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Recs for meals for friend with cancer

My friend is undergoing surgery and chemo for breast cancer and we are providing dinners for her and her family. I've done some reading and know to avoid raw meat/fish/eggs and that ginger and lemon help with nausea and dry mouth and that calories shouldn't be a main concern but does anyone have any recs for a couple of great dinners that travel and reheat well? Amid all of the casseroles and soups and lasagnas they will be getting, what would be a welcome dish?

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  1. I finished treatment for bc over a year ago. You are correct that our doctors prefer us to stay away from raw foods. Other than that, I would go with whatever your friend prefers.

    1. My friend also going through treament now, tells me how nothing tastes good. The radiation and meds have killed his taste buds, and the nausea gets worse as time goes on. One day last week, we had Pad See Ewe (Thai flat noodles stirfried with veges) and he loved it, a few days later, he had to throw it all away 'cuz he had his head in the toilet. I also had for him very flavorful chicken soup with veges. That seemed to work. Check w/your friend exp in the 3/4th weeks of treatment. It's a tough call. Dr's usually say to eat whatever tastes good at the moment and will stay down. Good Luck. :)KQ

      1. I dropped off manicotti on the weekend to my friend undergoing chemo and he loved it. It was filling, but no strong flavours or smells to put him off.

        1. My mom passed away from cancer recently - I tried my best to get her to eat anything! One of the only things she would consistently eat was rice pudding. I think this was because it was something her mother would make for her as a child - but also, it's fairly bland and easy enough to keep down. One thing she couldn't stand was a lot of food on her plate. I found that making something (once even a roast turkey dinner!) and freezing it in small portions really came in handy. Helped us all to have something quick and wholesome to grab from the freezer for her. With regards to the rest of the family - anything was welcome and much appreciated.
          You're a great friend for doing this.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tochipotle

            how about rice congee? it is the ultimate asian comfort food, and if it does unfortunately come back up, it isn't painful.

          2. I went thru treatment (including chemo) for breast cancer 5 years ago. What your friend will like really depends on her taste and how the treatment is affecting her - can you talk to her or a close family member w/o intruding too much? You don't want to "burden" them w/decisions on what to bring, but then it'd be nice to bring stuff that appeals.

            My ultimate favorite was a homemade mac-n-cheese casserole that a friend's mom made - complete w/breadcrumb topping. I was not at all interested in fresh veggies or dishes that were veggie-oriented. Baked goods always tasted good to me. Lots of people say that carbs appeal more than other things . . . perhaps b/c of upset stomach issues. Some things that had been favorites smelled terrible to me while on chemo. When in doubt, go w/more traditional comfort foods unless you get direct input from her or the fam. You NEVER know what'll appeal - I had a wicked gyro craving right after chemo one day . . . it was like a religious experience - so good!

            FWIW, many women never get sick b/c the anti-nausea drugs are so good - and remember, you're cooking for the family too - whatever you bring will be SO appreciated. You are doing something that this friend and her family will never forget.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gansu girl

              Agree about the carb appeal. My husband especially enjoys potatoes now but no stomach upset issue is involved, just craves them. Sense of smell is for some reason heightened while taste is dulled, so it drives him crazy to smell food cooking but not be able to taste it. If they like spicy food at all, this is the time to crank up the spices and flavors. My husband misses flavor so much and adds cayenne pepper to everything.