Monday, 13 March 2017

Malnutrition


Nutrition and Hydration Week



To coincide with national Nutrition and Hydration week, I thought it would good to share with you Ryan’s experience of malnutrition as a result of his lymphoma diagnosis.

Malnutrition is a common problem among patients with cancer, affecting up to 85% of patients with certain cancers. In severe cases, malnutrition can progress to cachexia, a specific form of malnutrition characterised by loss of lean body mass, muscle wasting, and impaired immune, physical and mental function.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Cycle 3

The effects of dehyration while fighting cancer. bellybuttonpanda.co.uk


Cycle 3

Chemo round 3 should have started at beginning of February but had to be delayed as Ry's kidneys are struggling a little bit due to him being too dehydrated. The medics sorted that problem and re-hydrated him, but the following day when they took blood his neutrophils had dropped to 0.6. They have to be above 1 to be able to have chemo. So we were delayed a second day. On day three his blood neutrophils had dropped further to 0.5 so we were discharged and advised to go home and wait for them to improve.

Before we went home though, the doctor and dietitian came to chat about his nausea and lack of gastrostomy feeding. They have a few ideas, but they want to make only one change at a time so they know what works or what doesn't. A different anti-sickness, a different type of feed, they also want to start a diuretic and a laxative as his gut isn't working as well as it should.

We had a relaxing weekend at home and the community nurse came out the following Monday morning to check Ry's blood again. They had raised to 1.1 so we headed straight back to Cardiff to commence cycle 3 exactly one week later than planned. That is one of the first things you learn about the old Cancer game. NOTHING goes to plan or the way you expect it to.


Finally, cycle 3 commenced and he has done well again, with only a very small Ifosfamide reaction this time that only lasted for a few seconds. Then at discharge, his neutrophils were 3.2, and we haven't even started the GCSF yet, so explain that one to me please; however his Hb had dropped to 86 and he was feeling a bit rough with sickness and chest pains. The doctors are not sure if that is due to low Hb or if he is coming down with a bug. If it was a bug it never took hold and he improved as the Hb went up.

We are halfway through treatment now with 3 more cycles to go. Cycle 4 starts Tuesday 7 March 2017.