There is much that you can do to help your friend or loved one
through the period of cancer treatment. Read over the tips and
suggestions in "Managing Eating Problems During Cancer Treatment."
Many may be useful to you as you prepare food or meals for the
In addition, here are some other things to remember that will
help you cope:
Be prepared for the patient's tastes to change from day to day.
Some days he or she won't want favorite foods because they don't
taste good. Other times, he or she will be able to eat a dish that
couldn't be tolerated just the day before.
Have food within easy reach at home. For example:
a snack-pack of applesauce or pudding and a spoon on the
bedside table if the patient isn't feeling well that day
a bag of cut-up carrots on the top shelf of the
Have meals and snacks ready so the patient can have something
to eat when he or she is ready.
Be prepared for times when the patient is able to eat only one
or two foods for a few days in a row, until side effects diminish.
Even if he or she can't eat at all, still encourage plenty of
Tables 2and 3
contain a variety of examples of fluids, and the
section on "Coping with Side Effects" has lots of ideas for getting
Talk to the patient about needs and concerns, and about ideas
that might work best. A willingness to be flexible and supportive
no matter what will help the patient feel in control of the
Try not to push the patient into eating and drinking. Encourage
and support without being overwhelming.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a