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Diet after Esophagectomy

mrkokomo
Posts: 13
Joined: Oct 2010

I am 8 weeks post-op since my esophagectomy and am running out of ideas for small meals. I am still J-Tube feeding 750 calories a day and attempting to make up the difference with normal food. I do feel a little queezy for a couple of hours after eating. I also lightly reflux in my sleep some evenings.

I want to get rid of the J-Tube soon as I am going on vacation in December. I would appreciate any and all dietary suggestions.

Thanks,

Larry

sandy1943's picture
sandy1943
Posts: 883
Joined: Jun 2010

Welcome ,You have come to the right place to get the answers to most any question. At eight weeks I was eating the same foods I had always eaten, just smaller amounts . Sherri has a lot of knowledge on diet, that I'm sure she will be sharing with you.
After my surgery, I felt very uncomfortable after eating, even though I ate small meals.
Now after two years ,I still have to be careful. If I over eat, I experience pain for about fifteen minutes. It's better to eat small amounts more often.

Do you sleep elevated? I have a seven inch wedge pillow and a regular pillow that I sleep on. I also take medication to keep down reflux. It is important to control reflux as much as possible and I have found out this works for me.
\
Let us know more about your diagnosis, treatment and surgery.
I was diagnosed in Nov.2007 with stage 3 EC. I had pre-op chemo and surgery in may 2008. I have tested disease free since then. All on this site are different, but we are all survivors.
My prayers are with you, Sandra

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1148
Joined: Apr 2010

Larry,

I take Prilosec (Omeprazole) for acid reflux. I find it works best if I take it just before I go to bed. But in addition, I have found that eating a medium sized apple cut into small pieces about two hours before I go to bed is very helpful in controlling reflux.

I find that, because I have to be careful not to drink too much liquid with meals, eating fruits that have some water content is good for my diet and also provides some additional hydration. I try to eat three servings of fruit each day. On a typical day I have a banana and a peach or berries for an afternoon snack and the apple in the evening.

Fresh berries (blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries) and frozen vanilla yogurt make a nice refreshing snack as well, and are an excellent source of antioxidants.

I also had some queasy feelings after eating when I was still using my j-tube. It seemed to improve when I stopped using the j-tube. I am not sure if it had something to do with the j-tube or if it was just timing. I stopped using my j-tube about two months after surgery.

A typical menu for a day for me would include:

Breakfast...............1 egg scrambled and an English muffin with peanut butter
1 hour after breakfast..8 oz glass of V8 juice
Mid Morning snack.......3 slices of cheese with six saltine crackers
Lunch...................½ Sandwich with multigrain bread (ham and cheese) with chips
1 hour after lunch......8 oz glass of Gatorade
Afternoon snack.........1 banana and 1 peach or berries and yogurt
Dinner..................small hamburger patty, mashed potatoes, gravy, cottage cheese
PM Snack................1 apple peeled and cut into small pieces
1 hour before bedtime...6 ounces or vanilla yogurt

You will note that the portion sizes are small. I find if I eat small amounts frequently I have fewer issues with nausea and abdominal discomfort.

I also found that as I started to feel better and started to leave the house on longer trips I had to find a way to give my body calories on a regular basis. I always keep a supply of packaged crackers with peanut butter and granola bars in the glove compartment of the car so I can snack when I am away from home. If we are going on a drive for some distance I take a small cooler in the car with fruit and V8 Juice and Gatorade and yogurt.

I also needed to define a method to measure my portion sizes when I had meals to insure I did not eat too much and make myself uncomfortable. I found that a portion size about the size of the palm of my hand was the right size for me. So, for example, if I had a meal that consisted of a meat, vegetable, and a roll; if each item was about the size of the palm of my hand that was all I could eat without making myself uncomfortable.

I hope some of these suggestions are helpful. Of course time will improve things.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams
McCormick, South Carolina

DX 10/22/2009 T2N1M0 Stage IIB
12/03/2009 Ivor Lewis
2/8 through 6/14/2010 Adjuvant Chemo Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU
6/21/2010 CT Scan NED

mrkokomo
Posts: 13
Joined: Oct 2010

Thank you for your responses. I believe you have set me on the correct road.
I do sleep at about a 40 degree incline. I will make sure I do not eat within 3 hours of bedtime.

I would like to have the J-tube removed soon but with upcoming chemo I will probably be happy I have it for additional nutrition.

info on me:

65 YO
DX 5/25/10, T1 Baretts tumor
6/7-7/23/10 under went chemo, 2 rounds with Docetaxel, 5FU, Carboplatin
8/10/2010 Ivor Lewis esophagectomy procedure - dischaged 8/17/2010

I begin chemo again tomorrow 8/11/2010
I was found to be free of all cancer and will undergo 2 to 3 rounds of chemo as
a preventative measure.

Thanks again for your responses.

Larry

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