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    Tasty Foods for Pancreatic Cancer Patient??

    Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next Page >>
    Cyd710
    Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:13 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    My mother was recently diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. So, as I have learned cancer patients lose their appetite and some sense of taste anyway, but add in the fact that it is Pancreatic which really kills off appetite and digestion, and I am at a loss as to what to feed her. She would prefer to not eat at all, and is losing weight and strength every day. She has no interest in her old favorite foods now, and turns up her nose at other things I suggest. I would make her anything but she is at a loss to suggest anything. She eats a lot of potato soup, broccoli cheese soup, and chocolate milkshakes. But, she also quickly tires of the same things all the time. Does anyone have any new ideas that would be tasty, as well as nutritious - or what kind of nutritional things can I add to old stand-bys to fortify them? Thanks for any suggestions you might have.
    Molly53
    Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:36 pm
    Forum Host
    Cyd710 wrote:
    My mother was recently diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. So, as I have learned cancer patients lose their appetite and some sense of taste anyway, but add in the fact that it is Pancreatic which really kills off appetite and digestion, and I am at a loss as to what to feed her. She would prefer to not eat at all, and is losing weight and strength every day. She has no interest in her old favorite foods now, and turns up her nose at other things I suggest. I would make her anything but she is at a loss to suggest anything. She eats a lot of potato soup, broccoli cheese soup, and chocolate milkshakes. But, she also quickly tires of the same things all the time. Does anyone have any new ideas that would be tasty, as well as nutritious - or what kind of nutritional things can I add to old stand-bys to fortify them? Thanks for any suggestions you might have.
    First of all, please accept my sympathy for your mom's diagnosis.

    Medications and treatments can have a disastrous affect on the appetite and sense of taste.

    There are some very good protein/nutritional drinks the MD can recommend for your mom to help keep her fortified as much as possible. Maybe you could ask for a consultation with the cancer clinic's nutritionist and get some professional help.

    If her doctor allows it, you can always add powdered milk or pasteurized eggs to bump up her drinks. It's difficult to make recommendations without knowing your mom's tastes or where you're located in the world.

    Take a look at some of these and see if they won't work for you:
    Cream of Peanut Butter Soup
    Wortelsoep - Carrot Soup
    Cream of Chicken Soup
    Creamed Spinach
    Egg and Cheese Toast
    Haddock a La Rarebit
    Appelgebak - Baked Applesauce
    Zalm Met Rijst - Salmon With Rice
    Kip En Rijst - Chicken and Rice
    Cyd710
    Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:44 am
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    Thanks so much for the quick reply! This disease in itself is devastating in that it robs you of any desire to eat and causes a continual feeling of fullness. It was too advanced when it was FINALLY diagnosed, so she opted for no treatments. We are trying to keep her as comfortable as possible. AND, since we live in the southwest part of the state of Missouri, right in the middle of the USA, comfort food is what we live on. Beans and cornbread, biscuits and gravy. When you don't feel good, Mama has always been there with warm, tasty, comfort food to make you feel better. But, in this awful instance, the food is of no comfort and more of a stressor. At this point I don't know that even she can say what her likes and dislikes are. It's a moving target. Last night I made Beef Stew, which has worked in the past, but only about two bites and she couldn't go it this time (maybe it was because I put some protein powder in her bowl - didn't tell her that. It isn't supposed to change the taste or texture - but I think it does.)

    Just keep the ideas coming - maybe I can find her something to work with!! Thanks so much.
    Chef# 616082
    Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:55 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Coconut milk and coconut oil are high in good fat and make great shakes
    This pudding goes down well and is very calorie and nutrient dense
    Casein Free Chocolate Coconut Avocado Instant Pudding
    Chia seeds are filled with omega threes and a load of other nutrients and are easy to add to fluids. People put them in their drinking water and their coffee. I add it and ground flax seeds to all of my baking. Will she eat muffins? I hide tons of fruit and veggies in them. Maybe mini muffins would be better. They aren't such a big commitment so they seem to go down easier.
    I make sweet potato ice cream out of pecan milk to get that nutritious veggie down my veggie hating family.
    Eggs are easy to eat; poached on toast, in a wrap with onions, ham, green pepper and tomato, egg foo yong is tasty.
    I add cottage cheese to my eggs for creaminess and to add nutrition.
    Cottage Cheese and yogurt make great shake bases for chocolate, banana's, berries etc.
    We are enjoying guava juice it's very nutritious and sweet so it's great in shakes too.
    We like chicken pot pie with biscuits instead of a crust.
    A good natural source vitamin can be good for the appetite.


    Last edited by Chef# 616082 on Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total
    Molly53
    Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:24 pm
    Forum Host
    katie in the UP
    Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:58 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Welcome Cyd

    I'm also very sorry about the Dx of your Mom....

    Your Mom's nutritional goals should be to consume an adequate amount of fluids, calories, protein and vitamins each day to maintain her weight. Small, frequent meals throughout the day (five to six meals/snacks total), with each having a high protein level , are usually best tolerated.
    Check with your Mom's Oncologist!
    The Doc's office should also recommend nutritional supplements (Instant Breakfast, liquid calories like Ensure etc.)

    While taking care of Mom....don't forget to take care of yourself!
    kats pot
    Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:54 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    My dad had Pancreatic Cancer, so I can tell you what we more or less forced him to eat. As you found out, people with this sort of cancer loose their apetite quickly.
    He first lost all interest in meat, which was a problem. We used eggs, mayonaise wherever we could. But what worked most were different kind of puddings or milk-based foods (as you would make for a small child). He protested the least, when food like this was served. You can also try recipies with beans - preferably in sauces - or soya. They don't have a strong taste and he ate them.
    When all else failed, we fed him protein drinks (for bodybuilders). He disliked them, but it was easier for him to drink that one glass than eat a meal and the nutritional value was the same.
    Above all make sure your mother drinks enough. We kept offering him tea (he liked it best) all the time, so he at least drank some.
    I wish you all the strenght and courage.
    kats pot
    Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:24 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    One thing I forgot: since she has problems with her blood sugar, make sure she eats regulary. Meaning five or six meals a day.
    Jenn717
    Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:54 pm
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    Puddings made with the fortified milk already suggested.
    Cyd710
    Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:51 am
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    Thanks Kats Pot!

    As you understand - basically we are getting to the point of forcing her to eat. What an insidious disease....

    For a while I was able to make her milkshakes that included Chocolate Glucerna, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Protein Powder, Dry Milk (thanks to all for that suggestion), a banana and ice cream. She drank those for a few days, but no more. That's with everything that I can get her to take, for a few days and then she is done and refuses any more. For a while she was eating pudding a lot, no more. Every day she takes in less and less. At this point, we are not even thinking about a diabetic diet, just whatever we can get her to take she gets - but believe me eating something three times a day is miraculous, much less five or six times a day. I guess I never realized before this she was a bit finicky, and now it just terrible. She won't eat cottage cheese, rice, scrambled eggs, etc. Nope, meat is also out. So very few things...

    Funny observation. I used to be the "nose" in the family, and could smell things others couldn't. But, her sense of smell has been so incredibly heightened now, she picks up on things that I can't even smell. So, I have to be aware of what I cook so that it doesn't turn her stomach.

    Does anyone have any experience with having pancreatic enzymes prescribed to assist with eating and digestion for Pancreatic Cancer patients? I think it surely would help, but I haven't been able to get a prescription for that yet. Basically, because she chose no treatment, her oncologist doesn't feel a need to see her, and the hospice we are using is of no assistance (thinking today is the day I am going to start looking for a new hospice - this isn't what everyone described to me that I would get - the nurse comes twice a week and checks vitals and gets us prescription drugs that were already prescribed before they started coming, that's about it...). I will correct myself, the hospice nurse did get an appetite stimulant prescribed by the Primary Care Doctor, it is Megesterol - (Megase -??), but really can't tell that it is doing anything to help. She has taken that for about a month now. Still eating less and less every day.

    Thanks to everyone for continuing to share ideas - I'm thankful for every idea I can get!
    Jenn717
    Mon Nov 03, 2008 2:30 pm
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    Yes, change hospice companies immediately!!!
    Cyd710
    Mon Nov 03, 2008 2:36 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    Think hospice should be more supportive with nutritional issues?

    I JUST got off the phone with someone who has a friend that gets from intravenous vitamins and nutrients. She said it was not a feeding tube and she thought it had to be hospice that was administering it. She is going to verify some info for me!!
    Jenn717
    Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:17 pm
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    That's TPN -Total Pareteral Nutrition. Vitamins, minerals, etc. Usually fats are given daily/every other day at the same time, piggy backed into the IV line. It needs to go into a bigger vein, so a central line or picc line are usually used. (BTDT) The hospice companies I work with come into our nursing home, so not much clue if they do TPN in a home setting. Hope some of this helps!!
    Roxygirl in Colorado
    Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:42 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Hi Cyd,
    My mom passed away this summer from p. cancer so I am very sorry what you and your family are going through! At first my mom ate cereal (Honey Nut Cheerios) with some banana in the a.m. with some orange juice. She woke up with such horrible stomach pains that she needed to eat immed. After a few weeks of this, her appetite dramatically decreased and everything caused her stomach distress/pain. I made a lot of eggs: scrambled, hard-boiled, from then on. Food started to get stuck in her throat (and we gave up the hard-boiled eggs!) and I started making smoothies (ones with raw oatmeal-there's some listed on Zaar) and she did o.k. with them. Also, some cooked oatmeal. Occas. my mom would say she'd want a buttered piece of toast. She did not like ANYTHING sweet. Whatever she ate was in TINY amounts. At the time I was frantically trying to make the "right" foods, etc. but anything with calories is "right." The doctor stressed that fact. My mom was constantly thirsty through out and since her sodium levels were low they wanted her to drink anything BUT water (that waters down the sodium) like gatorade, juice, etc. My mom did have a lot of trouble with her liver and had a stent (operation) put in. It was a horribly painful ordeal for her but it did help with her yellow coloring. She did have one treatment of chemo but it came too late for her (she seemed to handle the chemo ok but 2 days later she dramatically went down hill. She only lived 5 1/2 weeks from her diagnosis. The most horrible problem she had was with constipation. If your mom has that trouble she should consult the doctor/hospice nurse fast. My mom did take the digestive enzymes (it was hard to remember to take before every bite but the dr. said they still helped if you took them after a few bites!). I honestly don't know if they helped at all, though. I will say that hospice nurses managed her pain (once they were called in) and were helpful with bathing, etc. We only had hospice for less than 2 weeks (they came twice a week). If you have ANY questions about ANYTHING, please let me know and I'd be happy to share info. with you. I wish you the best of luck during this difficult time.
    Roxygirl
    Cyd710
    Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:37 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    Roxygirl, thanks for the post. And, please, please, accept my sympathy for your loss. I guess fortunately, I haven't ever been around much cancer (although Mom did have Stage 1 Breast Cancer 12 years ago - but a lumpectomy and radiation took care of that). But, as I read and learn, terminal cancer naturally kills the appetite and tastebuds, but pancreatic cancer just amplifies all that. As I had said earlier, we live in comfort food country and my mom has ALWAYS comforted us with good, country cooking. But, food is no longer a comfort to her. I think she really wouldn't eat at all if I didn't nag her. And, like you learned it doesn't matter what it is or when it is, if she will take it, she gets it. Milk shakes or brownies for breakfast or at midnight- whatever, whenever. Mom has been diabetic for about three years and I really think that is when her cancer started, looking back on events and her energy levels etc. About a year ago Mom started complaining of feeling full all the time, she would eat a few bites and be done. Then, I know that by February she was telling the doctor of the fullness and constipation. By August he had poked every laxative known to man down her with no results. In August, after events too many to tell here, they finally diagnosed the cancer and sent her to St Louis University Hospital where they attempted to remove the tail of the pancreas, but when they opened her up they found the tumor had already spread to the stomach, left kidney and her colon. So, the constipation was actually a colon obstruction and they could not remove the tumor, but did have to remove the impacted colon and give her an ileostomy. So, that actually has relieved most of her pain she had already been in for months. At the time of the surgery they gave her six months. And she elected NO CHEMO. She was adamant about that. And, as weak as she is now, I can't really imagine her being sick from treatments. But, luckily, so far we don't have too much pain to deal with yet. I think she is uncomfortable because she can't lay any way except on her back or she says there is pain and pressure from things "shifting" in her abdomen. So, I am thankful for every day there is so little pain. If we could just boost some nutrition for strength. I think I am getting fat from trying to tempt her with all kinds of things. Seems that if I am eating something she is more interested in trying it than if I just put it in front of her. She just can't seem to chew much, it just stays in her mouth and grows and grows. Meat is the worst. So we do lots of soups, beans, ice cream, Jello, some pimiento cheese and crackers and tomato juice. I can't really get her to eat eggs in any form. We used to love to eat scrambled egg sandwiches together, but she can't stand the thoughts of eggs anymore. I am STILL on the hunt, searching and hoping I find more things to entice her to eat. I have taken suggestions from other posters and I add a lot of dry milk to things to help fortify them. I make soups with 1/2 and 1/2, and try to add whenever, wherever I can think of just to boost calories. Roxy, do you remember what kind of enzymes your mom took. I can't get anyone here to recommend anything. Mom is taking Megesterol as an appetite stimulant, but like you I am not sure it really does anything. This cancer (as they all are) is a miserable, awful thing, and if nothing else I hope that I can find a way to help someone else so that my mother's struggle (and yours) was not in vain. We have to find a better way to diagnose and treat this monster.
    Thanks again, Cyd
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