lemon over chicken or pasta, etc. You may also make sure that she does not have sores in her mouth or thrush (white build up on her tongue and cheeks) both are treated with medications. Also not using metal eating utensils may help with any metallic taste she has in her mouth - we switched to plastic right now.
Making every calorie count is important. Things like Ensure, Glucerna or even Carnation Instant Breakfast will help. We use a lot of protein shakes in our house - I blend frozen fruit, vanilla ice cream, plain yogurt and milk all together....I usually add a scoop of Whey Protein Powder too. You can make it any flavor and even use chocolate syrup or other flavorings like peanut butter. We get our protein powder at GNC where they have a lot of flavors like Cookies and Cream (works great in shakes) and plain which I sneak into other things like mashed potatoes or soups.

Hope this helps some.

KrisV

Any advice given is based on my experiences and should not be substituted for any medical recommendations. Please speak with your provider before making any changes.

Re: Update..more questions..

Thank you! That sure does. We've tried the shakes and she was getting tired of them, maybe I can try to add some variety. I'll look into those medicines as well! Thanks so much!!