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spector551's picture
Posts: 109
Joined: Nov 2013

The 24th of this month will make 2 months since I finished the treatments. Honestly, this "recovery" period is worse than anything I endured during the treatment. It seems like I can't eat anything (never had a PEG) except grits with fried eggs mixed in. Anything sweet taste like motor oil (especially Boost/Ensure drinks) and anything dairy irritates my throat to the point that I can't eat it. In fact, a many things irritate my throat in a way that makes them impossible to eat. I'm trying to swollow more on my left side since it seems to be the most healed. I feel like my choices of eating things, especially high calorie foods, are sooooooo limited.

Also, I went to my rad dr yesterday and he discovered that my pulse was running at 125. So they sent me up to the onc dr office and they ran blood tests and everything and said everything seemed to be ok and my bloodwork was perfect. It leveled off at around 100 bpm before I left there and has been so since. Any of you guys go through this? Is it something I should be concerned about?

My main question is: Can any of you guys remember some things you ate that were high calorie, non-dairy, and not sweet? lol. I know that's a hard one, but anything helps. Can't keep eating grits and eggs.


God bless,


CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4296
Joined: May 2012


I hear you brother, recovery from H&N is unique.  I did not eat food seriously for 7 months, not because it hurt  but because food felt awful, the texture was unbearable.

I sound like a broken record, but try anything.  Of all things I did consume during my food sabbatical was lots of tomatoes and Olive oil, lots of Olive oil.

I never had high blood pressure, but during treatments that changed and now I take meds for it.

If you are like many of us, things do change for the better, sometimes overnight.


longtermsurvivor's picture
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mar 2010

as have several others.  What you need is calories, and protein.  The calories are best found in fat, the protein can come from a variety of sources.  So, like, start with almond milk as a base, add maybe 1 tbsp of olive oil per 8 ounces of almond milk (or two if you really want to push the calories), protein powder and stir.  What results is a 9 or 10 ounce drink that isn't dairy, has at least 600 calories, and 25 or so grams of protein.  Presto, you've solve the temporary nutrition problem, and better days can catch up to you.



wmc's picture
Posts: 1792
Joined: Jan 2014

Now I never had to have chemo or radation but I had a full laryngectomy and can't breath through my nose [just my neck] and lost a lot of weight before and after the surgery. Cream of chicken soup worked for me. I eat the hole can and that is 300 cal. I eat it three to four times a day along with pudding, and got my weight back up where it belongs. The feeding tube did not work for me in the hospital and I got down to 126lbs. Now Im back to 150 and fine. Just try everything to find what works for you.

May tomorrow be better than today:


Duggie88's picture
Posts: 703
Joined: Feb 2010

I bought one of those blender thing a majigs (forget the name) that liquified and heated all at the same time. I would throw all kinds of vegies in and make my own thing. I learned to go easy on the onions they would tend to rule the feast. I also liked milk toast. Heat milk and pour it over buttered toast with pepper to spike the taste buds, naturally no salt because everything tasted salty.

 Unlike Matt I went the opposite. I had high blood pressure before cancer and went off meds during treatment not to mention I no longer have sleep apnea. My surgeon told me once he was done with the overhaul I most likely wouldn't need the sleep apnea machine any more.


phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4672
Joined: Mar 2012

hmmmm.....yet nutritious and high calorie....my mind is rolling here trying to think of a concoction you can do.  Can you do beans?  Thinking of blending (in a blender), cooked beans, and veggies like onions, carrots, celery, maybe even some diced tomatoes, if you can handle them......along with either vegetable broth or chicken stock for liquid...a blended bean soup.  LOTS of nutrition in beans.....and they pack some calories.  Or you could make your bean soup the way you always do, then blend up with extra chicken stock.  You could do the same with split peas....make the soup, then add stock to liquify it more in the blender. 

hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

Are you using magic mouthwash? If so, try atleast 3 bites before giving something up. Sometimes, it takes me 3 bites before it kicks in. When you take out dairy and sweets you have narrowed my list. I was big on omlets but they had cheese. Pancakes but they were loaded with syrup. Baked potato but loaded w/butter and sour cream. Maybe try chili w/o any spices at all, just hamburger, onion, red beans, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Cream soups have lots of calories but you would be adding dairy back in. 

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Typically, you should start seeing some improvements soon as for the pain situation... Taste is going to take awhile... Mine took all of two years to fully comeback, but at 3-4 months, I could eat enough and taste it to survive...

KB56's picture
Posts: 312
Joined: Apr 2013

Jamie, I felt you pain exactly... even trying to swallow on the left side of my throat as the right hurt so bad.

I mentioned the EAS Myoplex shakes I used to blend and drink.  I mixed it with whold milk and it was like 700 calories and about 70 grams of protein.  You mentioned non dairy but if you can handle the milk its a great way to get protein/calories and easy to swallow.   I used to eat bisquits, gravy and eggs (the gravy made it easy), broiled fish, baked potatoes (sweet and regular with lot of butter), steamed carrots, green beans and othre veggies really steamed well so they are really soft and easy to eat.  Greek yogurt, mac and cheese (I know it has dairy).   I used my blender like others and would throw stuff in there and just drink it.  I had a feeding tube but got it out 3 weeks post treatment and it was hard for the first few months for sure.

My taste buds came back at 2-3 months but it hurt like hell to eat for 5 months.    


Good luck,


donfoo's picture
Posts: 1644
Joined: Dec 2012

Fat has twice the caloric density as carbs and proteins. You can get plain whey or soy protein powder which has no sweetness. Mix with any liquid and blend. Nuts are a great source of fat and proteins. Grind them to a smooth paste and dilute to enable it to go down smooth. Hang in there. Don

spector551's picture
Posts: 109
Joined: Nov 2013

You know, my throat doesn't really hurt. If I am eating something that doesn't offend it, I will have no pain at all. But it is that allergic type reaction to so many foods that ends up hurting. I just feel defeated at this time. I will try some of the other suggestions here and see if I can make some more progress.


God bless,


Grandmax4's picture
Posts: 709
Joined: Dec 2011

went 1 year until I could swallow solids...anyway, a product called Scandishake (Amazon) is delicious, and has 600 calories,Instead of milk, I added ice and a little water and blended,  I loved tomato soup with ritz crackers crushed finely, mashed potatoes,gravy,the tiny shrimp went down easy when I mashed them, lobster bisque,....you're only 2 months out, I'd say you're doing fantastic... 

jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1788
Joined: May 2011

Nothing tasted good to Jim for the first 6 months or more. Some one refered me to a website that had recipies by a lady who didn't want her husband to eat all that highly processed and artificial drinks so came up with recipies. The main one we used was this: large bag of mixed frozen vegetables, beef, chicken or vegetable stock cooked until soft. You can add seasoning but watch the salt. Blend until smooth and stir in olive oil. I did not add the oil into the pot but put a teaspoon in a mug of soup when serving since I drank it too and I didn't want the calories. This gives you calories, but most important of all, fiber. Jim also had a protein drink, made with almond milk (dairy causes phlem) for breakfast each day. Beans are also a great source of both fiber and protien but get the Whey protein at least once a day as it is best for starving the cancer. Hope this helps. Check out the super thread for more recipies.



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