Perhaps I am delusional? It's crossed my mind several times in the past two months-Magical Thinking, refusals to accept help from loved ones, then accepting too much...and now today, a conversation about enteral feeding. I'm a nutritionist, for god's sake. Have I just turned a blind eye to the amount Mom's been eating? Has it just improved so much from those first days in the hospital when her pain wasn't managed or since chemo days where nothing stayed down? The fact is that she's not eating enough. She is eating good calorie dense foods: today guacamole, other days eggs, cheese, meat, but it's not enough. Three bites of guacamole will not arrest the weight loss. So today, we had a sit down about tube feeding. Of course, that's a last resort and we don't want to have to go there. But if these weeks without chemo can't be used to recuperate and eat a lot, we're going into chemo in an even more weakened state.
Just an aside, proving the delusions again-I always say "we" like I have any ownership in this process. Like I've also lost my hair, my appetite, my strength, faith in my body...I know it must annoy her to no end to hear me say "we" like that.
Anyway, weakened state. We're hoping to meet with the oncologist early next week to discuss the nutritional deficiencies at length and see what he thinks about the possibility of surgically implanting a tube in Mom's stomach. And also if he's as concerned with her weight loss and low blood protein counts as the KGH staff is.
After the discussion today, Mom made a considerable effort to eat more than she wanted to. When she's motivated, she can override her inclinations; she really really really doesn't want to do enteral nutrition. So now it's just a wait and see game to determine if she can maintain that drive and realistically double her food intake over the next week. We're stocked with calorie dense foods over here and are hoping that maybe she'll gain a pound or two soon.