Too underweight to get more chemo - running out of options - what to do?

My mother was told last week that since she had not put up any weight she couldn't get more chemo. She had to take a break from the chemo she was on about 6-8 weeks ago as it was too much for her and she had lost a lot of weight. She has been dealing with this for about 2.5 years - this was her 3rd round of chemo. Up to this there was always another option to try but there doesn't seem to be one anymore. She is a good age, 79 in Sept. however, she had hoped to at least make it to 80. If anyone knows what other options are out there let us know (i.e. any ways to put up weight for instance)

4 Replies

Dear Abbey

I'm really sorry to hear things have progressed this far with your mum. I would imagine she's frail in health too as well as underweight. I've heard of two women who insisted on having chemotherapy when they were advised not to and it did turn out the oncologists were right in both cases. Chemotherapy is extremely toxic.

How is your mum feeling in herself? Sometimes it can feel very lonely having ovarian cancer if you don't have a support group locally or have some other way to reach out to other women going through the same journey.

I rather think that traditional medicine in the UK has only 2 tools and that is drugs or surgery. If neither are possible you might feel it's helpful to consult a homeopath or consider complimentary therapies which don't resolve where you're at but they might nonetheless make your mum feel more comfortable.

Do you have a Maggie's Centre nearby? or a hospice? I don't have any direct experience of these but I've heard they can be really helpful. You can also use the Nurse Line provided by Ovacome. I know that always provides a huge support for women and their carers.

Sending you love xx Annie

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Sorry to hear about your Mum I would think the first thing is to try and get her to eat, and put on weight if possible. Smoothies, yogurts and perhaps the liquid foods that are available on prescription. Small meals little but often. Home made soups perhaps even and try and change her diet every day, another idea is scrambled or poached eggs. The main issue here is to build her up. Maybe the docs might try radiotheraphy if it would help her. I agree with Annie try and find a support group, a dietician in the hospital she attends and her nurses would also assist you and your family. This cancer thing is a hard road and it has plenty of bumps but I do hope that in a few weeks your Mum will be well enough to recommence treatment

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My Mum has had weight problems, shes in her 70's too. I have her on a diet including organic non-homogonsied cream and milk - you can get it from Waitrose or some organic farms. Also all beneficial oils such as olive, walnut, blackcurrant seed and fish oil ( the latter 2 as supplements). Try probiotic supplements to help restore her gut integrity and digestive enzymes to ensure her food is adequately broken down. Tumeric is great anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic. Try to avoid sugar and think wholesome and filling foods.

Chris Woollams website CancerActive is really helpful.

Good luck


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Better late than never. I didn't realize i hadn't thanked you all for your helpful suggestions back then. This is a great support gtoup. Best.


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