Cooking for Chemo Patients
Submitted by anon. on Wed, 2011-09-21 13:23
I know some of our members have experience cooking for chemotherapy patients. What kind of food oddities have you encountered? A mentor of mine completely lost her sense of taste while on radiation therapy for cancer. I recently finished a much milder form of chemo, but I was on it for a year, so while I didn't lose my sense of taste, I noticed that food tasted weird. (I should note that I had no food restrictions, save not to drink alcohol, and I have never been a picky eater.) Here are the things I couldn't eat, not because they weren't allowed, but just because I couldn't stand the taste anymore: -raw vegetables -spicy foods (they hurt too much, though the flavor was nice) -big, dry foods (meat cutlets that were dry when cooked, big pieces of bread) -vinegar -bitter foods (vegetables slowly became less tolerable, with broccoli leading the way) -cheese (save the occasional slice of really high-quality cheese on a cracker) -chicken soup To deal with it, I cooked meat that was bite-sized and in sauce so I could have moist protein, or I ate vegetable protein. I ate only cooked vegetables, and when I couldn't even stand those, I ate plenty of fruit, which my doctor said was a good thing to do. In retrospect, none of this is really a big deal since I could still have lots of good food, but it was distressing at the time. I got through it with no problems from the change in diet. I couldn't go to Italian restaurants (everything had either raw vegetables or cheese), but I found that I could always eat mild Korean food (never figured out why). Now that everything is over, my sense of taste has returned to normal and I can enjoy salads again. Any other interesting experiences? I hear that loss of appetite and changes in taste are quite normal when going through any severe medical treatment.