do you force yourselves to eat during chemo?

My dad is going through chemo right now. Last week was his week off and I was hoping during that time he would gain some strength back and maybe eat a little more...he hasn't. He is very skinny and barely eats or has any type of appetite. He is also in pain everyday that these pain meds never seem to get a handle on. I know this is common and I try to get him to eat, but I have no idea how he feels. I know he has problems swallowing too. I don't want to constantly nag him too much because I read on here from a few people not to do that. My question is, those of you who have no appetite and problems swallowing, do you literally force yourselves to eat, even if you don't want to? Do you make sure you eat a certain amount a day no matter what? I can't tell if my dad is not trying hard enough or if he just cannot eat because of how he feels. He is so skinny and weak, I want him to gain some weight and get some strength back :( He does drink his Ensure at least!

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I remember food not even looking or tasting good, but I ate the heck out of sweets! I know hydration is important, and drinking Ensure helps. Those that are mre knowledgable than me can recommend diets. A lot of times I ate just to try and maintain my weight, even I wasnt hungry at all, and food tasted like cardboard. Lost 50 pounds, but have gained it back about 2 months after chemo. Hope your Dad can find something that tastes good, it is so important to keep nourished.

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I'v'e never been a big eater, do alot of picking all day long. But I've always eaten a good dinner. However, now I do have to force myself to eat. Still picking too! If he's drinking Ensure, get some whey protein to add. Ask him what he wants to eat, he may not want to eat what you eat. Get him whatever he wants and just make it available to him. I have started eating ice cream, which is new to me. I have it at least 2-3 times a day. See if he wants jello or pudding cups, watermelon is good as it has water in it. Just ask and no more nagging-LOL! Take care, Judy

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Simple, Yes...Not to the point of causing stomach upset or nausea.

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Yes, he needs to stay hydrated and try not to lose weight.
I found during my treatment the things that I ate were not what I normally ate.........It was strange...let him make requests and at least try things....I would drink icees and shakes, soft cool things.........I was lucky that those around me would always be asking and get me all kinds of things........Sometimes it worked and sometimes it did not....Just keep trying to find something ...

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When Don went thru that, his Dr gave him a prescription for something that sounds like Mecase, or close to that. It's a liquid, and it did help him get his appetite back. I also bought him lots of pudding, jello, ice cream, soups, and kept a freezer mug of water right by his side at all times. He insists he drinks water all day long at work, but at home the only thing I see him drink is his addiction: Ice cold Milk! He has had to go to the hospital twice to get fluids and be re-hydrated. Not fun!

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it ain't easy to eat when you feel like a truck just ran you over - and it's not getting off of you - so that said - even though they strongly say "no sugar" I ate ice cream, pudding, watermellon and all the things that made me happy. If I had to eat at least I wanted to enjoy it. Now some chemo's will affect the taste buds - so what he used to love may not be so pleasant now - but try everything. Also - try the day of the chemo and the first day after - theat is when he will be most approachable to eating as they give you steroids when they administer chemo and that makes you hungry. Make sure he drinks a lot of fluids - chemo will dehydrate you and then the domino effect of constipation, dehydration, fainting, nausau.......bla bla
I know it must be hard to be the caregiver - I tortured my sister -thank GOD for unconditional love........good luck
karen

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My mom realized not eating made her feel worse so she makes sure to eat small meals throughout the day. What ever sounds good to her she eats. I noticed she loves peanut butter toast for breakfast tomato soup with some type of sandwich and fish of any kind for dinner with veggies. So when she comes wand stays with me on the weekend I make sure to have those available...hope that helps.
((HUGS))
Kellie

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Thanks you guys. I got my dad to eat half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and he just called me up to tell me he ate eggs! It's so weird...he's like eating for me. I asked him if he was hungry and he said no (and he's not nautious either, so that's no excuse). Anyways, I honestly feel like he is not eating because he's in pain, is tired, his stomach shrunk, and he just can't be bothered (almost like he's giving up). So if he's not nautious, he should force it a little right?! I'm not asking for much, I just don't want him to wither away in his recliner! I told him I was proud of him and so happy that he ate. If his only motivation is to make his only daughter happy, I'll take it! I just feel like I need to be a little pushy for him...I see that it works so if I have to be his nag, I guess that's what I will be :) I'm sure some of you patients may disagree but I see that my pushiness actually works with my dad so that's what I'm gonna do I guess...it's hard to be a nag though, it's exhausting on me!

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You are an awesome daughter and your Dad is so lucky to have you. My opinion is if he is eating to please you-great! That is his motivation. Sometimes we do have to push (I prefer the term "encourage" :-)
the people we love. I know it is hard and can be exhausting but, believe me, no matter what happens you won't regret doing everything within your power to support, encourage and love your Dad. Stay Strong!

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My husband and I had a talk about eating when he was having chemo. He ate all he could - sometimes 1/4 sandwich or 1/2 cup soup. He liked sweets best also. Doctor said have him eat anything he wanted but be sure he drank enough. Thank goodness he NEEDED to lose some weight so it went well.
He takes a multivitamin every day and D3 extra. That helps.
ElaineNY

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Hi sma444, I would keep nagging (but then again I like to nag - ask my fiance)! No, really, if I were eating dangerously low amounts I would hope that someone would tell me straight up that I needed to have more to survive. Even when I'm nauseated I'm trying to nibble on something like crackers, hoping to settle my stomach. If he can't eat much, make sure that what he does get is packed with calories and nutrition.

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Hi

Yes, to a degree as I believe eating and stay active will help me endure all necessary treatments and help my survival. There seems to be some evidence to support this, particularly on staying active (Performance Status tests). With eating, I prefer to think of it as I have disciplined myself to ensure I eat what is required in those few days around chemo treatment where food is not that appetising. I tend to pick bland foods so they do not react and make sure I intake plenty of calories and nutrients. I prefer the little and often approach throughout the day as I get spells where I am hungry and I try to ensure I cook something in less than ten minutes so that I can satisfy the hunger pangs rather than them go away. It seems to work, helps me get back to eating normally when chemo effects subside and obviously keeps my strength up.

There are plenty of ways of getting the calories and nutrients in small volumes, for example, natural body builders use "whey protein" which is in amino acid form which is good as no calories expended in breaking it down. Proteins needed so important if protein sources not wanted. Other sources usually shakes for other nutrients.

I hope this helps, seriously though it is trial and error in finding something that appeals to you as a person. do try to get foods in which you can cook quickly for reasons I have mentioned and eat little and often through a dayas this helps overcome nausea which it is thought is generated by stretching the stomach wall.

Hope this helps

jon

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My husband lost his appetite especially for for healthy foods! I ended up giving him whatever he fancied and making him different meals from the rest of the family. He'd remember dishes he used to like to eat years ago and suddenly decide he wanted to try them again.
So I dug out old recipes.

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source: mercola.com

Also, cancer cells are different from normal cells in many ways, including their metabolic profile. At least one non-toxic therapy, hydrazine sulfate, takes advantage of this difference. It has been shown in double-blind trials published in respectable journals to significantly reduce the severe weight loss (cachexia) of advanced cancer, and markedly improve the patient's emotional state, almost to the point of euphoria. It is also inexpensive. Even though hydrazine sulfate has been shown to be effective and non-toxic, and it makes the patient feel better, it is ignored by every major cancer center. Yet I would take it immediately. (For more on hydrazine sulfate, see Ralph Moss' book, The Cancer Industry.)

source: mercola.com

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