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Mother with myeloma- wondering about nutrition

Mother with myeloma- wondering about nutrition

Posted by l1a2u3r4a5 on Jul 20, 2020 9:38 pm

Hi there,
     My mom has multiple myeloma and is currently in the assessment phase after having received all treatments. As expected, her appetite is curbed, however, I am wondering exactly how much food is necessary for her to be eating per day so that we can be prescriptive about feeding her? I can't get in touch with her dietitian and they only spoke to my mom. My mom is 60 years old but in great shape. She weighed about 127 lbs before getting cancer and, pre cancer, she consumed about 1500 calories per day (exercise included; she usually walked for atleast an hour per day, sometimes doing hikes of five hours per day and making up for the lost calories with sandwiches, meat and vegetables, and protein bars). So she was quite healthy.
    We created an eating schedule (without the dietician as I have never met or spoken to them) before the week of her stem cell transplant and so we have been trying to follow this but, of course, her tastes are different every day. I am doing my best to coach her to eat and to remind her that eating her servings will be more like taking medicine right now, telling her that it's not pleasant but it's necessary. The other day she only took in about 700 calories not including the walks that she took which would have burned off some of that, but today she got about 1000 calories in and hiked for one hour (therefore burning some of that as well). Any advice on this matter would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Re: Mother with myeloma- wondering about nutrition

Posted by Wendy Tea on Jul 21, 2020 9:34 am

l1a2u3r4a5‍  Welcome. I am sorry your mom is struggling.  I can see you know the value of nutrition and calories.  If food is no longer appetizing,  have you tried smaller meals more often?  Have you discovered foods that are more appealing?  I wonder if right now it is more important to get calories in than worry about nutrition. What do you think will work? 
Healing takes time and opportunity. Wendy Tea

Re: Mother with myeloma- wondering about nutrition

Posted by Elsie13 on Jul 21, 2020 2:00 pm

Hello l1a2u3r4a5‍ ,   Laura?
Glad you have met Wendy Tea‍ 

Is your mother suffering from nausea and upset stomach? Or just plain old lack of appetite?  About 10 days before my hysterectomy, I had a sort of distant nausea all the time.  One of the few things I was eating was dried apricots. 
After my surgery, I ate small meals.  For breakfast, I sometimes had a store bought pudding, like rice pudding or strawberry cheesecake pudding. (From the refrigerator section of the supermarket).   Not very nutritious, but those pudding will add some calories. 
In 2016: diagnosed with stage 2 ovarian cancer. Treatment: hysterectomy, chemo, radiation. Afterwards: No Evidence of Disease!

Re: Mother with myeloma- wondering about nutrition

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on Jul 21, 2020 2:42 pm

Hello l1a2u3r4a5‍  ( clever name btw )

I am sure it is difficult to see your mom possibly not getting enough nutritional intake. We are here to offer support and some may have ways that worked for themselves or their family members. However, for medical advice, I wanted to pint you in the direction of a couple resources that may be helpful
CCS has a booklet Eating well with cancer here
You may want to call the Ontario Telehealth number at 1-866-797-0000. These provincial health lines often have nutritionists and some that specialize in oncology.
You can also call our Cancer Information Helpline at 1-888-939-3333.

Good on her for continue to keep active when she can. Hopefully she can get a handle on the food side of it too.

Keep us posted


Re: Mother with myeloma- wondering about nutrition

Posted by l1a2u3r4a5 on Jul 22, 2020 11:08 am

Thank you all! I called telehealth and, by some sheer stroke of luck, my parents were able to confirm with their used-to-be oncologist friend that 1000-1300 calories is adequate for now given her circumstance. Because of your comments, I am now more comfortable with feeding her pudding and slightly less healthy options in the name of ensuring that she meets the calorie and water count. Thanks again and please take care in this time!

Re: Mother with myeloma- wondering about nutrition

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jul 22, 2020 11:28 am


Welcome! So glad you met all the folks above, called telehealth, and spoke to the Oncologist.

My colleague Lianne shared our wonderful booklet Eating Well When you Have Cancer. I found page 19 helpful when my Dad was sick. Here is a screenshot of it:


Another site I found helpful was https://www.nourishonline.ca/ they offer info from Registered Dietitians and recipes from their wellness chef. They have a cancer and nutrition tab.

Does your Mom like any of the items on the list above?