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Looking after a loved one with cancer? This is a safe and supportive place to share your worries and emotions. Please remember when posting that this group is for Carers only.

Good appetite to the end?

CanuckinScotland
Posted by

My dad has small cell lung cancer that has spread throughout his body, including extensively in his brain. I returned to Canada to care for him until 6 days ago when he moved into hospice. The care there is fantastic and I am at peace knowing he is well looked after. 

All signs point to the end being imminent (which also aligns with the time scale 2 separate doctors gave him. Assuming they're correct, and I know it's not exact, he has a few days left). He declined very quickly and became very confused. He then plateaued for a week before declining again rapidly this past week. He is now bedridden and incontinent, unable to reposition himself, and in terrible pain when nurses try to reposition him. His legs and feet are hugely swollen and appear mottled. He sleeps a lot and is incoherent much of the time. His breathing is noisy and gurgly from a build up of mucus. 

Here's the thing: his appetite is still enormous. In the mornings he can barely speak but can manage one or two words for a breakfast order. He often has 3 breakfasts in a row - yogurt and granola, then a bowl of mixed fruit, then eggs and toast. He also eats a full lunch and dinner. These days he needs it to be fed to him, but he eats his entire portion.

Has anyone else seen this? Everything I've read about the final days of life say that people usually stop eating and drinking. He has so many of the signs of end of life except for his massive appetite. 

Needing friends
Posted by

Hi there, I have really no idea, is he on steroids which may increase appetite? It would be nice to think that he is getting some pleasure from eating,  could it also be  a throwback to past times when you had to eat whatever was put in front of you to avoid waste etc.? I doubt whether it will affect the final outcome, it must be a great relief to know he is so well cared for xx