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Post Treatment Nutrition

BunnyJames
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2007

Hello, my Mom has just completed chemo and radiation for throat/tonsil cancer. She had her feeding tube removed two weeks ago; she is still having trouble eating and is losing weight rapidly. She can eat soups, warm cereals, smoothies, etc. I am looking for any tips/ideas/etc. to boost her caloric and nutritional intake and would be most appreciative of any suggestions or resources I could check out. As a cancer survivor (ovarian) myself, I understand how important a healthy diet is for recovery and would be grateful for any imput. Thank you, Bunny

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

Hi, You're right, nutrition is very important during recovery. You can try Boost or Ensure drinks that you can find at supermarkets and drugstores. They come in three flavors and, to me, they taste better cold. If she cannot eat good size meals, she can eat several small meals a day. I'll check at home, I might have something.
All the bestTereB

MLC53's picture
MLC53
Posts: 109
Joined: Sep 2007

I'm 4 mos post treatment and still have my feeding tube, and that is not uncommon. Even though I can eat some soups, ice cream, and drink liquids, I am not getting the proper nourishment to sustain my health/weight with those things. My docs want me to keep the feeding tube in until I can comfortably nourish myself by mouth. My insurance pays for, and delivers cases of Jevity right to my front door so I don't have to buy it on my own. I'm surprised to learn that your Mother's feeding tube was removed so early. However, since it is out now, maybe you can get your insurance company to deliver the drinkable boost or ensure to supplement your Mother's diet. I wish I could help more. Good luck to you both.

BugHunter's picture
BugHunter
Posts: 152
Joined: Oct 2007

You can also add the stuff you normally want to stay away from, lots of butter and sour cream helps things go down easier as well.

launicahog
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2007

Ask your Mom's Radiologist or Oncologist to setup an appointment with a staff nutritionist at the hospital. The nutritionist will work up a plan specifically for your Mom. Any food supplements should be covered under her insurance.

cuzzy
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2007

I can eat solid food (some of it) but have to have a drink with each bite to help it go down and I take much "real" food and puree it in the blender (pasta, lasagne, chicken) with chicken or beef bouillon so that I can take a few bites of real stuff but get most of my calories from Ensure, yogurt, and the blended food. I did not have a feeding tube and had the same problem as your mom did for awhile when I finished treatment...the worst thing about the supplements and smoothies is that I don't care for sweets and got sick of so much sweet stuff. Check with a speech/swallowing therapist or a nutritionist. My speech/swallowing therapist gave me a handout called "Dinner through a Straw" by Patti E. Rann...the handout looks as if it was xeroxed from a small booklet. It contains recipes for "real" main courses, desserts, side dishes that can be put through a blender. The biggest problem is making too much of any one thing...I found that after treatment, and even now, much tastes like cardboard and if there is more food thafor one meal, I lose any appetite for it. I always loved to eat, could eat like a lumberjack, worked out enough that I didn't have to worry about my weight...never thought that food would become a problem...good wishes to your mom...

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

Hi BunnyJames,

The National Cancer Institute, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, has a small book "Eating Hints - Recipes and Tips for Better Nutrition During Cancer Treatment" - NIH Publication No. 90-2079

The book is actually pretty good and it has chapters on nutrition, general eating problems, mouth and throat problems, nausea problems, hints to add more protein and calories to diet, recipes, etc.

I think the book is either free of very cheap. You can order it by calling:

1-800-4-CANCER

or write to:

Office of Cancer Communications
National Cancer Institute
Building 31, Room 10 A 24
Bethesda, MD 20892

Hope this information can help you.

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