Chemo is anti-eating, for sure. Food doesn’t taste like food; you don’t feel like eating and you have to eat with plastic forks and spoons because everything you eat tastes like metal. Sometimes you have sores in your mouth, and there’s nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
All in all, eating is not a pleasant experience.
So you just eat! And eat some more!
Your doctors don’t want you to lose weight while you are on chemo, which also seems like another non-sentence. Chemo and weight loss seem to go hand-in-hand.
According to Chemocare.com nutrition during chemotherapy is important. The main goal before, during and after treatments is to maintain adequate calories for weight maintenance and adequate protein to optimize your immune system, strength and tolerance to treatments.
I am probably the only person you know who had chemo and never lost one single pound! I just kept on eating. I didn’t care what it tasted like, I just kept on eating. I ate all day long, every single day, for six months straight.
In retrospect, I am fortunate not to have weighed 300 pounds when it was over. I knew I had to eat, and despite the bad taste, eating made me feel somewhat normal (if that’s possible). I could choose to eat whatever I wanted – if it went down and stayed in, it was a winner.
Usually each food group would last for about a week. After that, I had to find something new to eat that was more palatable. I would ask everyone I met who might have some experience what they, or someone they knew, ate and drank, and then I would try it. What did I have to lose?
- Latin American Café’s chicken soup – still among one of my favorites if I catch a cold.
- Argentinian sandwiches – the skinny ones with ham, cheese and veggies, in the middle. Yum! A recommendation from a friend whose mother lived on them during her treatment, too.
- Low-fat tunafish and turkey meatballs from Epicure.
- Grilled cheese sandwiches with real cheese (what the heck).
There you have it – my repertoire of chemo comfort foods. Note: These have not been approved, sanctioned or evaluated by a professional. These are just grade-A, amateur certified-by-me – Muriel – foods. My diet was not medically sound. I only share this with you because somehow I managed to navigate my way through this as everyone does. If any of the above is helpful to you, I will be very happy.
One last thing: After every chemo treatment, I would have lunch/dinner with some of my friends at Sergio’s in Kendall. There were no holds barred there; I ate everything and anything, plus Cuban coffee! I needed to be more wired (HA HA)!
Please share your foods with us – eating is good!
Muriel, four-year, 8 month breast and lung cancer survivor
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