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New, with Questions

cfordct
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2004

Hello, all. I'm new here & the reason is my best friend & housemate has just been diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (stage 3B). He will be undergoing radiation & chemo therapy at the same time (radiation 5 days a week, chemo once a week). I've been trying to do some research on how to help him keep up nutrition-wise. One friend who went thru chemo 4 yrs ago said she made herself a lot of fresh vegetable/fruit juices. Does anyone have any other suggestions?
Also, he doesn't seem to be sharing any of the fears I know he must be feeling. How do I get him to open up & let some of that out? It can't be good for him to keep it all inside.

lynne40
Posts: 87
Joined: Oct 2003

Hi,
As for the opening up part, it comes for some people with time. When I was first diagnosed I told no one. I just wanted to have treatment and get better and I felt uncomfortable talking to others about it. My husband felt that I was doing myself an injustice. Not really. For me 6 months after last chemo I talk much more readily about my cancer and share the news with people. For me I needed the distance at a time that I felt very vulnerable. Now feeling much better and stronger it is easier to discuss. That's just me, but maybe your roomate it taking the same approach. He is the one who is sick, not you, so let him know you care and be supportive but follow his lead. At one point I was very upset with someone telling others about my cancer(seems unimportant now)As those of us who have gone through this diagnosis things change and so do your perceptions as time goes on. You sound like a caring friend sometimes just knowing that is all a patient needs! As for vegetable drinks everyone tolerates foods differently depending on their nausea or feeling weak. There were many things I couldn't stand to even smell(things that were favorites before chemo) that I'm back to eating now, so I always took my vitamins to help balance my nutritional needs. Hope this helps. Good luck E back if you want,
Lynne

grannyfranny
Posts: 42
Joined: Jan 2004

I haven't had chemo. When I had radiation last fall, I was still recovering from abdominal surgery, and there were a lot of foods that I couldn't even think about. My rad. onco. said to just eat whatever I COULD eat. I ended up drinking skim milk and eating a lot of rice, buttered noodles, and buttered mashed potatoes. Pudding, jello, scrambled eggs, and chicken soup were OK (easy on the chicken, and only tiny pieces). For more protein in the chicken soup, I could add a beaten egg while the soup was boiling. It was all very bland and boring, but what the heck! It went down my gullet. Before my rad was through, I'd worked up to Lemon Chicken at the local Chinese restaurant or a fruit tartlet from the patisserie.

If you click on "Cancer Information" at the top of this page, then click on "Treatment Options," scroll down a little, and click on "Nutrition for Cancer Patients" on the left, you will find some info. on patients' nutritional needs during & after treatment.

You're doing the very best thing you could for your housemate - being taken care of is important emotionally as well as physically.

Shortly before my cancer diagnosis, I had a pulmonary embolism (it was the Summer from Hell). While I was still in the hospital, he would bring his laptop computer with him to the ICU - not to avoid visiting with me (!), but so he could be with me even when he had work he couldn't avoid. It was so good that he was there, even when I just stared into space and thought long thoughts.

Remember to take care of yourself, too, and good luck to both of you.

Fran

grannyfranny
Posts: 42
Joined: Jan 2004

Hello again. thie URL - http://www.cancer.org/docroot/MLT/MLT_2.asp?sitearea=MLT - is on the ACS site, but if you copy it and paste it onto the address line, you might get there faster than if you click on "Cancer Information" above. There's info. about emotional support, care at home, etal., besides the dietary stuff.

Good luck.

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