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Chemo & Radiation Treatments and Food Choices


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Ok, first off, I thank all of you for the responses that I have received. They really are helpful. You know that all of this can be overwhelming and a lot to retain.

My husband, Joe, wanted me to ask what he should be eating. He has some information on paper but this is always a confusing issue for us.

He did buy some Carnation Breakfast Drink and he also bought some clear drinks like gatorades and apple juice to help get fluids down. Hard to drink so much sometimes. He also got some kind of thing like a yogurt in cans to drink. Forgot name.

Are there foods he should stay clear of or eat more of. Whatever it would take to get thru this the easiest.

The radiation went very smooth this morning. About time something did. That is just for today. :) He is at the Chemo treatment as I write this. I will pick him up when done.

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Nothing hard about radiation other then the side effect in a few weeks or so. Let Joe eat what ever he wants too. If he feels good then EAT! He doesn't have to do all this speical drink stuff. He can, but honestly he doesn't have to.

I ate a lot of fruits and veggies and I did Ensure twice a day. But I ate meats and pizza too! If I could eat it I did! :wink:

You can spend a small fortune in all this stuff they tell you about. It's really not necessary to do that.

Maybe they get a cut for selling all those products. :roll::wink:

Just eat healthy the best he can. It's not a big deal. Things may change after while when he does more radiation treatments, but then we'll deal with it at that time. Then he might want soft foods and drinks, now..............not so much!

He's going to do fine. Think POSITIVE! It really helps.

Good luck.

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Thanks Connie; That covered it very well. He is aware of possible problems later from radiation. He was talking about it this morning. They are so near his esophagus (spell?). He is leary of that.

The eating like you mention pretty well fits what is normal for us. At least that should not be a big issue then.

The reason he bought the clear drinks was to get down the extra fluid that he was told to drink I think 10 to 12 glasses of fluid but didn't have to be all water.

I read here in some topic where surgery cannot be done after a certain number of radiation treatments. I think it was 22. Anyone know about this. Surgery was a maybe depending on treatments. I thought they were not going to check him again for 6 weeks and that would be more than 22.

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Snappy -

The only thing I was NOT allowed to eat while I was on Carbo/Taxol was grapefruit. Unfortunately, I was addicted to it at the time. As soon as I was changed to just Avastin, the first thing I asked what is I could go back to my grapefruit and I am now allowed it.

Hoping your husband's treatment goes well.

Hugs - Patti B.

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Thanks again. We will ask next time see the Dr. We just thought they meant 6 weeks of both chemo and radiation. The radiation is 5X week and Chemo 1X week.

The visit about the surgery was just that Dr said IF the treatments do something to the lymph nodes then maybe could stage 3A and possibly do surgery. Not something we are even thinking that far ahead but I saw a post about the 22 treatments and thought I better ask.

If I have learned nothing else the last few years, it is that we CANNOT totally rely on the people that are treating us. Have to be proactive.

Thanks again, I have to get offline now. Have a good day.

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If someone has the maximum number of rads or what they call "curative" radiation - surgery is not possible as the area will not heal. When John was doing radiation they stopped so we could get a surgical consult (no) and then started again. We have had members lose their chance at surgery due to too much radiation so make sure they know you are getting a surgical opinion.

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I really appreciate all the input.

Hi Patti; Grapefruit is something we like but stay away from more now days. There are medicines that are not a good mix with grapefruit. We can never keep up on all of this. My husband actually remembers some, more than I do.

Connie; I realize that stages can go up. I was not aware they could not go down, but would never had thought about that if. Dr hadn't said it. Both the Pulmo and Oncology Dr said stage 3B. Oncology Dr said something about if the treatments did something to the Lymph nodes, then consider a 3A and possible surgery. Being our first visit maybe I didn't use the right wording. Maybe he just said would be like a 3a. Whatever, chance of surgery IF only and again this point not the current issues.

Ry; Thanks for the clarification on the surgery and radiation. I will try very much to watch that.

Thank you all again.

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Snappy: When Joe's esoph. was attacked and believe me it was, nothing worked for him, even the shizzle stuff but he knew he had to do the best he could. So he managed for 3 months on chicken noodle soup, ice cream sherbert, and milk shakes. He had about 20 lbs. that he could lose, and he lost a total of of about 25 so that was good. When he could eat again, he did and the weigh came back fast.

I know everyone says to drink, drink, drink but Joe could not even get a drip of water or soda down. If he tried it would take him an hour or more and then he just gave up. It is easy to say but hard to do, and Joe has a strong mind but that was tough.

I would take him an hour to eat a can of soup and I had to keep reheating it every 10 mins. but we made it.

Take care-Kathy

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Hi Snappy--

When my dad was having WBR and later chemo, we found that his tastes would change pretty quickly from one day to another. One day crackers tasted good, the next day they did not...he said it was texture more than anything that bothered him.

Overall the things that seemed to work most consistently for him were: Ensure (had to be served cold); ice cream; matzo ball soup; and (sort of weirdly because he hadn't been a big fan before) chicken salad.

While he was in chemo though, food was always a struggle.

My thoughts are with you.


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Hi Snappy, I used to make a giant ice green tea for the ride to radiation and then had a vanilla milk shake right after radiation. I did this everyday. I only had small problem with my throat toward the end of treatment - cranberries, orange juice, tomato sauce burned my throat and crackers/chips were too scratchy.

I brought along big bag of red grapes and cantaloupe to chemo. The drugs during chemo gave me major munchies. Hope this helps.


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Thanks Connie: I have a couple more questions and I don't really want to start a new topic. I will ask here and see if they will be seen.

What are bone mets. I have seen the word mets a lot. I was reading a post today about the lady who is doing so poorly and in such pain, and there was mention that made me assume it causes breakage of bones? I don't follow it.

Also, my husband is having headaches. Is this probably unrelated to treatment or is it some kind of side effect. He only had that carbo chemo on Monday as he had the reaction to the Taxol. He had radiation everyday.

I can only ask so much or I would seem to be 'nagging'. He said when he gets up and moves his head starts hurting. I can tell he has a headache sitting there sometimes. I didn't think he would be feeling too bad this week but maybe I was wrong. He isn't very chipper. Is that to be expected.

I have to be careful too because he may not always tell me things, as he tries to protect me.

He had the pre meds. I wondered if any of the meds might cause headache.

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Hi, Snappy, the night shift is now on duty.

We use "met" (singular) or "mets" (plural) as shorthand for metastasis or metastases, which means spreading of a cancer from its original site to somewhere else in the body. If we have lung cancer that shows up in a bone, then we have a bone met. And yes, that can cause pain as well as weakening of the bone and eventual breakage. The good news is, most bone mets can be successfully treated with radiation and/or bone-strengthening drugs.

I can't help you with the headache question -- there are just too many things that can cause them. Mention it to the doc and see what he thinks. There may be some additional symptoms that will lead the doc to a possible cause.

He isn't very chipper. Is that to be expected.

I would not expect anyone on chemo and radiation be especially chipper.:( Aloha,


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Snappy: I have had experience with excruciating headaches and they are very difficult to nail down. First time, the onc had a CT WET done to rule out a bleed from the Avastin. The next time I downplayed it because did't want another CT! The third time they were excruciating. I woke up with one every day. My husband observed that between the naseau, headaches and earaches that often went with them, I really did not have one good day between infusions that time. This time I made it to nine days after my infusions before the headache started. I woke up with it again this morning but tolerable and responsive to Tylenol. Switched to quick release with better results and sometimes add Atavan if it's really bad.

The problem with the headaches is trying to assign a cause and there may be multiple ones. Also, it tended to move around but with a preference for one area of the head. Questions you might ask, does Joe have allergies, how is his blood pressure, can he relate it to overdoing it or even moving too quickly or bending down and getting up quickly. I would say consistently, it was the most difficult side-effect I have had to deal with. My husband is convinced it's a chemo side effect (Taxol/Carboplatin/Avastin combo, no radiation) but since I'm about to go on Avastin maintenance, I just hope it's not that. I don't think you mentioned Avastin in Joe's regime.

I'll be watching to see how he does with them.

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