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Aug 21, 2011 02:55 PM

Cooking for pancreatic cancer

My sister has pancreatic cancer. I will be visiting her in Montreal and will help cook digestible foods, mainly semi-soft food and soups.

Is there any cooking school in Montreal offering outreach for these situations?

Might there be a student who would like to help figure out what to cook for her and, after I leave Montreal, be able to come to her apartment and cook a few days a week?

Any other ideas out there?

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  1. Sorry about your sister. I recommend you get in touch with Hope & Cope, a support centre for cancer patients and their families. One of the things they offer is cooking classes and they even have their own cookbook.

    I hope this helps - good luck and best wishes.

    1. The doctors usually provide a nutritional guide which in this case would be very low fat, high carb diet. Failure of the pancreas results in an inability to process fat. Salad, roast cauliflower, turkey or tuna sandwiches. Avoid nuts and especially avocados.

      Im sure a google search would provide a more detailed answer with specific and broader recipes.

      3 Replies
      1. re: kpaxonite

        So sorry to hear about your sister's situation. Kpzoo took words out of my mouth as I am a former volunteer at the Jewish General Hospital. Hope & Cope does indeed have their own cookbook that is composed primarily of recipes chosen by patients themselves that were easy to stomach and digest, particularly during treatments, etc., when the appetite is low or when suffering from nausea, etc. But Hope & Cope also has a lending library and they did (when I was there a few years ago) have a cookbook/nutrition section. They also have a Wellness Centre close to the hospital which has a kitchen and may offer some cooking skills classes for patients or caregivers . If I may add James Haller's cookbook for patients is very thoughtful and provides very good nutritional information. It's called What to Eat When You Don’t Feel Like Eating and I can't find a link for it. It is for those who have serious illness (perhaps at stages beyond your sister's so don't be alarmed) but I remember there are recipes for soups and broths that were essentially beneficial to patients at all stages of treatment, etc.. Haller's emphasis was on making even simple soups very nutritious while keeping them palatable for someone with a compromised appetite. Also, you could check this website for the Nutrition Guide by Montreal's McGill Cancer Rehabilitation Centre:

        1. re: deborahm

          these are terrific suggestions! Also your sister would have met with a dietitian at the hospital and I would encourage her to go back to see a dietitian as she would be able to suggest some recipes, protein shakes if appropriate or whatever other nutritional boosts are needed. They usually follow closely when info needed.

          1. re: mangoannie

            Totally agree with mangoannie that one should meet with dietician first in order to be followed. Kpzoo mentioned Hope and Cope's cooking classes and I found the pdf schedule of upcoming classes (everything--not just cooking) here:

            Hope and Cope is affiliated with the Jewish General Hospital but it is absolutely open to patients from other hospitals.

      2. when i was cooking for a person with the same condition here are a couple things we would make:
        white fish lemon& veg,
        egg white omelette
        french toast (egg white only)
        homemade soups (obviously no butter)
        Most importantly make sure whatever you serve is clean and cooked through.
        Keep portion sizes small and make more if your sister can still eat. the time between serving will make digestion easier and more pain free

        1 Reply
        1. re: wcundill

          My thoughts go out to you and your family during this time.

          Having lived through this disease with my husband, what I found was that each day was a new adventure in regards to diet. What might work today, might not tomorrow. The key is to eat small amounts throughout the day, which will help manage other symptoms including nausea and at times constipation. "Smoothies" with a variety of fruit, juice and yogurt or ice cream hit the spot, along with purreed soups along with crostini provided flavour and texture. If you find something that your sister likes to eat (my husband liked popcorn) provide it, along with a multi vitamin. Please feel free to contact me at anytime for further information and support.