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Old 09-05-2011, 12:35 AM   #1
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Neighbor with cancer HELP!

Our next door neighbor has been diagnosed with colon cancer. He is in his late 20's and is a stage 3. He is going in for his 3rd time at Chemo.

We made his family dinner a few days ago (salmon, potatos, etc.) but the yogurt Creamies (popsicles) we took over was the only thing he had eatin in 2 days.

We spoke with him tonight and he says he does better with warm things to eat right after chemo. He can not have cold drinks or even the cold tile floor gives him pain. After a few days he is OK with cold food (popsicles)

What I want to know is has anyone hear had any experience with this and what would be good for us to make him? I am worried about sodium from soup but do not know if this is an issue.

Please help me with any info on how to help him and things I should look to give him or things to not give him.

I know you all will help, so a big THANK YOU goes out in advance!!!

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Old 09-05-2011, 01:46 AM   #2
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Normally, folks on chemo are allowed to eat whatever they personally can tolerate. My Mom couldn't stand green peas, she said they tasted of metal. Otherwise they can eat whatever they like. Just ask him what he would like on what days.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:38 AM   #3
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NA you are the sort of neighbor everyone should have.
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:13 AM   #4
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If he is not eating much I would look for high calorie comfort type foods.

I agree with PF, ask him what would hit the spot.

Good luck!
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:41 AM   #5
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We should all be as good to our neighbors. If not specifically prohibited, my experience is as FIonaa's ... whatever a person who is drastically losing weight can eat, that's what you feed them. I had a mother-in-law, and a different friend, live on Pepsi for months. But if you're concerned about salt, simply ask. It sounds like maybe creamy soups might fill the bill. At any rate, there is nothing wrong with feeding their family.

Oh, I didn't think of it. Mashed potatoes and gravy. Easy on the stomach, but calorie rich if you use butter & cream. The bonus is a good, filling meal for the rest of the family should the cancer victim not want it.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:20 AM   #6
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First, I'm speaking from lots of experience dealing with this very issue.

Secondly, nausea can be dealt with via medications. Loss of appetite due to the chemo or the continued shock of finding out one has stage 3 cancer is something that each person has to get over in some way in thier mind. Either by using professional help, (psychiatrist) or by counseling through family or friends or clergy.

Being 20 years old, his lack of life experience and experience with cancer in general, will possibly lead him to think he is going to die, regardless of treatment perhaps. This shock could be causing much of the loss of appetite and depression. Both are very common among those who are going through cancer and it's treatment.

In some way, and with much emphasis and caring, someone, or many someones, have to tell him to talk to his primary doctor about the nausea he has and also a cancer patient nutritionist. These professionals are extremely important to his well-being.

NAChef, If you'd like to talk more in depth about this issue, please PM me here and I'd be glad to help in any way I can.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:27 AM   #7
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My good friend lost her battle with cancer a couple of years ago but went through several different rounds of chemo. Many of us made food for the family but my friend could tolerate only soft food and no meat. I was catering their son's wedding and made a lentil loaf for some vegan friends. The Mom ate some of it and came to me after and said it was one of the few things she could actually enjoy rather than tolerate. I made several small loafs and she kept them in her freezer.

As PrincessFiona stated, it doesn't matter about WHAT the food is or what other issues it might bring (sodium) - it is more what makes them feel okay eating it. Cream soups, stews, chili, maybe even a cream (or creamy tomato) pasta sauce over small pasta (spaghetti, etc. may be too hard to eat), might be the way to go.

And I agree with Bolas, you are a wonderful neighbour. And Timothy has some wonderful insights that make more sense than any advice I can give.
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:45 AM   #8
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There may be someone who doesn't like chicken soup. Haven't met that person. When Mom was sick, I just bought very cheap chicken legs from the store (really, they are very cheap) and made real, home-made chicken stock. You know, the kind that is solid after a night in the fridge. Then I'd turn it into whatever she wanted, but just a cup of the warmed stock warms the heart.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:41 AM   #9
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You sound like a good neighbor.

My wife and I have lost two family members to cancer in the last six months, and our next door neighbor has been battling colorectal cancer for the last year.

While we try not to be too intrusive, the man and his wife seem to appreciate whatever food items we bring over. Don't forget that when one person is fighting cancer, the spouse or family of that person may not be taking good care of themselves or eating right, either, usually out of a sense of guilt.

So often what we'll do is just make up a couple of plates with whatever we're having that night and take them over there. We always call ahead and don't fuss a lot. I usually just say, "You know what, I made too much for dinner tonight. If you guys don't have any dinner plans, I can bring some over. We need to use it up anyway."

Also, it's the little things that count. They haven't been tending to their garden very well this year, for obvious reasons. So sometimes we'll go over and pull some weeds or water their plants. If we're making a run to the store, I just call and ask if there's anything they need. These things are appreciated as much as any food items.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:50 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the ideas & insight.

I wasn't able to talk to him this week, he just had a treatment 2 days ago, but I am going to make some soup this w/e and take it over. I will try to get some info from his wife and see what he likes.
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:16 PM   #11
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When my son was battling cancer, someone called one night and said that they were getting carry out for dinner. They asked what my son was hungry for. He wanted pizza. They asked what he wanted for desert, and he couldn't do sweets at the time, so they brought pizza to us with a desert they knew the rest of us would enjoy. God bless the people who take care of us all when we are down.
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:18 PM   #12
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...and it really is the thought that counts. We even froze a desert that we thought my son might enjoy later that someone had made. Three weeks later he asked for it, and it was just fine out of the freezer. He then called the sender and thanked them at that time.
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:37 PM   #13
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Hey NA, nice to see you again. You were my inspiration for making risotto.
Sorry about your neighbor.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:22 PM   #14
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Well, my oldest son and I started off our Saturday by mowing our lawn as well as the neighbors. We went to the store, still not knowing what our neighbor may like to eat or what he would be able to hold down.

I had decided to make some soup and thought I'd make Zuppa Toscana, like you would get at Olive Garden. I had made it before and everyone has always liked it, so I thought I would give it a try. She (neighbors wife) had recently given us a small bag of potatoes from her inlaws garden and said she had no energy to cook and thought we could use them. I did use all of them for this soup.

My youngest son, 5 y/o, helped me peel and chop the onion as well as add everything to the pot. I was surprised that the onion had no effect on him as he was as close as I was while I cut it into sections. I was teary eyed and had to step away and he kept getting into them with his little fingers.

My wife was out of town with our daughter and was letting me know when they would be back home (my wife & his communicate a lot by text) They knew I was bring something over but had no idea what it was. I had my oldest son take a taste test and he said I should add a little more salt, so I did.

When they got home we took over a large popcorn bucket sized tupperware bowl full of soup. My youngest had to carry it himself and give it to him, he really likes him. I told them what we had made and she got so excited and said that it was his favorite thing to get when they went to Olive Garden.

We only talked for about 1 minute and me and the boys came home to watch a movie. I got a text from my wife a little later that night that the neighbors loved the soup and he was able to keep it down.

I had a good weekend with my boys and each of them felt good about helping our neighbor in different ways. I am ecstatic that I made something that someone else enjoyed but I feel SO bad! I wish I could do something more...I don't know. As I sit here teary eyed, no longer from the onion, I'm not sure whats next & I can NOT even imagine how they feel. They have to deal with this EVERY day and that hurt me, I wish it wasn't this way. I wish them the best and I hope everything works out for them!!

Sorry for the long post, I just needed to get things out!

Thank you all for the responses, you have helped me a lot!!
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAchef View Post
Well, my oldest son and I started off our Saturday by mowing our lawn as well as the neighbors. We went to the store, still not knowing what our neighbor may like to eat or what he would be able to hold down.

I had decided to make some soup and thought I'd make Zuppa Toscana, like you would get at Olive Garden. I had made it before and everyone has always liked it, so I thought I would give it a try. She (neighbors wife) had recently given us a small bag of potatoes from her inlaws garden and said she had no energy to cook and thought we could use them. I did use all of them for this soup.

My youngest son, 5 y/o, helped me peel and chop the onion as well as add everything to the pot. I was surprised that the onion had no effect on him as he was as close as I was while I cut it into sections. I was teary eyed and had to step away and he kept getting into them with his little fingers.

My wife was out of town with our daughter and was letting me know when they would be back home (my wife & his communicate a lot by text) They knew I was bring something over but had no idea what it was. I had my oldest son take a taste test and he said I should add a little more salt, so I did.

When they got home we took over a large popcorn bucket sized tupperware bowl full of soup. My youngest had to carry it himself and give it to him, he really likes him. I told them what we had made and she got so excited and said that it was his favorite thing to get when they went to Olive Garden.

We only talked for about 1 minute and me and the boys came home to watch a movie. I got a text from my wife a little later that night that the neighbors loved the soup and he was able to keep it down.

I had a good weekend with my boys and each of them felt good about helping our neighbor in different ways. I am ecstatic that I made something that someone else enjoyed but I feel SO bad! I wish I could do something more...I don't know. As I sit here teary eyed, no longer from the onion, I'm not sure whats next & I can NOT even imagine how they feel. They have to deal with this EVERY day and that hurt me, I wish it wasn't this way. I wish them the best and I hope everything works out for them!!

Sorry for the long post, I just needed to get things out!

Thank you all for the responses, you have helped me a lot!!
Your caring is the best thing you can give them and the very best thing you can teach your sons. Send your boys over to read out loud to him, it doesn't matter what the stories are, but their giving of time and caring will be a great gift.

When the weather gets cold, have the boys run over and clear the snow off the car while you shovel the walks. It doesn't all have to be food. Time and energy are fantastic gifts.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
Your caring is the best thing you can give them and the very best thing you can teach your sons. Send your boys over to read out loud to him, it doesn't matter what the stories are, but their giving of time and caring will be a great gift.

When the weather gets cold, have the boys run over and clear the snow off the car while you shovel the walks. It doesn't all have to be food. Time and energy are fantastic gifts.
Thanks for the advice, he does like video games as well as my oldest son and that could be something positive for him. My youngest son really likes him and their dog, I will try to get them over their more often to lift the spirits.

I have cleared the drive way, of snow, for them this last winter as I did for other neighbors as I'm the only one with a snowthrower on the street. I will just try to make things easy on them and hope for the best.

Thanks for the ideas!
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