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Mar 24, 2012 02:39 PM

Yummy foods while undergoing chemo

My sister will begin chemo treatment early next week -- We're offering all the support we can, but food seems to be the biggest help so far, since it gives my brother-in-law one less thing to worry about. My sister is an omnivore, but I'm not sure how her tastes will change as she undergoes treatment. I hear soups are always good - especially with rich broths. Are there any particular foods served hot that will be especially good for her? I looked up an old "Chemohounding" thread, but I'd love some more ideas. Thanks so much in advance.

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  1. Mashed potatoes are easily edible and digestible, comforting and can be calorie- and/or flavor- enriched in practically endless ways.

    Prayers for her swift recovery.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JenJeninCT

      Thanks so much Jen - appreciate it. Yes - mashed potatoes sound extremely good and comforting for her.

    2. Sra., My heart really goes out to you and to your family. I wish there was something that I could say or do. I'd like to ask one question before answering - if her immune system is compromised, there's a chance fresh fruits and veg are verboten - at least, some of them. If I know that, I can help better.
      The very best to you, my dear. I am so, so sorrry.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mamachef

        Marci - thank you so, so much. I can't imagine what she'll be going through (it's very advanced, I'm afraid). She starts a very aggressive round early this week. I'll definitely keep in mind to cook any veggies that I make - just in case this 1st round starts to affect her immune system. I so hope not and I hope she has an appetite by the weekend.

        How are *you* doing these days? The very best to you as well. Just your input and warm words help a lot. XO

      2. Every persons reaction to chemo is different. You just have to see what she craves and what tastes good to her.

        I was never told not to eat fresh fruits or veggies during chemo.

        3 Replies
        1. re: rasputina

          Oh - you could eat fresh fruits and veggies - good to know - thank you, rasputina. If you don't mind me asking, what particular hot meals did you enjoy while you were in treatment? I'll be cooking for her, my brother-in-law and nephew, so I'll be making big amounts for them to eat and refrigerate/freeze for later.

          1. re: Sra. Swanky

            I remember craving salads and fresh foods. Sorry I can't think of any hot meals I craved.

          2. re: rasputina

            rasputina, it depends on the nature of the cancer. My son had leukemia and did not taste fresh fruits nor veg. for three and one half-years on his doctors' orders. It has to do with the degree of autoimunne supression, and some chemos. are specifically targeted to destroy the autoimmune system in the case of certain treatments.

          3. My mom is undergoing chemo and has really craved ginger, since it settles her stomach. I made her some chai mix and some plain green tea, both with copious amounts of candied ginger, and she drinks it in the morning instead of coffee. You generally can't have alcohol or a lot of caffeine, so tasty, soothing drinks are always good.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kathleen440

              My sister likes smoothies, so hopefully those will still taste good to her. Thanks so much. A very speedy recovery to your mom.

              1. re: Sra. Swanky

                Thanks a lot - she's doing quite well so far :)

            2. Big, warm, healing happy thoughts to your sister. The wisdom seems to be that everyone reacts differently. When I fed my friend through it, my home health & hospice nurse advisor reminded me to just try a variety of things and to not be offended if good food tasted bad. So we just cooked whatever he thought "might" taste good. Our friend didn't know till he tried it. For him, Italian Wedding Soup was a hit. Now, during radiation, he's into tortilla chips and salsa. Who knows? The important part is the trying and TLC and the calories. She's lucky to have you.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Vetter

                Thank you so much, Vetter. She and I love Giada's Italian wedding soup recipe! Great idea - Thanks. I'm going to try mixing beef and chicken broth this time to fortify it a little. Here's hoping she'll enjoy it. I was also thinking desserts may be a good idea if she's jonesing for sweet as well?