Re: Post-Lung-Surgery Anorexia -- Need Help [00741] Medicine On Line

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Re: Post-Lung-Surgery Anorexia -- Need Help

At 10:15 AM 10/14/96 -0700, you wrote:
>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 
>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 --

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Jeffrey S. McDowell
Ribi ImmunoChem Research, Inc.