Extreme weight loss..

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I am caring for an elderly relative who has terminal adenocarcinoma of oesophagus.  Chemo and radiotherapy / operation were not an option as the cancer was too advanced, they could only put a stent in to keep the oesophagus open.  They have lost 4 stone since November and have lost 8lbs in the last week as they are not eating.  They eat the equivalent of two fish fingers, without the batter a day and drink nothing but water (3 cups of water a day).  I cannot get them to eat anything and they are wasting away before my eyes but they won't eat anymore.  Sadly, smoking more than eating each day, which of course, acts as a suppressant.  I believe they are deliberately starving themselves but they won't admit it.  I'm so upset because I love them dearly and I want to help but they're so stubborn and I can't and won't force feed them.  I understand this is their journey but they won't talk about it and I cannot sit back and just watch them starve themselves to death.  If they're loosing 8lbs in a week, surely this isn't going to last very long.  Can anyone give any advice or tell me if they've been in a similar situation?  Thank you Disappointed

  • Hi  and a very warm welcome to the online community which I hope you'll find is both an informative and supportive place to be.

    I'm sorry to read that your elderly relative is refusing to eat and it must be a very worrying time for you.

    As you know, the online community is divided up into different support groups so I'm going to recommend that you also join and post in the carers only group, which would give you the chance to connect directly with others who may have had similar problems with a loved one who's living with cancer.

    If you'd like to join the group, just click on the link I've created and, once you've joined, you can start a new post in the same way as you did here, and join in with existing conversations by clicking on reply.

    It would be great if you could pop something about your relative's diagnosis and treatment so far into your profile as it really helps others when replying to you and also when looking for someone on a similar pathway. It also means that you don't have to keep repeating yourself. To do this click on your username and then select 'Profile'. You can amend it at any time and if you're not sure what to write you can take a look at mine by clicking on my username.


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  • Hi  

    thank you for your reply and your warm friendly welcome. It is extremely worrying and I want to do the best for her but it’s very difficult. 

    thank you for recommending the carers forum, that is so very helpful and I have joined that. I’ve also updated my profile, thank you for your kind help. 

    sending my very best wishes


  • You're very welcome  


    Community Champion Badge

     "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"