Holiday Management and Meals for Cancer Patients

Posted by Merry, Volunteer Mentor @merpreb, Dec 20, 2019

Holiday meals for cancer patients can be very challenging, especially if you are in treatment or are still having side effects from them. Even if I’m not in treatment right now I really have to pay attention because if I over eat I feel more short of breath and very uncomfortable. An article this morning showed up in my in-box on just this topic. What timing! It’s written by Jessica Iannotta. She goes into more detail but essentially her main point is to plan ahead- to make sure that your dietary needs are met. This means that if you go to someone’s home for a party or dinner bring what you need to eat if you have a restricted diet.

If you aren’t feeling well but need to eat then try and eat something that is colorful! It’s most likely tastier than plane looking food. When I was going through chemo I craved spicier food. It didn’t bother my stomach and made it so that I could taste something. But your story might be the opposite. Also if you need to eat before taking your medicine it doesn’t mean eating a full meal. A couple of crackers might just be enough. And take heed if you need a certain type of food to take with your medicines, or avoid with them.

I know that this might seem a bit daunting but if you are well enough to visit than do try and get out to be with family and friends if this is something that you want. If you can’t drive than ask someone to take you and bring you home if need be.

If you stay home then make sure that your pantry is well stocked and perhaps someone can make up some meals that all you have to do is heat up or defrost.

Above all have a safe and protected holiday and may next year be a better one!

What a timely topic to post, @merpreb
Is this the article that you are referring to?
– Adding Color and Comfort to your Holiday Meal for Cancer Patients by Jessica Iannotta https://lungevity.org/news-blogs/blogs/adding-color-and-comfort-to-your-holiday-meal-for-cancer-patients

Let's get this festive party started. Tagging @roch @azkidney57 @odette @auntieoakley @susu2 @richcolleen @fiesty76 @trishanna and @susan2018 to get their ideas on how to manage holidays eating as a cancer patient or caregiver.

I like the idea of adding color. If you can't eat much, at least it should be festive. Do you bring food with you when eating elsewhere? Are you hosting people or being hosted this year?

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@colleenyoung

What a timely topic to post, @merpreb
Is this the article that you are referring to?
– Adding Color and Comfort to your Holiday Meal for Cancer Patients by Jessica Iannotta https://lungevity.org/news-blogs/blogs/adding-color-and-comfort-to-your-holiday-meal-for-cancer-patients

Let's get this festive party started. Tagging @roch @azkidney57 @odette @auntieoakley @susu2 @richcolleen @fiesty76 @trishanna and @susan2018 to get their ideas on how to manage holidays eating as a cancer patient or caregiver.

I like the idea of adding color. If you can't eat much, at least it should be festive. Do you bring food with you when eating elsewhere? Are you hosting people or being hosted this year?

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Going to Mass Christmas morning with friend and than having pizza 🍕 at my house and playing mahjong. Flu is going around area so want to avoid it!

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Both my husband and I took chemo during the holidays, we avoided crowded parties but did want to spend time with family. I would check in about menu before the gathering. This prevented hurt feelings about diet issues, by making sure there were menu items we could eat. Incidentally this is the time we started adding a lot of fresh cranberries and spices to our holiday diet, it was fresh and strong flavored, I always wanted tons of fresh things and spicy things. My husband and I both shunned dairy during chemo and heavy sauces or gravies were out. Chocolate tasted like air, no taste period, so we made treats with cinnamon and nutmeg and orange zest instead. Macadamia nuts are really high in fat so cookies with macadamia nuts is always in the baskets for my friends on chemo.

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@richcolleen

Going to Mass Christmas morning with friend and than having pizza 🍕 at my house and playing mahjong. Flu is going around area so want to avoid it!

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@richcollen- Good idea to avoid the flu if it's in your area. I'm glad that you aren't going to be alone.

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@auntieoakley

Both my husband and I took chemo during the holidays, we avoided crowded parties but did want to spend time with family. I would check in about menu before the gathering. This prevented hurt feelings about diet issues, by making sure there were menu items we could eat. Incidentally this is the time we started adding a lot of fresh cranberries and spices to our holiday diet, it was fresh and strong flavored, I always wanted tons of fresh things and spicy things. My husband and I both shunned dairy during chemo and heavy sauces or gravies were out. Chocolate tasted like air, no taste period, so we made treats with cinnamon and nutmeg and orange zest instead. Macadamia nuts are really high in fat so cookies with macadamia nuts is always in the baskets for my friends on chemo.

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@auntieoakley– All of these foods sound heavenly! My husband cooks "Yankee" food so I avoided some or spiced up others. I don't think that I would have eaten if he hadn't cooked. He was wonderful and he tried and everything was fresh too. I lost 15 lbs during chemo.
It's always a great idea to call ahead to see if dietary accommodations can be made. But if they can't, then bringing your own is a safe bet especially if you have medicines with "particular" dietary restriction. I can smell all your orange zest and cooking cranberries. But I can't imagine not being able to taste chocolate- you poor poor thing! 🙂

Liked by auntieoakley

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@colleenyoung

What a timely topic to post, @merpreb
Is this the article that you are referring to?
– Adding Color and Comfort to your Holiday Meal for Cancer Patients by Jessica Iannotta https://lungevity.org/news-blogs/blogs/adding-color-and-comfort-to-your-holiday-meal-for-cancer-patients

Let's get this festive party started. Tagging @roch @azkidney57 @odette @auntieoakley @susu2 @richcolleen @fiesty76 @trishanna and @susan2018 to get their ideas on how to manage holidays eating as a cancer patient or caregiver.

I like the idea of adding color. If you can't eat much, at least it should be festive. Do you bring food with you when eating elsewhere? Are you hosting people or being hosted this year?

Jump to this post

Of course it was @colleenyoung. I just forgot it! One of the things that I love during the holidays is color, bright colors. They just seem to break through the snow and ice and heat the soul!

Liked by auntieoakley

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Last year I was just finishing up chemo treatments at xmas. I avoided stores, crowds and travel. And when could not avoid, I wore a mask. I did attend two small family get togethers. Stayed for short time and luckily no one was sick at either get together.

Best advice, do not try to do everything you have done in past. Have priorities and save your energy for those high priority items.

Give yourself permission to be lazy! . If you have a busy day, it is OK to spend a few days on coach recovering.

Have a safe holiday.

Laurie

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@roch– Hi Laurie- excellent advice. I stayed away from crowds myself. As I recovered, but still very very tired I remember shopping with my husband and asking him to take me home before we could check out. There was an almost full basket too! I just had to go home and lie down! I hope that you are feeling well!

Liked by auntieoakley

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@roch

Last year I was just finishing up chemo treatments at xmas. I avoided stores, crowds and travel. And when could not avoid, I wore a mask. I did attend two small family get togethers. Stayed for short time and luckily no one was sick at either get together.

Best advice, do not try to do everything you have done in past. Have priorities and save your energy for those high priority items.

Give yourself permission to be lazy! . If you have a busy day, it is OK to spend a few days on coach recovering.

Have a safe holiday.

Laurie

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I am going to add one more thing to previous comment, do not be afraid to ask for help !

Laurie

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