If your husband is able to drink shakes then by all means have him drink as much as he can. The same for eating. Swallowing is a function that is surprisingly quick to have problems with when its not used on a regular basis. Every single day he should be swallowing as much as possible thru out the day and evenings, whenever he is awake. People who only drink frequently do not get the feeling of being full how people usually feel after eating a big meal. Its not easy to feel full when only drinking, at least with my experiences I dont think so. When a patient/survivor is unable to eat normally, they often feel hungry all the time. If your husband can eat then he should be encouraged to eat as much as he wants as unfortunately there probably will come a time during his radiation treatments he is unable to eat, swallowing is painful, food/drinks arent tasting like they should all adding up to become very challenging for many patients causing major issues with their intake. Right now the more calories and water, the better!!! Even having a ridiculously high 5000 calorie daily intake wouldnt be too much for someone going thru rads/chem. Your husbands body is burning up calories at an increased rate trying to fight the cancer, rebuild its damage while also counteracting the treatments damage as well. Sounds like you are doing a GREAT job with being a caregiver!!!! Your husband going into rads/chemo as strong as possible even if having a few extra pounds is a very good game plan!!!

Im very glad to hear you are already using his feeding tube for the formula to help your husband get balanced nutrition. There may come a time when the feeding tube is all he can do for all his intake. By that time you will be a pro with handling the feeding tube!!! I may have missed you mentioning this but if you havent already done so, the feeding tube is an excellent way to take medications. Just use caution with crushing medicines, some can NOT be crushed like time release medicines (even over the counter time release meds). I suggest asking the pharmacist before trying dissolving any pills with water for taking it thru the feeding tube. The doc can write prescriptions for liquid form if you or your husband ask. Liquid meds are so much easier going thru the tube than struggling to get down a big horse pill. Use caution when or if you decide to try blending real foods to put thru the tube!!! Feeding tubes are designed to work with prescription formulas, not real foods which can negatively impact the longevity of the tube, causing it to breakdown or clog. Plus the calorie and nutritional content is almost impossible to track which could in the end counteract your husbands treatments. Any number of things we take for granted could cause issues with rads/chemo, even a simple vitamin could interfere. Thats why its so important to have open communication with the entire medical team so everyone always is on the same page working together for the common goal of eliminating the cancer.

Your husbands feeding tube is there to help ensure his intake remains high enough to keep his weight stable, keeping him strong thru the progressively more difficult rads/chemo treatments. The further he goes with treatments, the more he will notice changes and side effects. Im pretty sure I previously mentioned to be on alert for any differences in kidney functions and his hearing as those are the start of permanent health problems and need to be brought to the attention of his medical team on his next treatment day. The doctor must be made aware of any issues he is having to ensure they are taken into consideration before any further treatments are given.

Bets wishes with everything!!!

SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07
-65 lbs in 2 mo, no caregvr
Clear PET 1/08
4/4/08 recur L chk Stag I
surg 4/16/08 clr marg
215 HBO dives
3/09 teeth out, trismus
7/2/09 recur, Stg IV
8/24/09 trach, ND, mandiblctmy
3wks medicly inducd coma
2 mo xtended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line IV antibx 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3x in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile