Cancer page update: Diet
This is not one of my diary pages, rather it is a recap of what I have found that I am able to eat. Eating has been very difficult and very important during my fight with cancer.
In order to properly fight the cancer, and withstand the treatment a person needs to eat, drink and keep his or hers weight up. Different cancers and treatments will of course affect this.
The radiation treatments I received were in the mouth and throat, which almost completely destroyed my tastebuds and saliva glands. To say nothing of my sore mouth and throat.
However, my experiences with chemotherapy should apply to almost everyone that receives a chemo that causes nausea.
With chemo I found that I would get a bad taste in my mouth that would get worse when I ate or drank dairy products. When I would drink a glass of milk the bad taste would flood my mouth and everything I ate would taste bad. Also, most foods did not sound good and would actually taste bad. The few exceptions were chicken noodle soup, crackers and 7-up. Then I found that Sunny Delight tasted good(California Style). This problem would last about a week after I finished my treatment. During that week I would gradually be able to eat more and better. One of the first real foods that I could eat was chicken, no coating, broiled, not fried. Hamburgers were one of the last things I could eat.
Once I started radiation things changed totally. A sore throat, and no saliva glands make eating very difficult. I found that the bad taste from chemo was not as bad but lasted 2-3 weeks rather than 1 week. Also, the problem is compounded by my being able to eat only soft moist foods. And the 7-up and Sunny Delight started tasting very sour, as did everything with citrus juice. The sore mouth and throat also makes sure you don't eat very spicy foods. My doctors recommended hiprotein diet supplements such as Ensure. However I got very tired of that, also I had such a sore mouth and throat that it was very hard to swallow even that.
So if you are going to receive radiation in the throat be sure to have the tube put in your stomach. It may not sound pleasant but it will enable you to maintain your weight and water. I was also told to try mexican food. It does help, but it sometimes is too spicy for my poor sore mouth. However I am now able to eat about as normally as I can expect to for the forseeable future. I have taste buds on the end of my tongue and I can drink milk. That makes eating much easier and more enjoyable. With every mouthful of food I also take 1 or 2 sips of milk. That tastes much better and does a better job of moistening my mouth than water. I do not eat exceedingly dry foods such cakes and breads, although I was able to eat a large chocalate chip cookie the other night and a brownie last night. For me, eating is now a very time consuming venture. I used to eat very fast, I would finish eating before everybody else, and would be bored waiting for them. Now they finish long before me. I hope that will improve when my mouth doesn't hurt as much. It hurts to eat eggs even.