Help...need guidance on eating after whipple

Posted by CarynS @caryns, Jan 1 5:19pm

I'm on TPN and hardly eating or drinking anything by mouth because of nausea and DGE. I take Reglan and Protonix daily but I might eat once a day, something small. I can't drink much either. Tried Boost and Carnation Instant breakfast but don't like the texture or sweetness. Prefer more watery fruits like watermelon but even then can't eat more than a few bites.

Everything I read says eat 5x a day and eat protein with each small meal and drink a lot, but I can't do any of this. I talk to my surgical team and am told it's normal (I had IORT and also a vein replacement). Should I be too concerned about this?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Pancreatic Cancer group.

Try to eat a couple of saltine crackers with peanut butter on them several times a day. The crackers help settle the stomach and the peanut butter gives you protein. I took me 3-4 weeks but it will get better. Drink some 30 gram protein drinks even if just a swallow or two at the time. The best to you.

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Hello @caryns

It sounds as if you have been through quite a bit and I can certainly understand your concern about not being able to eat very much. I'm guessing that you have lost a lot of weight and might be feeling very weak and fatigued, as well. Is that the case?

While I've never had a Whipple surgery, I have had several surgeries of the upper digestive tract to remove carcinoid (a rare form of cancer) lesions. I also had a difficult time eating after the surgeries. How long ago was the Whipple procedure?

There are many members in the pancreatic cancer group who have had Whipple surgeries, perhaps not extensive as yours, but I would like to invite @marvinjsturing to this discussion.

You mention having difficulty drinking some of the liquid protein drinks because of the sweetness and texture. Are you aware of a product called Boost Breez? It is not a milk product so you might find it easier to drink. Another member of Connect, @thull, has had multiple surgeries for diverticulitis and she has mentioned this product. She prefers the peach flavor. In the past, it could only be ordered online and was not available in stores. I'm not sure if that is still the case,

If your medical team says that this is a normal response from the surgery, you may ask for a referral to a registered, certified dietician at your medical center. They are very helpful in tailoring eating plans for people who have had digestive tract surgeries such as yours.

After my second intestinal tract surgery, I met with a dietician and she gave me some very helpful ideas. Have you conisdered asking for a referral to a dietician?

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Sorry, I can't provide any experience with TPN.

My wife had IORT and also needed to eat 5-6 small meals per day post distal pancreatectomy. Did they also take your gall bladder?

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@bb21

Try to eat a couple of saltine crackers with peanut butter on them several times a day. The crackers help settle the stomach and the peanut butter gives you protein. I took me 3-4 weeks but it will get better. Drink some 30 gram protein drinks even if just a swallow or two at the time. The best to you.

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Hello @bb21

I appreciate your input about eating after Whipple surgery. How long ago was your surgery?

Are you able to eat more normally now or do you still have restrictions as to the amount and type of food you can eat?

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@beachdog

Sorry, I can't provide any experience with TPN.

My wife had IORT and also needed to eat 5-6 small meals per day post distal pancreatectomy. Did they also take your gall bladder?

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Thanks @beachdog for your response.

Yes gall bladder is gone as well. I might mention that my liver enzymes are pretty high but since last year when I was diagnosed with jaundice they've been that way. I did neoadjuvant chemo and radiation and I recall thatduring the radiation treatments my liver enzymes were high too. Wondering if my liver issues might be contributing to the dietary ones?

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@hopeful33250

Hello @bb21

I appreciate your input about eating after Whipple surgery. How long ago was your surgery?

Are you able to eat more normally now or do you still have restrictions as to the amount and type of food you can eat?

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I had surgery in February and did not have issues for about 2 weeks and then Pow, did it hit hard. It took me another month for it to ease. I eat pretty regular food now but will notice my stomach and gut let me know when I eat too much or something it doesn't like. I keep Galviscon around to use only if needed and eat smaller meals and snacks. I have undergone chemo and a clinical trial since surgery as a single positive node of a rarer genotype, KRAS g12c, has reared its head and I have metastasis to the liver but I am fighting. You do the same. We can change the statistics by doing whatever we can and living longer. Take it one day at a time, Stay positive and do well.

REPLY
@hopeful33250

Hello @caryns

It sounds as if you have been through quite a bit and I can certainly understand your concern about not being able to eat very much. I'm guessing that you have lost a lot of weight and might be feeling very weak and fatigued, as well. Is that the case?

While I've never had a Whipple surgery, I have had several surgeries of the upper digestive tract to remove carcinoid (a rare form of cancer) lesions. I also had a difficult time eating after the surgeries. How long ago was the Whipple procedure?

There are many members in the pancreatic cancer group who have had Whipple surgeries, perhaps not extensive as yours, but I would like to invite @marvinjsturing to this discussion.

You mention having difficulty drinking some of the liquid protein drinks because of the sweetness and texture. Are you aware of a product called Boost Breez? It is not a milk product so you might find it easier to drink. Another member of Connect, @thull, has had multiple surgeries for diverticulitis and she has mentioned this product. She prefers the peach flavor. In the past, it could only be ordered online and was not available in stores. I'm not sure if that is still the case,

If your medical team says that this is a normal response from the surgery, you may ask for a referral to a registered, certified dietician at your medical center. They are very helpful in tailoring eating plans for people who have had digestive tract surgeries such as yours.

After my second intestinal tract surgery, I met with a dietician and she gave me some very helpful ideas. Have you conisdered asking for a referral to a dietician?

Jump to this post

Boost Breeze is a clear protein drink, 9 grams of protein and 250 calories per box. They look like the juice boxes you give your kids. The only place I have been able to find them is on Amazon

REPLY
@bb21

I had surgery in February and did not have issues for about 2 weeks and then Pow, did it hit hard. It took me another month for it to ease. I eat pretty regular food now but will notice my stomach and gut let me know when I eat too much or something it doesn't like. I keep Galviscon around to use only if needed and eat smaller meals and snacks. I have undergone chemo and a clinical trial since surgery as a single positive node of a rarer genotype, KRAS g12c, has reared its head and I have metastasis to the liver but I am fighting. You do the same. We can change the statistics by doing whatever we can and living longer. Take it one day at a time, Stay positive and do well.

Jump to this post

@bb21
I appreciate your added input into your diet and health journies with cancer. You have a great attitude regarding the need to take care of yourself, stay positive, and try different treatment options.

Have you ever taken Creon?

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@caryns

Thanks @beachdog for your response.

Yes gall bladder is gone as well. I might mention that my liver enzymes are pretty high but since last year when I was diagnosed with jaundice they've been that way. I did neoadjuvant chemo and radiation and I recall thatduring the radiation treatments my liver enzymes were high too. Wondering if my liver issues might be contributing to the dietary ones?

Jump to this post

Hello @caryns

You bring up a good point about liver issues contributing to your dietary problems. This might be a good question to ask your medical team by phone call or by the patient portal.

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@hopeful33250

@bb21
I appreciate your added input into your diet and health journies with cancer. You have a great attitude regarding the need to take care of yourself, stay positive, and try different treatment options.

Have you ever taken Creon?

Jump to this post

I did take Creon, up to 3*4 per meal but as I improved, I find that Creon doesn't really add to comfort, so I reduced and stopped but keep in reserve. As I mentioned, I was on a clinical trial for a while that included a monoclonal. My friend had actually done research on a similar combo for Melanoma and they found that increasing Glycine in the diet helped greatly to reduce inflammation and actually destroyed melanoma cells. She recommended that I try to reduce my inflammation with bone broth….a great source of glycine. I make my own with either chicken backs or beef knuckle to render more glycine. I add onion, celery and carrot to my broth as it cooks to give more flavor. If the broth gels when it cools, I know it is high in glycogen. It is a great source of fluid and protein and soothing to sip. Try that as well. I also have some ginger chews as I find ginger helps to calm cramping and upset stomach. I will add things as I remember,,,,chemo brain wakes up during the day…ha.

REPLY
@bb21

I did take Creon, up to 3*4 per meal but as I improved, I find that Creon doesn't really add to comfort, so I reduced and stopped but keep in reserve. As I mentioned, I was on a clinical trial for a while that included a monoclonal. My friend had actually done research on a similar combo for Melanoma and they found that increasing Glycine in the diet helped greatly to reduce inflammation and actually destroyed melanoma cells. She recommended that I try to reduce my inflammation with bone broth….a great source of glycine. I make my own with either chicken backs or beef knuckle to render more glycine. I add onion, celery and carrot to my broth as it cooks to give more flavor. If the broth gels when it cools, I know it is high in glycogen. It is a great source of fluid and protein and soothing to sip. Try that as well. I also have some ginger chews as I find ginger helps to calm cramping and upset stomach. I will add things as I remember,,,,chemo brain wakes up during the day…ha.

Jump to this post

@bb21

Yes, please share any helpful ideas as they come to mind!

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