RE: [MOL] Advice/Suggestions Welcome [00627] Medicine On Line


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RE: [MOL] Advice/Suggestions Welcome



Joy,
My name is Dusti and my Mother has Bile Duct Cancer.  I have dealt with this
before but I took this approach:  If you don't eat, you will get sicker &
more cancer patients DIE from malnutrition than from the cancer itself.  So
there is really NO choice if you are trying to get better.  I have to say
that after initially losing 20 pounds in a month when she was first
diagnosed in July, she came back like a trooper and made it her business to
keep trying.  When she throws up, she just comes right back to the table and
tries it again.  It is heartwrenching for me to watch this but she knows
that she has to keep the weight on.  At first my sister was trying to feed
her baked chicken and all this healthy stuff to her but when I started
cooking the fried chicken and mashed potatoes, she started getting more
interested in eating.  She still does not look forward to eating and gets
sick pretty easily but for some reason, she is determined not to lose the
weight.  I would suggest many small meals and snacks so her stomach never
gets completely empty.  I think everyone is different and what they will
crave is different too.  I just act like I'm going to a lot of trouble to
make something and I would get my feelings hurt if she doesn't try it, it
works on her.

About being cranky, that's tough.  I can't imagine the stress and strain of
having cancer especially not knowing the primary.  Everyone handles stress
differently and perhaps she just doesn't want to face it.  I know my Mom was
stressed pretty big for a while adjusting to not working and not doing usual
things.  Her life has changed dramatically and forever.  Time has helped her
cope and so has a light dosage of Xanax.  Her mind was racing with the chemo
and she was easily agitated by almost anything, but the Xanax has helped and
she is not all drugged out or loopy or anything, just a tad more at peace.
I do feel for you and I know this is very difficult.  There are good and bad
days, the important thing to remember is that you are on this journey
together and don't forget to love each other.  There are times when my Mom
doesn't even seem like herself but I try & place myself in her shoes.  I
know that I probably wouldn't be half as strong and I would probably be
hateful and rail against the fates.  I can understand that position because
this is a terrible thing to be faced with.  I think you are doing the right
thing but venting and getting other opinions.  You hang in there and know
that we walk this journey together.

Your Friend,
Dusti 


> ----------
> From: 	Joy Ann Reckley[SMTP:teejoy@mindspring.com]
> Reply To: 	mol-cancer@lists.meds.com
> Sent: 	Tuesday, December 21, 1999 12:39 PM
> To: 	mol-cancer@lists.meds.com
> Subject: 	[MOL] Advice/Suggestions Welcome
> 
> Hi all!  I have written about my mom who has adenocarcinoma unknown
> primary.  The past few days have been very rough for her.  I am not a
> doctor but I am a licensed social worker and I find that all my skills
> have
> been in vain.  I think she is depressed.  She feels myself and her her
> husband are harping on her about eating and drinking.  We have really
> backed off of pushing her to eat and drink but the past few days she has
> had barely anything.  She has dehydrated a few times in the past bit it
> doesn't seem to be that this time.  The usual signs of dehydration aren't
> there and she say that although she doesn't feel like eating, she is
> drinking.  In my observation not enough though.  She threw up several
> times
> yesterday and we called the doctor who prescribed her something for the
> nausea and it has gone away.  Maybe she had a 24 hour flu that has been
> going around here.  I know too that when she gets any kind of an infection
> that it will be twice as hard for her due to her low immune system after
> just completing her last round of chemo a week ago today.  How can you
> gently help someone eat and drink when they have no appetite?  What kinds
> have foods have you found helpful and tasteful.  Salting seasoning., and
> sugaring them hasn't seemed to work.  She is very frustrated and lays in
> bed most of the time and snaps at us when we ask her anything about
> anything.  I know too that the holidays are difficult for her as well as
> our family.  She isn't able to do all the do she usually does.  I have
> done
> it for her such as the baking, etc...  I know she isn't mad at us but I do
> think she's depressed and the usual ways of picking her spirits up haven't
> worked.  She says things like "I wish I could just run away" and "I'm so
> tired of being sick."  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  I feel
> stuck.
>  Thanks. Joy
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