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Any dietary advice please

Sammy9A
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2019

Hi

My mother got diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer. She’s had surgery to remove the colon lesion and also surgery to remove the solitary metastasis that was found in her lung. We are waiting for her chemo to start. We have been torn with this news. It was all just incidental findings (found on bowel cancer screening - she was fine in herself). Does anyone have any good advice for dietary things we can be doing? We are giving her celery juice, carrot juice and fruit and herbs. Any other advice please? Thank you 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5115
Joined: Jan 2013

especiually during chemo.  It is harsh, and you can lose weight awful fast. 

While it is always good to eat a healthy diet, there has got to be fun in it. Take away the fun, and whats the point of living.  I've seen many a member here, restrict their diet severly, only to die at the end of the day - some of them wishing they had had that bowl of ice cream or cake. 

We are all different. Not only in the way we handle our own Cancer diagnoisis, but how our bodies react to treatment, to emotions, to foods. 

One thing that is always a given, is to keep hydrated. Water is the best way, but if the electrolytes drop, then that needs to be addressed. 

During treatment, the appetite can tank. I would suggest - not that I did it myself - to have some good protien shakes on hand. Either make them yourself, or buy the Emend kind of thing. 

I think its a good idea to keep a food journal.  That way, if she has a reaction, say diarhoea or constipation, you can look at what foods she has been eating. It may be food related, it may be treatment or lack of exercise.  A good detailed diary never goes amiss. 

Welcome to the forum. It is always touching to see a child (adult child) reaching out to help their beloved parent. Your mother is truly blessed. 

Now, watch this space, becasue others here may have totally different advice than myself.  Weigh it all up, and help your mum do what is best for her. 

Onward & Upward. 

Tru

Sammy9A
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2019

Dear Tru 

Thank you so much for your sincere advice. You make some very good points and we will bear those in mind. I wish you every good wish and good health. 

SoCal42
Posts: 78
Joined: Jul 2017

Chemotherapy can sometimes really mess with your whole GI tract, your apetite and sense of taste. My oncologist always says stay hydrated and eat whatever you can tolerate, even if it seems like weird foods. If there's any problems with nausea, let the doctor know right away, because there are many different medication options to help, and they usually don't want that to get out of control.

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 1052
Joined: Apr 2017

A pescovegetarian diet may be the most healthy, but putting on a few pounds before chemo is probably a good thing to do.  I like to eat healthy, but during chemo I ate whatever I could tolerate (as others have already mentioned).  This included things like pies and ice cream, even though these are not part of my normal diet.  After surviving chemo, there will be plenty of time to clean up her diet.  There are many foods and supplements that may help to survive cancer (turmeric is a popular one).  But while on chemo, most people avoid supplements.  Best of luck with the challenges ahead.

Sammy9A
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2019

Thank you so much SloCal42 and SandiaBuddy for your replies and advice. It’s so helpful to get all this first hand advice. I will keep everything you’ve said in mind. 

Nervous about the chemo days/months. Hopefully my mum gets through it smoothly and I wish each and every person complete and permanent good health. 

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6437
Joined: Feb 2009

While it's good to eat a balanced diet, make sure she keeps her strength up.  It's ok to juice, but she should also be eating protein to keep her energy level up too.  Drinking plenty of fluids is also an important part during treatment, especially if she gets sick to her stomach.  Also, let her doctor know of any herbs or supplements you are giving her, as most doctors don't want the patient taking any over the counter unless they are approved by the doctor (and that includes all vitamins). I'm sorry to hear about your mom, but you have come to a really good place to learn and get answers and suggestions from a lot of people that have gone through it.  Please don't hesitate to ask any questions you have.  We are always here to help.  Welcome to the boards.

Kim

Real Tar Heel
Posts: 56
Joined: Nov 2019

Hi, sorry to hear the news. When I started chemo, I could still exercise. I was trying to get back to a healthy weight after not exercising because of feeling like crap for a year. I lost a few pounds which I thought was healthy but the NP was unhappy. "You need to eat!" So I ate and ate and  I'm probably heavier than before I started chemo.

It's an example of everyone reacting differently to these drugs as everyone else has said. For a few days my appeitite is poor, then by the end of the week I don't feel as if I can eat enough.

I eat whatever I can keep down. During chemo week I enjoy the fine taste of protein bars mostly. The chemical taste compliments the flavor of oxailplatin. Lots of coffee and tea and water. They are easy to digest and they have the nutrients you need. Otherwise I eat what I normally eat but a greater emphasis on leafy greens than usual.

peterz54's picture
peterz54
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 2012

Here are three certified dieticians all of whom have personal experience with cancer and specialize in advising doctors and cancer patents

Miriam Kalamian

Patiricia Daly

Nasha Winters

 

They all have books of value and all can be found on Youtube giving presentations or in podcast discussions.  Worth a few hours of your time

A few of my takeaways.   

-Your doctors are vital in their roles but not as dieticians. They may offer advice but they generally do so from a poorly informed postion.

-Get junk/processed food out of diet.  Eat quality whole foods.  Don't overdue protein. 

-track insulin and glucose among other things.  Elevated insulin stimulates tumor growth,  insulin should be low 

-exercise, if able.  Walking, biking and so on.

Look up these Physicians/oncologist (youtube) who treat cancer but incorporate dietary measures.

Dawn Lemmane

Colin Champ

In previous posts of mine I've provided links to some of these people as well as researchers/academics who have valuable insights into lifestyle/dietary interventions.

 

Good luck 

 

Pete

 

   

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6437
Joined: Feb 2009

Good to see your name as it's been a long time.  Hope you have been doing well.

Kim

peterz54's picture
peterz54
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 2012

 

Nice to see you're still active and "clear.."   I'm doing fine - I check back from time to time....

 

Pete     

Sammy9A
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2019

Ah....thank you ever so much everyone - Kim, Pete and ‘Real tar heel’. I’ve just seen your very helpful replies. 

This forum is very useful and I really appreciate all the genuine first hand advice. It’s good to know all this info. 

My mum has her appointment with the Oncologist next Wednesday to discuss chemotherapy. (NHS hence a bit of waiting going on but nothing too long). 

Thank you all once again. 

I wish each and every person good health and a long life. 

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