Post-Lung-Surgery Anorexia -- Need Help [00740] Medicine On Line


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Post-Lung-Surgery Anorexia -- Need Help



My mother recently had her left lung removed due to acinic 
carcinoma. [An aside -- from all examinations, this seems 
to have been primary in the lung, although it is usually 
primary in the salivary glands.]  Other than the lung, part 
of the pericardium, part of the pleura, and a small piece 
of the diaphragm was also removed.  She will have periodic 
exams to check for additional metastasis, but no 
chemotherapy or radiation.  She is 65.

It has been nearly 2 months since the surgery, and she is 
up and around -- can drive again, if absolutely necessary. 
 Problem is, whether it is the afteraffects of the surgery 
itself or the pain medications, she has absolutely 
whatsoever NO INTEREST in eating -- no taste, no appetite, 
etc. -- and is down to 101 lbs. for a 5'-6" woman.  While 
she expressed concern over her lack of appetite and the 
slight nauseau, she has cancelled her meals on wheels, etc. 
and is existing on what she calls "healthy" foods -- an 
occasional banana, some vitamins, skim milk. Won't go fot 
whole milk -- I get the feeling she thinks it will make her 
fat. 

I read that patients recovering from cancer and surgery 
NEED a certain amount of calories and protein a day, and 
she is not getting it.  She is very independent, lives 
alone, and likes it that way.  

Anyone got any personal experience with post-surgery 
anorexia (loss of appetite)?  Any help with how long this 
will last?  Any good arguments for eating higher-calorie 
foods? (She even ditched the Ensure and got vitamins, 
instead, so she's lost those couple of hundred calories.)  
Any support groups out there?

Please reply -- jemirand@worldnet.att.net