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I lost my daughter to stage 3 ovarian cancer. Toward the end, food was not appealing to her, even things she use to love. Her body was shutting down and she had difficulties with her elimination, and eating just made her feel worse. They tried liquid nutrition, but that too could not be eliminated . All you can do is just be there with her until the end. It is heart wrenching, because we are helpless to help the one we love. May the good Lord comfort you and give you strength.
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Good for you, winsome! It is very caring of you to look for information and then to act on what you learn!
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My mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.she is shedding weight daily.She eats very little and sometimes tells us how skinny she is.She thinks it is because she is not eating properly.I still try to give her a fair amount of food,sometimes I cut back.I am grateful for this information I have received from the different posts,because now I can give her somethings different.I use to fuss about her not eating certain food but I have come to realize only yesterday that i need to give her what she ask for.some of the things mentioned in some of the posts are the very things she craves,pepsi,soda,(to belch) coffee,and milo,beef soup, to name a few
I just post a note on her door telling my daughter et al to give her whatever she wants,after all she is already uncomfortable,why make it worse.
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The terminally ill body does not need food just comfort and love. Any food prepared should be in very small portions on a tiny plate, moist and easy to swallow. Keeping the mouth clean and moist adds to comfort even if the patient can not drink. If someone is vomiting after meals please don't feed them, a few bites of jello or ice cream will be soothing. Don't worry about salt or fat nothing is bad for them anymore. Request medication for vomiting and give it at least 1/2 hour before meals. Stop any medications that are not for pain or anxiety with the Dr approval. Dehydration is not painful. It is thought to release endorphins which are naturally calming. Love, love and more love is the best prescription for a diet for the terminally ill. the body does not need more fuel as it is shutting down. Think of it as a fire that is going out and enjoy the final embers as rest comes finally. You have been as honored to witness a death as you would be a birth. It is a new beginning for everyone and you should be proud of how much you have helped with this journey. Love to everyone
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Anything he craves, served with love.
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Yes, popsicles are truly manna from heaven when one is sick!
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Anything they want to eat!
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I would try soft things such as pudding and egg custard and soup. Things that will go down easily and also be nutritious for her. I got my Father a strawberry banana smoothie and he really enjoyed that. I actually think it was the last think he ate actually drank and enjoyed. Just play it by ear and do what you think is best. take care,
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My mother has colon cancer ,( untreatable ) and we take one meal at a time. Whatever she wants. Most is sent back eaten and she is often sick after eating. It's very hard to see her like this. She sometimes enjoy a packet of potato crisps even though we both know the salt is not good for her but her enjoyment is the most important thing. She has been bedridden since April. It's too painful for her to get out of bed and into a wheelchair.
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My sister is going through this same thing with her dear companion. He is only in his early 50's and is two and half years into a diagnosis of Stage IV esophogeal cancer. His first two years he had pretty good quality of life, but now he is bed ridden and needs 24/7 care. She is a nurse so she has been an excellent caregiver for him. Anyway he is still eating but trying to plan what he will want from day to day is a challenge. So far she takes it one day at a time and prepares what he thinks he can eat at the time. She is finally getting another caregiver on board so she can work her three day twelve hour shifts at the hospital. Anyway I think it sounds like most of the people on here understand and have given good advice. Hugs to you Renay and know you are not alone.
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my aunt has just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which has spread to the liver, is it safe to give a mild laxative to her? which one? she eats fruit salad and ice cream, not food, main problem is her stomach is just not working (going to toilet). she was given an enema few days ago because of this problem. please advice
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I work at an independent living center. Having the honor to work with persons with disabilities has certainly had its rewards. Our senior citizens are fantastic.We laugh and cut up like a bunch of teenagers. My computer classes are laid back and more peer counsuling goes on than the regular class itself. Ladies in their 80's drive from another county to participate in exercise, cooking, support groups, computer classes and other activities. Those ladies sure know how to have a good time and the fellowship is outstanding! If there is a senior citizen center in your area, I strongly suggest checking it out. Hugs to everyone...hang in there!!
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My father was a fairly big man 6 ft 2 and about 215... He loved to eat and enjoyed good food he made GREAT soup (from scratch) and loved to share. When he was diagnosed last June with metasatic cancer of his bones and prostate, he basically stopped eating. We tried various things but it seemed to hurt. The last thing we did successfully was a strawberry banana smoothie... He really seemed to enjoy it. My best advice is try things like soft boiled eggs, puddings, soup ... they are nutrious and will slide easily. I have made egg custard from scratch for folks with cancer and it seems to taste good and go down easily... I will you the best take care... God Bless!!!
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Hugs to you. I know it helps us just to feel "normal" to ask practical questions when a loved one is dying. We want to do all we can to help our LO. My father died of a brain tumor in December and all I wanted to do in his last days was give him a taste of things he craved before he was at the end stage. Not much worked for us but his beloved popsicles. They help hydrate a little bit and the cool sensation was comforting to him.
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Is there any medications she is on that could be contributing to her throwing up or have a funny taste in her mouth? Has she been on a steroid for a long time without an anti-reflux medication? Does she have reflux? She could have an infection like a UTI or some other illness that might be making her sick and anorexic.

Unfortunately, depending on her stage of terminal illness, it may just be that her body is rejecting the food. It is a very difficult thing to watch as a caregiver, because food and nutrition is a way of nurturing and is a sign of health. If she is actively or very close to actively dying, then food can make her more uncomfortable. Continue to offer, but resist trying to coerce her into eating. If she totally rejects food and drink, you may want to keep her mouth moist with special swabs and her lips with chap stick.

Spend time just being with her and enjoying other things as you can - the sunset or the sunrise if she stays up a lot at night which is common in the terminally ill, the beautiful spring flowers and outdoors, beautiful music, books or movies, give her massages with relaxing oils, and ask her to tell you about the family history or times in her life if she is up to it. Cherish this time you have as much as possible. At some point, she may rouse and actually want to eat something or become unusually active just before she dies.

I am truly sorry that you are going through this with your mother. I know you will never regret having this time with her, though.
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Boma. Compassion and support is good. My mom is sufferring from severe dimentia. She is not dying but she has no ablity to know what she wants. I had to Man up a long time ago and get my emotions in check and get to the task of keeping her alive. I decide based on what she would like. I am happy she has the appetite she has and I think part of it is varying her diet and surprising her with cool snacks. A person with cancer may not have an appetite for anything specific so you have to key in on what she likes and again I say the person should have whatever he or she likes. Just get ready for the dissappointment when they don't eat. I am sorry for the lack of a compassionate answer.but I stand by it.
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To Paul Anthony - your crass response was uncalled for. Renay is only asking because she doesn't know what else to ask at this point. Maybe you have experienced such painful and heartwrenching situations as this, but not everyone has. Instead of ridiculing the question, you should be focusing on how you can help her through this difficult time. Cancer affects everyone involved in that person's life. I joined this website for compassion and support. Why are you here?
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Renay,
This is very hard. I don't know what her living situation is, whether 'facility' or home. My suggestion would be, think of all the things she liked to cook or take to friends or with the Church Ladies. Comfort food. She needs to enjoy the memories that are associated with taste and smell. I am sure that she has hundreds of recipes, probably in her head, but I bet you know some of them too. At this stage of the game, nutrition is useless. Provide for her all the things she would have cooked for you guys and there is your 7 day menu. She will appreciate you remember and hopefully enjoy the comforts of you attention.
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A termianally ill patient should eat whatever they damn please. You have to be kidding right?
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I am so sorry to hear that your mother is not doing well. My mother is in the nursing home and she so looks forward to us cooking peas, home fries with onion, sliced tomatoes and a big slice of cornbread. However, when the food is served to her, she just moves it around on the plate. Our hearts just break when we see this happening. Luckily, she will 3 Blue Bell icecream cones at a sitting. We are concerned that she is not receiving the nutrients needed to keep her healthy. She is 88 years old and has been in the nursing home for about 8 of those. We have a hard time with the icecream thing, she will go through a half gallon in about 2 days, so I guess I should be thankful that she is still able to eat.
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I say let dying people eat whatever they want to eat, can eat, and can "keep down". If the person is close to death anyway, probably no food is going to do as much harm as the death-causing disease is doing (although I suppose in cases like diabetes-related oncoming deaths etc. one would have to be more careful). It is so hard to accept the fact that a loved one can no longer take in much or any nutrition. It is frustrating and heart-breaking for everyone involved. But it is what happens more times than not in connection with dying.
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My mom is dying of cancer right now, and her appetite is practically non-existent. She doesn't like the taste of food anymore, and when I hug her all I feel is bones.
And you're right, it's a terrible disease. I've heard that people that are terminal with cancer, most die from malnutrition. Now that's bad. For her, she has to force herself to eat but then many times will just throw it up anyway. She's been drinking protein/muscle type drinks and whatever may sound not to disgusting to her that particular day. Cancer sucks big time.
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There is no such thing for a terminally ill cancer patient. You let them tell you what they want to eat and prepare it. They may suggest something for which seams appealing and get quite excited over the anticipation of the meal. However, when you have prepared it, they may not eat it or even like it, as they used to. It's not their fault. Cancer is a mean disease and plays havoc with everything within their body and around them. That includes you. Prepare each meal with love and pray it works. Eventually it will be yogurts, protein shakes, fruit bars, popsicles, and finally ice chips. I wish you all the best. This is the saddest part of caregiving and the most heartwrenching.

Doe
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