I have recently finished treatment 7 week radiation and 3 rounds of Chemo at Peter Mac for left tonsil squamous cell carcinoma.
I have been home just over 3 weeks and was wondering when others where able to transition over to soft foods. and what others experienced doing it. I am starting to eat custards, soups and jelly's
Hi Anita, I'm a speech pathologist and my mum has cancer. It's great news that you're starting to eat orally again, that's a very positive sign. When it comes to soft chewable foods, the limiting factor will likely be your ability to chew and control the food in your mouth. Liquids can be more difficult, but jelly meltse into a liquid, so it's positive if you're able to manage that we'll too. Your oncology team should have a speech pathologist as part of it, please request to see them, as they can give you recommendations to support safely relearning the skills needed for more difficult foods and liquids. The dietitian will be able to advise you around your nutritional needs and if and when removing the NGT is likely. The health of your chest is the utmost priority here, given all the treatment you're receiving, your immune system will have difficulty fighting off aspiration pneumonia and this can lead to death. So please take it slowly and stop if you notice a change in your breathing, wheezing, crackly sounds, a wet voice, or if you cough or have to throat clear during or after eating. Please also talk to your speech pathologist and pharmacist about the safest ways to take your meds.
Soup will become your best friend. I tired quickly of eggs and avocados and now cannot face them at all. I use a whole free range chicken to make my chicken soup with and just load it up with lots of fresh vegetables. I can't handle anything too spicy or salty or containing lemon or lime juice but that's because I had a salivary gland removed and dry mouth is still a problem. I have also started making a soup using a small piece of eye fillet and heaps of carrots and spinach - finely chopped. It creates a beautifully sweet soup and nutritionally gives you a power boost. Osso buck and ox tail also make amazing stocks for your soup. Pho soup is also a wonderful one to make. I find the soups really comforting and not so difficult to eat as ordinary food.
There are many things that will be a hit and miss because your digestive system may be a little more delicate as to what you eat. Lots of trials ahead but become adventurous with your soups and you won't regret it because every nutrient in the vegetable will be in your broth. Good luck.
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