complicated and hurting

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complicated and hurting

by Terrymartinphd on Fri Mar 07, 2014 08:04 AM

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My husband of 40 years was dx with Alzheimer's 10 years ago and we have managed well - then last year we were told there was a good chance of 'catabolic wasting' as he was losing weight rapidly and that it  was from a stomach cancer.
He is 84 and went from 211 to 112 since August. Because of his age no one will do further testing and honestly we don't want to do it either.  Hospice has been in  our home for four months and a great help - I am 67 and able to care for him much of the time.  He keeps forgetting that he has dementia ( duh) and I have to re explain the cancer theory to him - he does not  eat - juices only and ice -  has anyone else been through this and if so how can I make him more comfortable and make myself cope with out magical thinking?  We both are people of faith and we are not in fear but this is so hard it feels like torture some days...it is like watching him starve to death:(   Any advice is welcomed...Terry

RE: complicated and hurting

by cb531 on Fri Mar 07, 2014 09:12 PM

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I put ensure in milkshakes for mom it works.

xo  Cathy

RE: complicated and hurting

by coconutbutter on Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:11 PM

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Ensure is a good idea but if she wants to go for high calories I'd do milkshakes instead. Then you could always buy him liquid vitamins . Anything extremely fattening is good to slow weightloss. One reason ensure is used so much is the tv advertising. Then when u read the ingredients it's mostly sugar but it's not as fattening as a hot fudge sundae. 

RE: complicated and hurting

by SarahGrey on Sat Mar 08, 2014 02:37 AM

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I'm sorry...  :(

Can you also try adding a protein powder to his juices/shakes?  That should help as well...  

Wishing you both the best, Sarah

RE: complicated and hurting

by rnrblazer on Sat Mar 08, 2014 03:33 AM

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Hi Terry,

My husband has pc- stg 4   to keep his weight stable (at best)  I have purchased Carnation VHC (very high calorie) made by Nestle-  now it is called Boost VHC-  it has 530 calories in each shake and I encourge at least 2-3 a day.  I put it over ice cream sometimes with fresh strawberries and bananas with strawberry syrup and whipped cream-  or I put it all together in the blender to make a great smoothie.  can add yogurt too if you want.(or add protien powder...etc)  He feels like it is more like a treat.  I buy it on amazon.com usually runs about $40 a case (27 cartons) but I can at least get him to consume at least those 1500 + calories a day.   Hope it helps (you can also hide medications in this mixture if he eats it all and he has a problem accepting some of his meds) :) 

Blessings~ Rose

RE: complicated and hurting

by Whitebirch on Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:47 AM

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My husband got diagnosed with stage three esophagus and stomach cancer. He has lost so much weight, and I too, feel like it is torture watching him not be able to eat much. Some of it is the cancer, some of it is from treatments, but it makes me cry when I am alone.

RE: complicated and hurting

by Terrymartinphd on Sun Mar 09, 2014 08:29 PM

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On Mar 09, 2014 10:47 AM Whitebirch wrote:

My husband got diagnosed with stage three esophagus and stomach cancer. He has lost so much weight, and I too, feel like it is torture watching him not be able to eat much. Some of it is the cancer, some of it is from treatments, but it makes me cry when I am alone.

My heart reaches out to you.  I fully understand. 

It is a lonely place to watch a loved one in this situation, our hospice nurses have been very supportive ( Tom has dementia) they are here for the dementia not the stomach cancer -

I have not cooked a meal in months - not even for myself. It makes me so sad to eat when I know he can't. Please, do not feel alone - write anytime and I will respond. 

Rose had some good suggestions but Tom did not do well with the mix so back to just the Boost.  There were other suggetions but I think it is what it is and forcing anything just makes it worse.   I am grateful for suggestions it seems each one is so different in reaction.   I asked our church to stop cooking for us as it made me feel worse -

You will be in my prayers and thoughts. 

RE: complicated and hurting

by Whitebirch on Tue Mar 11, 2014 07:07 PM

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My husband is sick of Boost now and refuses it. I am always encouraging his family to make something and to bring it over. He will usually make an effort to eat some of it. Perhaps out of politeness or perhaps eating what someone else makes gives some variety, so as long as he is interested and eats something, I'm happy.

RE: complicated and hurting

by Pammysings on Tue Mar 11, 2014 07:15 PM

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On Mar 11, 2014 7:07 PM Whitebirch wrote:

My husband is sick of Boost now and refuses it. I am always encouraging his family to make something and to bring it over. He will usually make an effort to eat some of it. Perhaps out of politeness or perhaps eating what someone else makes gives some variety, so as long as he is interested and eats something, I'm happy.

I'm new to this site, but wanted you to know that I'm praying for you and your husband.  May I suggest ice cream if he likes that?  prayers to you. 

RE: complicated and hurting

by coconutbutter on Tue Mar 11, 2014 08:40 PM

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  My husband, 73, looks so good after his weightloss and has no discomfort. The one thing I do notice is his eating HALF his dinner. I guess this is the beginning of eating 1/3 of your dinner? Maybe he has a stomach tumor pressing on his stomach but there's no pain. But there are other mechanisms that make them lose weight. 

 What he doesn't eat the dogs and I finish off. He swears he still weighs 240 but I don't believe it. 

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