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.
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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 add yogurt, or frozen mangoes, bananas. I like to add frozen orange juice concentrate & half a teaspoon of real vanilla. (It tastes just like a tasty Orange Julius!)
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.
My hubby had lung cancer about 10 years ago. He is a survivor! He had chemotherapy which made even his favorite foods taste different. He lost a lot of weight too.
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. Again, eggs,and milk with the potassium from the bananas.
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!
My dad had this 12 years ago and he lost over 100 pounds. I am assuming you do not have the stomach tube to feed with nutritional supplements. It took awhile and he still has a lot of trouble but he is now able to eat regular food and is actually overweight. The radiation however killed his saliva glands so he has to take a small drink of water with every bite in order to be able to swallow the food. It takes him a long time to eat but we have all learned patience when eating out with him.
Because of the scarring in his throat he has had to learn by trial and error what will work for him. Thing will get caught in there. He once coughed up a peanut and hadn't eaten them for 5 days. He eats a lot butter, potatoes, sweet potatoes and stuff that can be mashed. Lots of carbs as well. Meat is one of the harder things to chew up, like steaks. Meatloaf however is not. I would think if you were to talk to a nutritionist at your cancer clinic they should be able to give you ideas.
When making smoothies, can put in Cool Whip for a more creamier texture. This can be added to nutritional beverages such as Boost or Ensure, along with chunks of fresh or frozen fruits in a blender, along with a scoop of your favorite ice cream. My brother in law's Dr. suggested this.
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