• A Little Concerned

    Asked by JSL520 on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

    A Little Concerned

    So dad has been in remission for a month now - it seems like he's lost weight (when he really hasn't lost THAT much weight) but more or less, he's just gotten smaller without a substantial amount of weight lost. He normally wears a medium size for shirts, but he's down to a small (and that's loose) and his pants are really baggy. He finished Chemo 2/2 and finished Radiation on 2/18. Is this normal?

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • Penny82's Avatar
      Penny82

      Radiation can have lasting effects on the ability to taste and swallow. Also if he isn't producing much saliva that can affect eating as well. Does he have much of an appetite? If not there are medications that can stimulate that. The main thing is for him to be eating healthy. Fruits, veggies and good carbs. No daily mcdonalds runs. Is the doctor concerned about it? See if there is an underlying problem like painful swallowing or dry mouth. Each of those symptoms can be treated.

      almost 4 years ago
    • JSL520's Avatar
      JSL520

      I know his gums are hurting - but he's been eating a lot and he's drinking his ensure - hence why I'm not understanding the weight loss or him getting smaller. My father has always been a small man - his highest weight was 145 and that was while he was in the Navy. This is very unusual for him - we can see his rib cage, and his spine when he takes his shirt off if he's outside for more than five minutes. Another worrisome thing on that - we've always been able to see the port - but now it's so prominent we're seeing the three little bumps on it and I believe the line that goes up towards his neck. His doctor is absolutely refusing to see him until the next scheduled PET scan (June 26). I've been calling the office for weeks now about the weight issue. My siblings and I no longer fully trust his doctor - Dad was admitted three times into the hospital - first hospitalization was February 21st until March 1st, second was March 5th until March 8th, and third was March 11th until March 23rd. The first and last hospitalizations - the doctors had told us that either Dad was going to die or he would be sent home on hospice (before ANY test results came back). I'm so thankful that both times the doctors were wrong - but at the same time when they tell you that he's going to die before any test results come back - it's hard to trust them, you know? I've called a few times since we were told he's in remission about his weight loss and his state of mind (50% of the time it's like you're dealing with a different man - he gets angry easy and he's just not himself at all) and they continue to tell me there's nothing they can do for him until he comes back at the end of June for the PET scan. I am his primary caregiver since my husband and I live with him and my baby sister - my older sister is down in Florida. Our mother passed away in 2012 and we (my husband and I) have been with him ever since. I'm just so scared of what might be happening - I see him eating...drinking his water...ad drinking his ensure's...yet he's just turning into a skeleton. :(

      almost 4 years ago
    • Padragain's Avatar
      Padragain

      My dear JSL520, I you have any concers please insist on seeing your doctor or even your family doctor. Do you ahve a nurse navigator at your cancer center? Maybe she can help you.
      I had the prongs of my port protrude thru my skin too and you could see the catheter thread up the vein . I had lost weight and it was quite obvious because I had a small frame. Weight loss can be quite scary and if I were you I would demand to see someone..How about the nutritionist? I hope you get some answers soon. This could all be calmed by simple explanation and a little compassion from your doctor. Keeping you in my prayers.
      I

      almost 4 years ago
    • Penny82's Avatar
      Penny82

      If you don't trust your doctor it is time to get another one. Ensure is good for vitamins but it should be used in addition to meals not instead of, there aren't enough calories in it. I believe carnation makes a high calorie drink (not the breakfast mix) it should have something like 300-400 calories per can. His PCP may be able to help with the weight loss. Also if you can see your radiation oncologist he may be able to do something.

      almost 4 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      He may be having difficulty swallowing. If this is the case, give him some smoothies, milkshakes, whatever he can get down. His body is still healing from the disease and the treatment.

      almost 4 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      His Dr. won't see him, UNACCEPTABLE !!! Get a second opinion ASAP. Has his PCP refused to see him? Also if you can find a dentist that specializes in oncological dentistry. Radiation to the upper body causes teeth to rot.
      It seems that there might be a little bit of depression involved. Quite normal. Get him outside as much as possible ( with the proper protection from the sun ) Have as much natural light in all the rooms.

      almost 4 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      The MOST important thing is NOT the weight. People can be very slight and be VERY Healthy. SO....it's the quality of the food not the quantity of the weight. PLUS get a new Doctor TODAY.....ugh

      almost 4 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      Ugh.

      Find another doctor.

      There are better boxed foods than Ensure. Try ENU or Orgain which are, at least, made from food...All of these packages are meant to be taken in addition to food.

      If your father is hurting he may try to not eat. Sometimes the food is aspirated. How come no one offered him a G-tube?

      If he is unwilling to eat solid food, make food and then blend it.

      almost 4 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Go to an oncology dietitian. This is not unusual for this type of cancer. We have the highest death, or so I've been told by several oncologists and dietitians. I'm thinking that you onocologist gave up on you dad and doesn't want to be bothered with watching him die. I had one doctor tell me that he "didn't do cancer" not an oncologist, but you get the point. Find an oncologist that does do cancer. Good- luck He just might need an egg. You know that they're going opposite with eggs.

      almost 4 years ago
    • JSL520's Avatar
      JSL520

      As of right now, Dad's cancer is still inactive. We go on September 22 for a full body PET scan & we get the results on September 24th. I'm a little worried because it seems he's gone down hill over the past month - weight loss is worse, cramping in the legs, choking whenever he tries to eat or drink, very lethargic, still coughing up a lot of mucus & he's very hoarse. Don't get me wrong, he has good days...but he has a lot of bad days.. I've called the doctor since the symptoms got worse and they have refused to see him - they always direct me to find him a GP....which dad refuses.. I called the on call doctor tonight because of how it has been over the weekend- Dad went back on the Magic Mouthwash at the end of July but it doesn't seem to be helping. He seems to be showing symptoms of thrush.. Dad ran out of the magic mouthwash on Thursday....he asked me to look inside his mouth on Saturday & since I couldn't see it without a light, I used the video camera & flash on my phone....there seems to be a white spot on the soft palate of the right side of his mouth, and also half of his tongue is coated in white...his neck is swollen, as well...I spoke with the on call doctor this evening since Dad is feeling extremely ill and he suggested bringing him into the office tomorrow morning, so I will try to get him worked in tomorrow. Prayers please..

      over 3 years ago
    • Padragain's Avatar
      Padragain

      Hope all is well. Just said a prayer for you and your dad
      Pat

      over 3 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      Prayers for your Dad

      over 3 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy


    Read and answer more squamous cell carcinomas, laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Squamous Cell Carcinomas, Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer page.