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I had throat cancer about 2 years ago. I went from 185 to 110. I did manage to get up to about 130-135 for awhile but that didn't last long. Any help? Thank you.
Years ago when I was sick I got my weight back up by drinking nutritional blended drinks. If you don't have a cholesterol problem you can make these blended drinks with whole milk, otherwise you can use 2% or skim milk. You can also add any fruit juice, fruit or berry & also you can add protein powder or body building powder from the health food store.
Health Food & supplement stores have wonderful powders you can add to milk or juice that will help you pack on healthy pounds. For extra calcium in your smoothly & also to thicken it up a bit you can add milk powder. If you get tired of this drink you can change it in many ways.
You can even make a chocolate-peanut butter protein shake. Another way to add healthy calories is to add a teaspoon of flax or olive oil. Don't use Canola or cheap cooking oils.
Another high-density food is any kind of nuts. Be it peanut butter, cashews (or cheese butter), almonds or pistachios. Nuts will give you a boost to energy along with "good" calories.
Lastly, Avocado! They're packed with GOOD fats & oils!
If your heart & body can handle fats, keep some sticks of cheese in the fridge for snacks.
First of all, I am sorry that you are going through all of this, Terry. Dealing with cancer is difficult sometimes.
His mouth often had sores following the chemo session. There is a prescription Magic-Mouth Wash that helps with this. Ask the doctor to call this prescription in.
One thing I did was to call the Dietitian at the hospital. I explained about his cancer, asked for recipes. She sent us several booklets, and recipes that were for people dealing with cancer.This was a big help.
Hubby enjoyed old fashioned egg custard. This was good for him too.....eggs, milk are nutritious. It slipped down his throat easily. Also, home made banana pudding, with the cooked pudding recipe on the side of the vanilla wafer box.
Chicken salad that's mostly white meat chicken, halved grapes ( or Crasins) and small pieces of pecans, and Hellman's mayonnaise tasted good to him. Baked sweet potatoes with butter, and brown sugar. Baked potatoes with butter. Mashed potatoes with butter and milk. Mashed butternut squash, acorn squash, and even canned pumpkin prepared without a crust.
Fresh fruit ( no citrus) such as different varieties of apples and pears tasted good to him too.
He did not like the taste of the powdered protein mixes. For a while he did not like the Ensure and other supplements. But Carnation Instant Breakfast was a hit! Use whole milk to prepare this.
Some foods just don't taste good following chemo. Some of it is just personal taste of course. So try some of these things, see if this will help. And of course, there is always the good old grilled cheese sandwich.
I'm a caregiver for my husband's 94-yo grandmother that lives with us, but I also in the past worked with a general surgeon's office that did laparascopic hiatal hernia surgery (for acid reflux)--the patients could barely swallow for a time afterward.
Gran was so weak and sick last year, that it simply tired her out to take the time to eat--she would only have about 5-10min of energy before she just had to quit and sleep--but she wasn't getting enough calories in to heal and gain weight, which is what she needed. The same goes for throat cancer/reflux surgery patients, with the needed adjustment for chemotherapy altering their normal tastebuds.
So what works best is liquidizing all foods so that you can get it down fast and easy. The mix or gargle that is sometimes prescribed for mouth sores/pain is a mix of lidocaine for numbing, and maalox for soothing. It works well--just long enough to drink something down. My father-in-law had chemo and radiation after lung cancer--we gave him a bullet-type blender along w/ flavored soymilks--coffee, vanilla, chocolate, along w/ mango puree--milkshakes or smoothies that are cold are soothing, and sometimes that's all that tastes good to a cancer patient. Try the protein powders, the Ensure/Boost, but it's a matter of what you can stand. It's important that you balance what you drink--lots of protein for healing, fruit or veg for fiber, and carbs and whole grains if possible. I add vitamin powder and flax seed oil, too.
Gran likes warm 'soups', savory-based flavors. I'll make anything into a thick soup, usually out of our family's leftovers. I use an immersion blender I got at a yard sale for $4, made by Braun--but I've seen them for as little as $15 new--up to a hundred for fancy ones. If we have roast chicken, steamed veg, and mashed potatoes and gravy, I'll put all the leftovers in a pot, cut up the meat some, add broth or milk to it, let it simmer until everything is very soft, then grind it up w/ the immersion blender. I'll add plain silken tofu in cubes to it if I think it's low in protein, or the meat was too tough. Or I'll add dry milk powder for protein, and it makes a cream soup, or just makes it thicker. I'll add other veggies if I think it's not balanced--cut carrots, potatoes, canned or frozen ones, or add instant mashed potatoes to thicken it. I add the flax seed oil and vitamin powder at the end, and then check the seasoning--you want it to taste good, too!
Here are some successful 'recipes': Turkey dinner: Yams, stuffing, gravy, tofu. Beans n Rice, veggies. baked beans and veggies. Noodles, veggies, tofu. Spaghetti and meatballs, peas. Rice w/ meat/tofu/beans, veggies, gravy or broth, w/ inst mashed potatoes(beans, tofu, meat or cheese for protein). Mashed potatoes w/ about anything, and broth, thickened w/dry milk. Canned ravioli and veggies. Leftover baked potatoes(no skins, and watch corn also--too tough), cheese, veggies and broth. Any bean-type soup, split pea, 13-bean, white bean, black bean, or any soup in general or stew. I've even cut up a fastfood hamburger quite small, and 'souped' it by cooking it down w/ broth, dry milk powder, and after adjusting for taste (I added some ketchup!) and grinding it up--it really did taste like a hamburger!
I have to note that all these 'soups' really do taste good at the end. I tend to freeze them in small containers for her to thaw and heat up in the microwave whenever she feels like it. She will sometimes supplement her soup w/ toast, a small sandwich, or an egg. She gained about 10 lbs, but considering her age, her health is doing better this year than last year!
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My father in law had this and major surgery interfered with his eating. Basically he used loads of margarine, cheese sauce and gravy. My mother in law bought cases of liquid supplement for him to drink in between meals. You could try weight gaining powder from the nutrition stores and make shakes with it. He found it helpful to eat in his recliner, so he could tip back and sometimes he preferred to eat by himself so that he could concentrate and not feel self conscious about coughing, etc. My mother in law stayed close by, of course. 10 years later, he's doing well and surpassed all of the doctors' prognoses. He enjoys meal times and goes out to restaurants!
Stay strong and God bless!
Dear Jill, this must be a very scary experience for both of you. Have you tried baby food? It's actually very tasty and nutritional. If you heat it up, add butter, salt, pepper or whatever, it tastes even better. If nausea is a problem, ask his doctor for an antiemetic to take 30 min before eating. Also, I would utilize the Oncology Dietitian that I'm sure his Oncologist has on staff. The Dietitian would be the absolute best resource for all of his dietary needs. God Bless, Joni (08/30/2004)
By Joni Dillon
My husband has lung cancer and he had a very bad stomach burning and his throat. The doctor gave him some numbing gargling medicine and gave him the full nutrition cans of boost supplement. Ask for them they should have them. My husband lost almost 50 pounds. As soon as the treatments were over within three to four weeks he was able to eat better and gained back his 10 pounds. Check with his doctor! That is what they are there for!
Daisywoods1 Jane: (08/30/2004)
I would try and give him lots of ice cream, whipped cream, puddings, etc. Hopefully he will be able to take advantage of being able to eat like this for while. Good luck and God Bless. (08/30/2004)
Have you tried the Elvis special? Try whole wheat or multi-grain bread with peanut butter and banana slices. It's delicious and the fat and potassium will both help him gain weight and support bone density. On a side note, as someone who has cancer, let me just say to your beloved may the Powers that be bless him and keep him whole for you to love. (08/30/2004)
He needs as much protein as he can get right now -- Add protein powder to whatever he can eat such as beverages, pudding, peanut butter, smoothies, gravy, etc. Juice bars such as Jamba Juice have very good smoothies that you can order with protein powder. The cold beverages might make his throat feel better. Protein powder could be added to chocolate syrup or hot fudge to put on ice cream also. Lots of butter and cream.
Drink plenty of fluids that supply calories like juice, milk, milkshakes, and sports beverages, and try adding protein powder to those. Soft textures like rice pudding, mashed potatoes, mashed vegetables with lots of butter. Whole milk yogurt, sour cream, sauces and dressings. Avocado, peanut butter and olives are good sources of fats. Baby food meats, as someone else suggested. Hope he does well and regains his strength soon! (08/30/2004)
By Alice - Also of Minneapolis
I'm sorry to say protein powders do not increase usable protein in the body. If you take use it, it will show up in the bloodstream much as a synthetic mineral does, meaning it's flowing through but not building tissue which is what protein does. The rest is being peed out. Protein must be eaten "live" as it is a combination of various amino acids which are destroyed when processed and unusable when synthesized into powders.
The quickest way to gain weight is to take in more calories than are being used. However, for people who are underweight and not gaining well, a reasonable exercise program will stimulate the appetite. Then eating high calorie foods that are also healthy (stay away from peanut butter and oils that are room temperature - use freshly ground and refrigerated nut butters, olive oil, and refrigerated whole grain breads - as rancid fats are also cancer-causing) will satisfy the higher need for calories and nourish the body as well.
Padma (former USDA nutrition program manager and herbalist) (08/31/2004)
By Allison Dey
Try mixing together Carnation Instant Breakfast, milk, ice cream and a tbs of vegetable oil in a blender to make a high calorie shake. Also does he drink ensure? They have different kinds/flavors out now. (08/27/2005)
Any one trying to gain weight is hard work but I came across a shake called SCANDI. It has up 600 Calories with whole milk and I read if you take before going to bed that the next day you might have gained around 5 pounds. There are several types of Scandi Shake but the best one is probably Instant Shake Mix, Sweetened with Aspartame even though Aspartame is one of those sweeteners that is well over 100 times sweeter then sugar. (01/14/2007)
OK, guys (and gals):
My husband has throat cancer and this is what is working for us:
16 oz of half 'n' half (630 cal.) (14 grams protein)
2 scoops BioChem Unflavored Whey Protein (180 cal.) (40 grams protein)
1 Scand-Shake (440 cal.) (5 gr protein)
TOTAL CALORIES: 1250
TOTAL GRAMS OF PROTEIN: 59
We use Vanilla flavor ScandShake. To change the flavor you can add any of the following (which also adds significant calories:
- Fudge Ice Cream Topping,
- Caramel Ice Cream Topping,
- Butterscotch Ice Cream Topping,
- 1 cup strawberries,
- Hershey's Chocolate Syrup,
- 1 Snickers Bar,
- 2 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups,
- 1/4 c. peanut butter,
- 1 fresh banana
p.s. Check out all the grocery stores in your area for half and half by the half gallon, because I save $1.50 a carton by going to one specific grocery chain.
By Christy D.