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What to feed someone going through Chemo?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My mother has just started Chemo for a very rare form of non-smoker's lung cancer. The treatments she started today:Cisplatin and Gemzar.

She was dabbling in the ph diet (low acid, high Alkaline), but was really struggling with getting the information and now she is really worried about when the nausea hits. Anyone have any experience with this?

I have been searching and reading so much that my head is spinning. I read one thing that suggests something and then the next thing I read says the opposite. The medical websites are very limited in their discussions about nutrition, so I am just looking for some first hand, anecdotal information at this point.

Thank you in advance.
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

Any ideas or first hand experience?
post #3 of 11
I've been on a chemo regimen for a few weeks now, and my advice is when the nausea hits, encourage her to eat whatever sounds good and whatever she thinks she might keep down. Some days are going to be better than others, and there is generally a peak of side effect symptoms halfway to when it's time to get the next dose but they also get worse over time. As with morning sickness or hyperemesis or something, just be there for her and if she thinks she can keep down some sort of food, get it for her.

Hope the chemo works and your mom feels better.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you Superstella.

Good luck to you as well with your treatments!
post #5 of 11
my Dh did cisplatin chemo (cisplatin, etopiside, bleomycin). honestly, though, i just fed him whatever he was willing to eat. he didn't do very well with the chemo. we did chicken broth a lot. i wish i could help more, but he really didn't eat much at all through chemo and when he did eat a lot, he threw up.

i hope your mom does well.
post #6 of 11
When my MIL was going through chemo and radiation, they just offered her anything she wanted.. little meals that she might find tempting.. even ice cream. She didn't eat much at all..

Best wishes to your mom
post #7 of 11
when my son was on chemo we fed him whatever he wanted. Anything and everything he asked for, which wasn't a lot. he ate yogurt and bread and fruit. he enjoyed ensure too, so we bought that by the case.
post #8 of 11
one more thing. My son was prescribed Granisetron (sp?) and it was a miracle for his nausea.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone. I see a theme. Give her whatever she will eat. I will call her before my visit and ask her what sounds good. It has been suggested that strong smelling foods or heavy foods could be a problem. It seems similar to morning sickness (although far worse, I imagine), so I will keep that in mind as well.

I am wondering if anyone had any experience with Esiak tea or other natural or nutritional "cures" for cancer. There is so much hype out there and so little is actually tested so it is hard to trust anything,
post #10 of 11
I have a couple of recommendations.

1 - Chemo depletes the body of zinc, you may want to have her take a supplement (from veggies) because without it, everything tastes bland.

2 - Miso soup - is really good to drink as it will alkalinize her blood, replenish the digestive enzymes in her body that are being killed off, and is yummy. I'd recommend a barley miso that is at least 2 years old. When my aunt went through chemo she drank this and really wanted it.

3 - Give her what she wants, but perhaps avoid sugar since it decreases the immune system.

4 - Consider a macrobiotic lifestyle. Elaine Nussbaum's book, Recover from Cancer, details her story on how she beat cancer with a macrobiotic lifestyle, including a diet of whole grains, veggies, beans and sea vegetables. If you decide to follow this path, there are wonderful macrobiotic counselors out there who can help you out.

Good luck and I wish your mom the very best!
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks Macromama! A friend fought cancer the same way over 15 years ago with a macro-biotic diet! I forgot all about that!

And the miso is so simple and yummy. I get some of that as well.

I will search for the book!
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