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    Tasty Foods for Pancreatic Cancer Patient??

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    Roxygirl in Colorado
    Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:23 am Groupie
    I contacted a nice organization called "Pan Can." There website is They sent by a small pamplet on what foods to eat. They were nice about answering questions. They will "hook you up" with a cancer survivor in your area so you can have someone to talk to. We never got that far but I thought it was a good idea. I can't remember for sure but I think the d. enzyme was called, "Pangestyme." We bought a generic version of it and I remember it started with an "L." They are expensive (I think they were 3-400$ for a large bottle, but I think the generic was about $150). They were prescribed by a cancer specialist. I don't know if a hospice nurse would prescribe them or not but you should ask. Hearing about your mom's feeling of being full all the time and eating tiny amounts is just what happened to my mom. What masked her symptoms is that she had a horrible history of constipation. My mom did have a horrible unexplained itchiness of skin 9 mos. previously that mystified the drs. I read afterwards that that was a symptom of p. cancer. I live in another state so it was hard to tell. My mom's dad died of p. cancer but I didn't know it! I was always under the impression that he had died of lung cancer (but that was just where it finally spread to). If I had known it was in my family I would have tracked my mom's symptoms better. My mom's main question for the drs. was "how long had she had the cancer" and nobody would say for sure but one dr. said it was probably around 18 months (that was the usual span of it). McDonald's hamburgers were recommended by one nurse and my mom did eat part of one. We didn't hear that till late in the process but I would have pushed them more often had I thought about it. The protein and iron are so easy to get in a hamb. What about meatloaf for your mom? My mom had previously loved food, too, but "anorexia" (common symptom of p. cancer) is hard to conquer. I am really glad that your mom doesn't have a lot of pain! Let me know if you have any more comments, etc.
    Chef #1201217
    Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:44 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    My ex husband has p cancer also. I stumbled across this website through a search for help with appetite. He has stage 4 with a bile duct blockage that they are trying to fix with radiation to shrink the tumor to back off the bile duct. So far no luck. His appetite has stopped and everything he tries to eat comes right back up. He has been on enzymes for almost 1 year. and we go back and forth with the Megace to keep his body from becomming immune to it's purpose. The doctors are amazed how well he responded to the treatment. Although now it is turning into a fight for his nutrition. Has anyone that has dealt with p cancer as a caregiver have any suggestions for appetite loss AND nausea. He takes nausea pills also, but nothing seems to be working. He is thirsty alot and now is wanting just cold drinks. I read a few ideas, thanks, the milkshake ideas with added powders may be the trick for now. But as I heard in your comments his taste will only hold up for a few days on food and then I have to find a new option. Your comments were amazing, I was going crazy worrying about what more I could do and if I was doing everything I could. Your comments have eased my mind some, but this is such an ugly disease. He's only 56 and was a VERY healthy 55 before his symptoms began. I FEEL SO LUCKY TO HAVE FOUND THIS CONVERSATION.
    Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:42 am
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    Google a product called "Duocal". A high cal powder. Hope that helps someone!!
    Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:10 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    Dear Chef #1201217:
    My heart goes out to you and your husband both. You are both suffering and I have no magic answers for either of you. I kept thinking I needed to update my original post but just hadn't gotten to it yet. Unfortunately, I lost my mom in December, 2008, just four months after her diagnosis, which was BAD. All of it was bad, the diagnosis, the four months of suffering (actually much longer than that but not knowing why) and then losing her. BUT, just know that you are doing everything you can for your husband, as I tried for my mom. At least you have the enzymes (which I never could get for Mom). Even before her diagnosis her taste had changed and she wasn't enjoying food anymore, but afterward it was incredibly difficult to keep her eating and I believe some malnutrition added to her suffering. I am fairly sure what she did eat was only to try to make me happy because I know she did not want the food. As was mentioned in earlier posts, Mom's tastes changed frequently. What was good this week wouldn't work next week, and back and forth. I tried any and everything. Mostly it was milkshakes made with ice cream, chocolate Glucerna (or Ensure), chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast mix, powdered milk, protein powder, and a banana. That and homemade cheesy potato soup are pretty much what she survived on. Solid food would not "chew up" for her, she would chew and a bite would get bigger and bigger until she had to spit it out, some missing enzyme I guessed. Mom had some nausea, but not too bad until the very end and she had to stop eating anyway. She took Ativan to sleep and they told us that helped the nausea too.

    Just to let you know, one of the earlier replies mentioned the online contact of I did contact them to get in touch with other caregivers and immediately was put in touch with some people. Two were caring for long term survivors and one had just lost her mom at that time. But, that person was very good to me and I lost my mom within a couple of days after that. But, as a result of my anger and frustration of this horrible disease that consumes the patient AND the family, I have gotten involved with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network as a volunteer Community Representative and am working to get more federal funding for research and to spread awareness. Also, for your interest, I just spent this weekend in Atlanta for a pancreatic cancer symposium. One of the speakers was a dietician from (I hope I am remembering correctly) MD Anderson in Houston, and she talked a lot about the enymes to use and how to eat. AND, I think maybe she brought up something that I wish I had known to check my mom for, but she said that a lot of p/c patients get yeast in their mouth and that it completely changes the taste of everything. My mom actually had a continual yeast infection in her bladder and on her skin at that time and I am betting now that she had it in her mouth and none of the hospice nurses EVER looked at her tongue. But, Mom complained endlessly about the bad taste in her mouth and how bad it made food taste. I HIGHLY encourage you to contact and get in touch with someone through the PALS group and see if they can help you. The larger cities have Affiliate Groups that you might be able to get involved with and meet some others that know what you are going through and maybe they can give you more ideas on how to deal with all that is going on. PanCAN is not really a support group, but we do know exactly how you feel and sometimes that helps.

    You are both in my prayers, and keep us updated on how things are going for you. Let us know if you find things that work and those that just don't! AND, please let me know if I can help you in any other way.
    Queen Chef T
    Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:57 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Hello I am new to this . But my Mom was recently diagnosed with PC and it seems like her health has been going down ever since. I just need to know what I can do to keep her spirits up. She is not eating alot and she she has a juicer but we don't have any good juicing recipies so if their are any suggestions I am all up for them. I am in a bad situation because I actually live in a completly different state than my MOM and I feel completly helpless. My sister lives with her and my brother still lives in the same state but neither of them are that big of help to her. So if I can supply them with any good recipies or suggestions for the nausea it may help. I was reading about flaxseed what do you think about it.
    Roxygirl in Colorado
    Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:33 pm Groupie
    Hi Queen Chef,
    I am so sorry about your mom. It must be so difficult for you living in another state. I know my mom really enjoyed talking to people on the phone, and that's one way to support her. My mom passed away in the summer from p. cancer, as well, so I know what you're going through. Our doctor had stressed "calories, calories, calories," whatever we could get her to eat. Protein was stressed the most, red meat for iron, too. I made some smoothies for my mom (and included some raw oatmeal in them, which made them get thicker and more nutritious). I made lots of eggs, scrambled and hard-boiled, too. Our doctor steered us away from lots of veggies, as they were too difficult to digest in her current state. Also, the nurse recommended McDonald's hamburgers, too. I would stress her to remember to drink enough liquids, too. I know in my mom's case her sodium was really low and they said for her condition to drink things like Gatorade, juice, tea, but not plain water (becausse it leeched the minerals from her system, leaving her depleted). I also heard that drinking enough liquids before getting blood drawn makes it easier to get a sample. Be careful of constipation, because the condition/meds. cause it and you want to keep a handle on it before it gets to be a serious problem. It was my mom's worse symptom/problem by far and we ended up the the ER dept. twice. They recommended laxatives and magnesium citrate (which is a bubbly lemon water, sold in pharmacy that is not need a prescription). I will be sending prayers your way!
    Chef #1280690
    Thu May 28, 2009 1:49 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Hi, I am so sorry for all that have pancreatic cancer. My mother also has it and it at a stage 4. It has spread to her spleen and lymph nodes. The doctor said she can't do anymore chemo, its not helping her. We started giving her Organic carrot juice with an apple, put through a juicer. She seems to tolerate it pretty good. I also read an article that Flax seed ground up with some cottage cheese is good. We are having trouble getting her to eat as well. Vitamins like D and B are good, as well as Calcium Magnesium. Ginger is also supposed to help with nausea. High protein shakes are also a must. I hope this helps.
    Chef #1280690
    Thu May 28, 2009 1:57 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I have also heard that organic maple syrup and Red mill brand baking soda cooked, take 1-3 teaspoons daily is good.
    Fri May 06, 2011 12:27 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Sorry to hear all you and your family are going though. My husband was diagnosed about 2 months ago and we are currently in round 3 of chemo. He had a horrible time with food and digestion and bathroom issues. After trying everything, they finally put him on pancreatic enzymes and they have been a miracle. He is able to eat the things he loves again and not pay for it with horrible side effects. The unfortunate part is the cost of them. Insurance paid for most, but co-pay was over $250 but worth the results. I would suggest you looking into getting them. My husband is constantly dehydrated even after drinking lots of water, so thanks to all the responses regarding that. Will try the suggestions sent.

    My husband seems to want potatoes too. Try different potato dishes: take mashed potatoes, add two eggs, butter, and throw on a frying pan for potato pancakes (yum)! We cut potatoes in cubes, add some ranch seasoning, olive oil and bake in the oven as well.

    It is a horrible disease and heartbreaking to watch your loved ones go through it. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:50 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    My husband has just been diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer. His Dr. put him on Creon which is a pancreatic enzyme. It really has helped with his stomach discomfort and he is eating great. I hope you are able to find a hospice that has a Dr. that will prescribe the Creon.
    Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:57 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I would like to open my words here as I am very sorry for all who have family who have Pancreatic Cancer, my deepest sympathies and I truly hope in some way things look up for you.
    I would also like to thank you all for your input on this thread, as I have just spent a good couple of hours reading and rereading it.
    I live in Durban, South Africa. My Grandmother was diagnosed this week with a tumor on her pancreas that is also obstructing the bile duct. This means that not only is her appetite all but gone, also whatever she does eat gets thrown up. So far the only things she's been able to stomache are a little bit of beet-root and lettuce.
    Anyways, I have saved down all the information and will begin trying to get some form of nutrition into Gran. Also (cant remember who posted it) thanks for the link to, it looks like I can get alot of information that is possibly life saving, but if not, will at least make her life more comfortable.
    Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:41 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Hello I am new to this . But my Mom was recently diagnosed with PC and it seems like her health has been going down ever since. I just need to know what I can do to keep her spirits up. She is not eating alot and she she has a juicer but we don't have any good juicing recipies so if their are any suggestions I am all up for them. I am in a bad situation because I actually live in a completly different state than my MOM and I feel completly helpless. My sister lives with her and my brother still lives in the same state but neither of them are that big of help to her. So if I can supply them with any good recipies or suggestions for the nausea it may help. I was reading about flaxseed what do you think about it.

    Lung cancer symptoms
    Jacqueline in KY
    Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:04 pm Groupie
    I have no idea what recipes for a juicer would be but I will look around and see what I can find.
    Jacqueline in KY
    Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:14 pm Groupie
    I did look around and I did find a site that is just recipes for a juicer.

    I don't like to post outside links but in this case I think it will be OK.
    Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:52 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    My boyfriend was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and underwent surgery. He has lost his appitite as well. As you know it is very important to pack as much nutrition in to very small, easily digestable meals. The things which have worked well for us are soups like cream of chicken, broccoli cheese, puddings, jellos, rice pudding, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs. Even if she only takes a bite or two, it still gives her variety. The item we have had the most success with is fresh fruit smoothies. I buy bags of frozen strawberries, bannanas, vanilla or plain greek yogurt, "Whey Factors" vanilla protien powder (from health food store- it seems to have the best flavor). and honey. To make it put all ingredients in to a blender (yougurt, small handful of frozen strawberries, a bannana, 1 scoop of protien powder, honey to taste, and some crushed ice). You can also use pasturized egg which is sold in the dairy case in a carton. Make sure it says pasturized. It does not need to be cooked, and can be added to smoothies for protien. I hope this helps.
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