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What is good to eat and drink after Chemo?

kickcancer
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2009

Long story short, I am looking for information for a caregiver and her friend. Friend started Chemo and she is having hard time eating and drinking anything. We thought about a juicer and making some kind of smoothies and shakes for her. Also adding some kind of protein to help keep her strength up. I am thinking the high sugar content and acid in fruits might be to much for her. Any suggestions?

divablu's picture
divablu
Posts: 75
Joined: Dec 2008

When I had my mastectomy the surgical nurse told me to eat smoothies made out of organic yogurt, add soy protein, powdered milk, and any berry that is blue (blue berries, boysen berries, black berries, etc.) as the blue berries are cancer fighters. She also suggested to add an egg to the smoothie for added protein. This was my main diet for the first 8 weeks of chemo.

For nausea, I took everything the doctor gave me, but what really helped was a tea made from ginger root. I boiled slices of ginger root, then to my cup of ginger water I added honey and lemon. This I sipped on all day and it really helped.

I quit drinking milk, stomach couldn't tolerate it. Soy milk has also been great for me. And more protein as well!

She just has to try an eat whatever she can. I hope she likes yogurt, the smoothies were a real help to be.

Good luck!

divablu's picture
divablu
Posts: 75
Joined: Dec 2008

When I had my mastectomy the surgical nurse told me to eat smoothies made out of organic yogurt, add soy protein, powdered milk, and any berry that is blue (blue berries, boysen berries, black berries, etc.) as the blue berries are cancer fighters. She also suggested to add an egg to the smoothie for added protein. This was my main diet for the first 8 weeks of chemo.

For nausea, I took everything the doctor gave me, but what really helped was a tea made from ginger root. I boiled slices of ginger root, then to my cup of ginger water I added honey and lemon. This I sipped on all day and it really helped.

I quit drinking milk, stomach couldn't tolerate it. Soy milk has also been great for me. And more protein as well!

She just has to try an eat whatever she can. I hope she likes yogurt, the smoothies were a real help to be.

Good luck!

mmontero38's picture
mmontero38
Posts: 1523
Joined: Dec 2007

If your friend's tumor was estrogen positive, don't use soy milk. Soy has natural estrogen which is a no no for us girls that had estrogen positive tumors. When I was going through chemo, the few foods that my stomach could tolerate where mash potatoes, roasted chicken breast and yogurt. Wasn't able to eat anything else for 4 months. My kids would make me smoothies with fresh fruits like berries and bananas and frozen yogurt. If you need more protein, go to a health food store and get whey protein put it in the smoothies. You can also try Ensure, and if she doesn't like the taste you can add ice cream and ice and blend it. Keep us posted. Hugs, Lili

mimivac's picture
mimivac
Posts: 2147
Joined: Dec 2008

Just to add, my doctor does not want me to have soy either -- even though my cancer is not estrogen positive. She is worried about the xenoestrogens in soy and their role in breast cancer in general. For milk, I have switched to rice milk. Dairy can be hard on the stomach. Many persons going through chemo become temporarily lactose intolerant.

Mimi

divablu's picture
divablu
Posts: 75
Joined: Dec 2008

Web site on the pros and cons of soy.

http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/vn/soy_breast_cancer.php

divablu's picture
divablu
Posts: 75
Joined: Dec 2008

Do you have a web site or other information on this?

mmontero38's picture
mmontero38
Posts: 1523
Joined: Dec 2007

Here is one of the sites:

www.healthcastle.com/soy-breastcancer.shtml

The problem is not in pre-menopausal women but in post.

My oncologist told me to avoid all soy products because of that. So, I don't eat soy products.

Hugs, Lili

Eil4186's picture
Eil4186
Posts: 967
Joined: Dec 2007

Every doc/onc I have asked has said that eating soy is fine, just don't take soy supplements.

Derbygirl's picture
Derbygirl
Posts: 198
Joined: Jul 2008

I had change of taste during chemo on about day 6 of each treatment and foods that I once liked were no longer tolerable. This improved around day 14. I loved diet coke, but water became my favorite drink because it didn't change in taste and we're urged to drink plenty of water after chemo anyway. I also found that eating small frequent meals was helpful with nausea. You can also cook and freeze meals for times when she feels like eating. Everyone reacts differently to chemo drugs and it might be a trial and error effort to find foods for your friend. My oncologist said to eat whatever I could during chemo and worry about healthy eating after treatment. It worked for me. Good luck!

redriverartist's picture
redriverartist
Posts: 54
Joined: Jan 2009

Penta water! It has no bad taste and is the only kind I can drink right now. Oh, guess I should add coke floats made with caffiene-free cokes. LOL!!!!!!

phoenixrising's picture
phoenixrising
Posts: 1509
Joined: Feb 2007

Food tasted differently when I went through chemo so I had what I wanted. Mostly comfort food. Dad's Cookies with tea and lots of vanilla ice cream with tons of chocolate syrup.
Can't really remember anything else. Just getting food down is important. My husband ate homemade pizza's and tarts during his. That's all he felt like eating.
jan

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2731
Joined: Jul 2006

I liked Chinese fried rice from a restaurant. Also I liked corn bread with strawberries on top. We'd buy the corn bread from Boston Market. Now I just make it with a package mix.

Moopy23's picture
Moopy23
Posts: 1753
Joined: Jan 2009

Thank you all for the suggestions you gave kickcancer. I'm having the same problem with foods not tasting well. Nothing seems to taste good, and it is getting harder to keep my weight. I lost 16 pounds between diagnosis and after first treatment, and I am just trying to hang on and not lose anymore. The onc. nurse did stress eating protein, so I am eating as much as I can (I did find that chicken tastes almost like chicken).

For those of you who had changed tastes, does it get worse with each treatment? Also, any other foods anyone can recommend? The ice cream w/ chocolate syrup sounds good, but even chocolate does not taste like chocolate,or even close--it is very sad when a woman cannot taste chocolate!

rjjj's picture
rjjj
Posts: 1826
Joined: Jan 2009

Goodmorning! Eating protein is also the advice i got. I have been craving milkshakes, they still taste the same and also soothing for your mouth and throat. A friend/bc survivor told me that her onc. said not to drink milk? this has me worried. She said she was told to drink soy? her cancer was a little different but it makes me wonder.Has anyone been told that?

I find that eating spicy foods or acidic gives me heartburn and alot of burning in my throat, i love spicy foods so this is disapointing. smoothies taste great though.

Moopy, I have not lost any weight..quite the opposite. I found the 16 #s that you lost!! This is also frustrating. I know i am not as active as i used to be and the weather has been to cold and icy to walk. The chemo nurses tell me its because of the steroids..i think its because of the milkshakes! I wonder does this weight come off when your done with steroids? I'm sure i will have to start a excersise program. and start eating healthy. But right now i'm tring to eat what i can. gaining weight is not good either. Have you tried whey protien mixed in with drinks moopie? I do that. or maybe ensure?
Ps i still like chocolate it doesn't taste quite the same but i still like the texture and how it feels melting on the roof of your mouth.
God bless
Jackie

divablu's picture
divablu
Posts: 75
Joined: Dec 2008

Going through my chemo I couldn't drink milk. Upset my stomach. I couldn't eat chocolate during chemo either ... But I can now during radiation! ;-]

I had a terribly upset/acid stomach when I started the Taxol treatment. My oncologist suggested I take Prilosec, and that did the trick. My onc suggested that I take it every day, but I just used is on an "as needed basis". Try that.

About soy ... Of course there will be differing opinions. So, I called my oncologist. I am drinkng soy milk with my coffee and instead of milk. I have half a cup of coffee with half a cup of soy milk. I still can't drink my usual cup of black coffee.

Anyway, I called my oncologist about the soy dialogue we have been having here. He said the concern was with artifical soy supplements. He gave me the OK to keep drinking my soy milk.

I lost a pound a week during chemo. Made me happy! One of the side effects of radiation is lose of appetite. Works for me! More weight loss!

If you are doing smoothies, I would recommend yogurt, not frozen, but an organic yogurt with all the good bactria in it. This will also help to rebalance your stomach problems. Mix the smoothie with yogurt, dry milk, any blue colored berry (cancer fighting berries are blue), or berry of choice ... add some type of protein powder. I lived on these for 16 weeks during chemo, and still like them!

Also, drink instant breakfast ... has protein and tastes good. Can do chocolate with the instant breakfast.

Anyway, these things worked for me. I'm sure you will find what works best for you.

Huggs!

NYGMom's picture
NYGMom
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2009

Oh Moopy I feel your pain... who would think it possible for chocolate to not taste good... but it taste awful to me right now too! In fact there is not much I can stand to eat at all right now however... I have found that I can tolerate potatoes in any form... baked is best:) that way you can add cheese, butter or whatever sounds good at the moment. You might give them a try. My husband has made many trips to Bob Evans to get me a baked potato since chemo started... and himself dinner as well since I can not tolerate the smell of food cooking. Jello has also been a life saver. I have noticed that anything that has artificial flavor, for instance vanilla pudding, does not taste good at all. It is so strange, it's almost as if my taste buds as well as my nose is working double time. Hang in there!

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2043
Joined: Oct 2008

I couldn't eat anything at all from week 2 of 5 months of chemo. I stayed alive on milk and the odd beer. Baked potato was almost possible on occasion, but mostly all food tasted like poison, poison mixed with grit, or just no taste at all. I drank gallons of milk and didn't lose much weight, I know a lot of chemo patients can't stomach milk though. Hope this is a bit helpful. Jxxxxxx

Moopy23's picture
Moopy23
Posts: 1753
Joined: Jan 2009

Thanks, everyone, for your information and suggestions. NYGMom, you describe exactly what I am experiencing with taste, or lack of, I should say, including vanilla pudding (I didn't make the connection with artificial flavor--thanks for that, too). With earlier treatments, my sense of taste seemed to return more in the second and third weeks; after 3 treatments, the lack of taste seems to be worse.

I will definitely try potatoes, especially baked. And I am getting my blender out of the back pantry, for milkshakes/smoothies.

crazylady55
Posts: 92
Joined: Mar 2009

I have had a lot of trouble with metal tastes. I found that Altoids help with the metal mouth. Also, my doctor said that I can worry about reducing soy after chemo. Right now I make meats (including chicken) and vegetables tolerable by putting soy sauce on them. I have a friend who says she lived on Chinese food during chemo.

I have been gaining weight but I think I am eating too many things like potatoes and rice because they seem to help the heart burn.

Mikes Sunshine's picture
Mikes Sunshine
Posts: 129
Joined: Jan 2009

I have never eaten so many scrammbled eggs in my life. Mike has been making them for me every morning. Somtimes I can eat raisin toast with them. Thank goodness so far I have not had any mouth soares so I have been able to eat frsh fruit cut up. Popscyles is another favorite. I lost a few pounds with 1st treatment but once I was feeling better I put it right back on before 2nd treatment. I am hoping not to gain any wieght as I am already over wieght and thst does nothing to help with my diabetes. I like the sound of baked potato. I think I will try those. Nancy

divablu's picture
divablu
Posts: 75
Joined: Dec 2008

Prilosec for heat burn. My oncologist told me to take Prilosec daily for heart burn ... I just used it as needed. There are over-the-counter Priosec and alernatives. Ask your pharmacist.

mimivac's picture
mimivac
Posts: 2147
Joined: Dec 2008

Moopy, are you still having taste problems? That's the worst, isn' it? I had some minor ones with the first two, but they seemed to have gone away after that. I am sure it will subside by week three, coming up. I eat very healthy food, but during week one sometimes I indulge in comfort foods that my mom used to make me -- such as macaroni with feta cheese. I have heard dairy may not agree with your disgestive system so I do rice milk instead (soy was nixed by my oncologist). Argh, how annoying. Just eat what you can. At least you know it is TEMPORARY. Update us.

phoenixrising's picture
phoenixrising
Posts: 1509
Joined: Feb 2007

When a woman doesn't taste chocolate!! For myself I think it lasted pretty much through the whole 5 mos. The ice cream with choc was so good and cool on my throat. Loved it and ate lots. Didn't lose any weight, as a matter of fact my weight was stable throughout. A lot of foods tasted very salty for instance I couldn't tolerate saltines at all.

Jan_M's picture
Jan_M
Posts: 116
Joined: Dec 2008

Moopy23, I too just finished round three a week ago. I eat egg drop soup and white rice, sometimes I add diced chicken to it. I also ate alot of scrambled eggs. Mashed potatos, VANILLA MILKSHAKES, Ginger ale helped alot. Also Applesauce and cottagecheese. I got completely turned off of coffee, and meat cooking made me sick. Apple Juice was a main stay.

Also did you get horrible taste in your mouth? I am having to keep gum in my mouth.

Hope that this adds some more to your list of things you can eat.

Moopy23's picture
Moopy23
Posts: 1753
Joined: Jan 2009

Mimi and Jan, thank you. I had one of those emotionally difficult days today, and your messages lifted my spirits.

My sense of taste hasn't really come back as it did earlier. I also have that metallic taste and have been chewing lots of gum and sugarless hard candy. But, my clothes aren't fitting more loosely, making me feel better about keeping my weight this round.

I have tried baked potatoes, a vanilla milkshake, and scrambled eggs. They all tasted just like they should. It was wonderful actually to enjoy eating something. (I did find, as Mimi, said, that chemo has made me somewhat lactose intolerant--no risk of over-doing the milkshakes.) I am glad to add more to my list and will try your suggestions, Jan, including apple juice. I get tired of just water.

I know I will need to adjust my expectations and try to eat the healthy foods that have no taste, even if I can't handle the actively bad-tasting ones. And those of us dealing with currently malfunctioning taste buds can take comfort from Mimi's excellent point: the chemo taste changes are temporary.

sausageroll's picture
sausageroll
Posts: 415
Joined: Dec 2008

Smoothies have been a life saver for me. I also add some flax seed oil to mine and have pureed some savoury food too when mouth was really sore.

I am about to have 5th infusion next week and lack of taste has become worse with each...usually lasts about 2+ weeks and then I eat everything in sight. I love to cook..but difficult when you can't taste test!!

I also find that I crave sweet things(I never did before!)

I have lost about 25 lbs. Tried on pants in a store the other day and decided I definitely had chicken legs!!!

I know others here are diabetic and I find that during the weeks with no taste, I find it hard to keep blood sugar levels up..so much that I find myself sipping coke or chewing on candies..I guess there is a silver lining to every cloud.

jeanne1948
Posts: 18
Joined: Mar 2009

I found that a chocolate milkshake helped to reduce the metalic taste that I had after my chemo. A friend shared this with me and it helped her so I tried it. It really worked.

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