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Hi, everyone. I think I already mentioned that my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer . . but I guess it wouldn't hurt to mention it again as I'm new.

Basically, I have some questions concerning her nutrition. My mother has never been one to take very good care of herself (lots of soda, burgers, etc). So, I'm trying to get her to eat better following her diagnosis. . . but I don't know what kind of diet she should be eating. The doctor gave her a diet to follow, but I know that she won't follow that particular diet. Basically, I want to create a menu that's healthy yet enjoyable.

Also, should she be taking any sort of vitamin supplements or is that a no-no?

Thanks, guys.

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Hi Angela,

Welcome. It would help if we understood where your Mom is in treatment for her lung cancer. During chemo and radiation, they really prefer you maintain a stable weight if possible. Some people tend to gain, some lose.

In order to maintain my weight during chemo, I needed to eat far more often than I wanted (unheard of before that!) and could eat all the ice cream I wanted and still lost a few pounds.

During radiation, especially after 4 of the 6 weeks, my throat was very sore, so eating was difficult, but not so much that I needed to resort to a liquid diet. Some people end up utilizing Ensure or other forms of instant breakfast drinks to get the calories if eating is a problem.

Ideally, like everywhere else, a balanced diet is probably best - but sometimes, just getting calories is the primary need. I try to keep my diet varied - fresh fruit and vegetables are far easier in the summer - and don't take supplements though I think fish oil would be good, and perhaps a standard multi-vitamin and a calcium/Vit D supplement wouldn't hurt.

On the site GRACE http://cancergrace.org/, there was a Webinar last night on this subject. They typically post the transcript soon after the broadcast. I look forward to reading it as I missed the live production.

Don't forget to take care of yourself as well. We like healthy caregivers.

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Hi Angela,

I agree with ts that it'd be helpful if we knew more about where she is at as far as treatment goes. I was not allowed to take any vitamin or mineral supplements while going through chemo. They monitored what medications I was taking very closely.

If she is going through chemo, sometimes just getting her to eat anything is a challenge. My taste buds changed dramatically during treatment, and everything tasted like metal. I lost 35 pounds and was not overweight. I had to force myself to eat, and like ts, found eating a lot of little meals did better for me. Nothing tasted good though, not even ice cream, so my husband was very challenged in find things for me to eat.

So, an update on her treatment plan would be good. Also what stage is she in, I, II, III or IV? Any details you can give will help us help you!

Judy in MI

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