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Mom diagnosed with 3B Lung Cancer

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2015

Hi all! My mom was diagnosed with 3B NSCLC. She will begin radiation and chemo on Monday. She just turned 60. The cancer was caught only because she fell and cracked a rib.

I've been reading a lot about holistic healing, juicing and eating a healthy diet. Does anyone have any feedback on changes to their diet as they were going through treatment? Doctor told her not to change her diet and maintain weight. Everything I read online talks about juicing, wheat grass, no suger, no alcohol...I'm just not sure what to do.

My next question is on how to handle the situation. Mom lives alone. I will be the main caretaker through this experience. I dont want her to feel sufficated but I want to stay with her while she is going through treatment. I dont think she would ever ask me to do that and I cant tell if she wants me to. I've purchased books for her to read, I encourage her to join support groups, I discuss diet with her, but I dont think she is taking any of my advice.

How do I care for her without being annoying?

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2015

Dont lose hope !

Take it easy !

I have been caring for my partner who was diagnosed to have  3B NSCLC in 2008.

He is a person with multiple medical problems. He underwent traditional chemo  (primary and secondary) for almost 13 months.

However, the cancer cell spread, he then underwent Radiotherapy and has been taking Tarceva 150 mg since Oct 2009.  

He has outlived his life expectancy and every doctor keeps on saying this is a miracle he is still alive.

He just finished his seven years. He is still alive and is in remission. 

No need to have special diet. Good nuitrition, e.g. fresh vegetable, fresh fruit and fresh meat.

Your mom must be happy to have you as her companion and caregiver. She needs care and support

Also, Take good care of yourself while taking care of her. 

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2015

Thank you so much for sharing your story! I was diagnosed with stage 4 NSCLC in Nov 2014 and currently on maintenance chemo Altima and Avastin, stage 4 because it is in both lungs has not spread. I do not like looking up information on the internet it is so depressing. Thank you!

Posts: 844
Joined: Mar 2011

Juicing, eating a well balanced diet are great objectives but not necessarily achievable. The chemo is hard on the taste buds.   Often patients lose taste for foods that they love, nausea takes care of the rest.   Sometimes the steroids patients take to control side effects causes the patient to want to eat constantly.   

 Eat lots of small meals.   Stay well hydrated. Use plasticware or chopsticks to avoid adding to the metallic taste the chemo causes.   Sometimes aromatic dishes will help stimulate appetite sometimes it will cause nausea.   It can change from day to day.  
I attend workshops several times a year sponsored by nonprofits that also sponsor research into lung cancer only and also outreach programs by the NCCN affiliates in my community.  Something I learned there is that you need to have an integrated medicine specialist as your naturopathic dr.  Someone who has both an MD and an ND after their names.  
Its important to avoid too many refined sugars in general BUT know that the cancer is a greedy little monster.  If it does not get the sucrose it needs from your diet it will convert the proteins in any cell into sugar.   Your healthy cells also need sucrose to heal and grow normally.   Denying her something she enjoys will really only make her feel as though she has less control than she has already lost.   
In 2010 when I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer I supplemented my chemo and radiation with daily ice cream therapy.   Usually with fudge sauce and bananas.  
You are doing a wonderful thing.   The best thing I can tell you to do is to help her make choices but final decisions are hers.   In the next few weeks she is going to be dealing with some tremendous physical challenges.  As caregiver you need to help her stay hydrated, watch for fevers, infections, blood clots and manage her appointments and medications.  
Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Posts: 281
Joined: Mar 2011

... tends to be the province of true believers, but you won't find a lot of studies or data to back it up. In any case, even if it's your preference to believe in that avenue (good luck finding diet recommendations that don't conflict with each other), it's not a great idea to experiment with it while on active treatment.

The doc speaks the truth: she needs to keep her weight up, and if that translates as "feed the cravings," that's the way to go, at least in the short term.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2015

UPDATE: Just want to give an update. I read so many stories on here and wonder how the person is doing. Mom is doing great. Got through 33 radiation treatments with 6 days of chemo bookending the radiation. We are getting ready to start Phase 2, which is 4 more groups of chemo (6 days at a time). This phase should be complete before Christmas. Her biggest side effect is fatigue. Some foods dont taste or sound good and she lost her appetitie for about a week. She still has the indigestion from the radiation but we are told that should go away. Other then that she's doing well! A little hair thinning for now but she hasn't felt the need to shave it yet. She was on etoposide cisplatin chemo and will continue with the same medicine since she did so well. I will continue to update. Thanks to everyone who shares their stories.

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