Post-Cancer Surgery Eating Help

lynda

Cathlete
I find myself in poor shape after cancer surgery at the beginning of April. I had about 1/3 of my tongue removed and reconstructed using part of my arm. Post-surgery, I could only eat soft/liquid foods for a while, and I put on some weight during this time (FYI--ice cream is a soft food). I've now gotten clearance to eat normal foods again, and I don't know where to begin or even remember what's worked for me in the past.

I'm slowly getting back into working out, but I know I also need to do something about my eating habits. I'm looking for some simple suggestions to get me moving toward a healthier lifestyle. I'm hoping someone can suggest a book or plan to get me going. I don't have a ton of energy, and my powers of concentration are not what they once were, so I'm hoping for something relatively simple, easy, and straightforward.

I appreciate any help or advice. I just feel stuck.
 

fit fanatic

Active Member
Wow you are an inspiration. I thought this wasn't my year. I had a squamous cell cancer cut out of my arm-the Doctor did a test and said he got it all after the surgery. Then I had another surgery-a urethrocele-which the Doctor said was benign after it was all said and done. I couldn't even imagine what you had to go through. I felt pretty lucky. My sister and Mom died of two different types of cancer.
I have been drinking green tea, a lot of water, I try to eat a lot of vegetables as well as the stuff I love. What did your Doctor recommend to you after you had your surgery? I am no expert but I would go with something simple for you. Maybe pick a day to make up unprocessed meals. (salads-snacks-whole grains-clean foods) I read in a book you can make popsicles out of yogurt and use that as a snack just get a 4 ounce yogurt at the store and popsicle stick in and freeze it.) Just keep it simple and stick with small meals throughout the day. There are a lot of more well informed people than me and I'm sure you'll get some great answers.
 

lynda

Cathlete
Hey, mine was squamous cell carcinoma too. They have no idea how I got it on my tongue. I'm not a smoker or drinker. I'm lucky it was in a spot where I could see it. It was very complicated because of where it was and the reconstruction. They had to operate on it through my neck. I was in ICU for six days, on a ventilator with a tracheotomy. I couldn't use my left arm for about a month, and I'm just getting my range of motion back now.

I'm sorry to hear about your ordeal, too. I think there's an emotional aspect involved besides the physical. My doctor described it almost as a post-traumatic stress disorder. It all happened so fast for me, which was a blessing, but I really didn't have time to absorb it all before the surgery. I'm dealing with a lot of that now.

Thank you for the suggestions. I'm trying to take it slowly and not put too much pressure on myself, but I've got to do something!
 

fit fanatic

Active Member
It is really scary and was an eye opener for me. Every year I have gone in for health and wellness checks and I was more relieved I did when they found it in my arm but thank goodness I went in. I'm so glad you are getting through this, the main thing is to have support. I put in a friend's request for you if you want to link and we can email each other. I want to keep up on how you're doing :)
 

angie_nrs

Cathlete
Wow! You have both certainly been through a lot. You have my admiration!

I, thankfully, have not had to deal with the C word, but I have heard that Sheryl Crow wrote a cookbook especially for post cancer patients called 'If it makes you healthy.' It has foods in it that she and her personal chef made to help her after her breast cancer. I have heard good things about it but I personally haven't seen it. It might be worth a peek.....

Best of luck to you!!
 
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jewels5

Cathlete
I meant to write you earlier...I'm so sorry for what you have been through, but I'm glad you're on the road to recovery! I am reading "Anticancer, A New Way of Life". It is written by a doctor who was diagnosed with brain cancer. You might find the information on diet helpful, which includes which foods to choose to fight cancer and which to avoid. Plus, there is information on lifestyle changes that are helpful to everyone, regardless of a cancer diagnosis. I was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and I can relate to the lack of energy and concentration (though in my case due to chemo). Best wishes in your recovery. :)

Julie
 

jonahnah

Cathlete
Hi Lynda & Fit Fanatic,

You guys rock! Sending ((((((((hugs)))))))) & healing vibes to you both as you journey back to 100% health.

I love the Anti-cancer book recommended above. We gave it to my DMIL when she was recently diagnosed w/ stage 3C ovarian cancer. She's found it very helpful for her.

Other food recommendations: smoothies w/ protein & greens; greek yogurt (lots of protein for the calories); pureed/mashed veggies (eg. cooked sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower or broccoli, raw spinach, etc.); pureed fruit (watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, applesauce, etc.) NON-instant oatmeal, scrambled or hard boiled eggs, omelets, and soups.


HTH and best wishes for speedy recoveries. :)
 

fit fanatic

Active Member
Lynda, I hope you're recovery is going well.
Angie, thank you. I really feel blessed that I caught it before it got worse.
Julie, I will check out this book. Thank you. I really hope everything is going better for you now.
Johanna thanks for the suggestions. I feel really lucky (I guess this year was my wake up call) My skin cancer was cleared and I didn't have to go through chemo. So I was really lucky I caught it. I will still look for signs of it every year, I think everybody should.
 

PhyllisG

Cathlete
Two books: Crazy Sexy Cancer and Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr. She is a survivor and has done a lot of research on this topic. She has written upbeat, fun books that have serious content and are very inspiring. The diet book of course deals with cleaning up your diet and what to eat. They are very encouraging and actually fun books. Glad to hear you are doing well. You are amazing. Check out your library and I know amazon has them.
 

jewels5

Cathlete
I second the Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips book. The author is very inspiring. I would also like to get her diet book. I kind of forgot about that one actually, so thanks for the reminder PhyllisG!

Fit fanatic, thank you for the kind words. I am still in treatment but it is going well, and I only have two left before radiation. I'm SO glad for you that you didn't need the chemo. Yay for you!
 

lynda

Cathlete
Thank you all for the recommendations. I actually have Anticancer: A New Way of Life. I got it for myself shortly before my surgery, but I just haven't been ready to pick it up until now. The whole experience was so traumatic, that I just couldn't deal with any more for a while there. I do feel much more open and ready now. I will also check out the Crazy Sexy books. They sound very inspiring.

I've been watching my diet and eating really cleanly for the past week. I already feel much more energetic, although not much change on the scale. I've been running a little and getting some activity in every day, walking or a Cathe DVD. I'm determined to keep plugging along, and eventually, the scale will get the idea!

Thanks again to everyone for the advice. It's tremendously encouraging.
 

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