Feeling good about food – nutrition and cancer

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Cancer Council NSW

Feeling good about food – nutrition and cancer

Having cancer and cancer treatment can affect the way you eat, what you eat and how you eat. You may experience side effects from treatment, like appetite loss and changes in taste and smell, or simply feel too fatigued to think about preparing food. While this can make it challenging to eat well, there are ways to manage changes to the way you eat. Eating well is important for health and wellbeing, and to help you prepare for treatment and recovery.

 

Cancer Council has a range of information resources that include tips for managing dietary changes, simple healthy recipe ideas, and guidelines for healthy eating. Check out:

 

  • Nutrition and cancer – for information on the importance of eating well, treatment side effects and ways to manage them; recipe and snack ideas, and information for carers on preparing meals
  • Appetite Loss and Nausea podcast episode – for ways to ensure your body is well nourished throughout cancer treatment
  • Taste and smell changes – for information on how your senses can be affected and tips to manage any changes
  • Mouth health and cancer treatment – for information on mouth care before and during treatment
10 REPLIES 10
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Occasional Contributor

Re: Feeling good about food – nutrition and cancer

The only treatment I have had, so far, is Bendamustine and Rituximab.  I finished July 2019.
I was told that my sense of taste should be back to normal roughly a few months after completion of Chemo.
Well, it is still not normal. I remember the very first time I had chemo and I could 'taste' the infusion going in. It tasted exactly like the smell of hand sanitiser. I call it the chemo taste. And my smell changed and many things smelt like the chemo. I cannot go anywhere near any types of mustard. It is completely overwhelming with chemo taste. Same with the smell of it.

There are other products I cannot eat because they smell/taste like chemo. It is as bad as the very first day of chemo.

 

Will it ever end? It is so frustrating. Things I used to enjoy, I no longer do 😞

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Regular Contributor

Re: Feeling good about food – nutrition and cancer

Hi Mary

 

I feel your pain. I no longer drink Carlton Dry. just doesn't taste the same. 🥴

 

My tastes were mostly returned after chemo ended. The flavours that worked well during chemo were sweet and strong savoury. Post chemo, those flavours are still quite the main flavours. Hence, I call myself Portly Phil now, as the weight has been on the increase since.

 

My biggest complaint is numb fingers and toes. The oncologist says if I still have it in 6 months, it will be permanent. Now, 3 months away from my 6 month mark, I've given up on hope. 

 

I do have a recommendation. It may make things fun. Eat stuff you hate. Probably won't taste as bad as normal. If you find it palatable, but it get's worse, then it will show your tastes are getting better.

 

I must admit,  I didn't experience a chemo taste, as such.  Most things just went to cardboard flavour... and texture. That's gone. just some things aren't the same as they used to be. Like my beer 😞

 

I hope you will find things improving soon.

 

Cheers

 

Portly Phil

 

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Occasional Contributor

Re: Feeling good about food – nutrition and cancer

Hello hello Phil 🙂


Nice to know it's not just me with the taste thing. I have read of others, but they all say a metallic taste. Maybe we are the unique ones! hehe 

I will take your suggestion and eat things I hate. Mind you there isn't much I hate..... well... apart from brains, liver, kidney and tripe.

I also had the tingling and numbness, but I was lucky, mine has dissipated.

 

I have however now have other complications, which are permanent. I have Paraneoplastic Inflammatory arthritis and a condition called ITP, which affects my platelets. So two immunity issues to deal with during this crazy time and I am terrified to say the least.

I do, however, feel fantastic and am ready to go back to work. I haven't felt this good in years!
My employer has us all working from home, so that is a huge bonus.

Good luck with everything Phil and thanks for replying to my post.

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Regular Contributor

Re: Feeling good about food – nutrition and cancer

brains??? Awesome. You know, I was thinking of Brussel Sprouts, but, you know.... BRAINS!

 

🤯🤯🤯🤯

 

in preparation for the zombie apocalypse. Good idea!

Might as well get used to eating it now.

 

🧟‍♀️🧟‍♀️🧟‍♀️🧟‍♀️

🧟‍♂️🧟‍♂️🧟‍♂️🧟‍♂️

 

I think the zombie apocalypse is scheduled for November, when the quarantine is over. 

 

I know there are a whole bunch of people waiting for Trump to catch Coronavirus and die. But If he's just coming back in November... what's the point?

 

Enjoy eating brains. I won't partake myself as my tastebuds are mostly working again.

 

Stay safe.

 

cheers

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Regular Contributor

Re: Feeling good about food – nutrition and cancer

Awesome. My zombie emoticons posted with Male and Female symbols as well. I didn't do that. blame android or the forum site.

 

let's try it again.

 

🧟‍♂️🧟‍♀️

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Occasional Contributor

Re: Feeling good about food – nutrition and cancer

Ha ha you are funny!

I love love brussel sprouts. 

Be nice if that Trump thing was gone. But at least he is not our PM. Mind you Scomo's handling of the bushfires have not made me endear to him. I didn't vote for him nor for any of the smaller parties that he had stuck a deal with. I had my own choices and it took a long time to vote that day.

Wish me luck with the brains..... (secretly hoping there are none to be found).

🙂 🙂
Mary 

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Super Contributor

Re: Feeling good about food – nutrition and cancer

Hi Mary and Phil,

I've also observed similar issues.

All my life I've hated yoghurt. Tasted terrible. After I had my gall bladder removed, all of a sudden I love yoghurt. I now eat it multiple times a week. I love the stuff.

 

As far as the numbness (peripheral neuropathy), I also have that. Yes, mine is likely permanent too and I'm well past the 6 month mark. You get used to it and adjust. It improves very slowly over time.

 

-s

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Occasional Contributor

Re: Feeling good about food – nutrition and cancer

Hello Sch 🙂

Thanks for the post.

After I had my gall bladder out, I find I cannot drink full cream milk anymore and have to be careful with eating chocolate and cheese and cured meat. 
Funny how things change.

Take care 🙂

 

Mary 

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Regular Contributor

Re: Feeling good about food – nutrition and cancer

I too am careful eating chocolate. The stains don't come out and I'd cry if any went to waste.

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