Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Very Important Guest Post

Not sure if I mentioned this on here before, but I lost my Mom to cancer over a decade ago now. The pain of her loss is still very real which is why I very readily agreed to have Jillian Mckee guest post a fantastic article on these pages. Please take the time to read this fantastic article.

The Importance of Eating Well While Battling Cancer

Loss of appetite proves to be one of the most difficult challenges to overcome as people fight cancer. They understand that the medicines they take, treatments that they endure, and the surgeries that they agree to help remove the illness from their bodies. However, some patients fail to remember that a nutritious diet, particularly during times of sickness, helps them maintain their strength and immunity. For that reason, many doctors urge patients to eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and dairy foods.  

Even so, many people find such foods difficult to tolerate after they go through a round of chemotherapy or radiation. Most people would rather go home and sleep than prepare and eat dinner. Nausea and fatigue are hallmark effects of chemotherapy, making it a challenge for patients to tolerate the smell of food, let alone the taste of it.  However, after the nausea subsides, people may find that they can regain a certain degree of their strength by eating small amounts of healthy foods. A cup of applesauce, a small helping of yogurt, half of a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread, and other similar fare can go a long way in helping people feel normal again. As their appetites improve, they can try larger serving sizes. Within a few days after receiving chemotherapy, they may find that their fatigue has lessened and that their appetites have improved greatly.

In fact, the American Cancer Society reports that a balanced diet can play a crucial role in how well a person withstands his or her battle against cancer. A person who neglects diet and eats sporadically contributes to the feelings of being sick, weak, and tired. This goes for patients with mesothelioma, colon cancer, or any other cancer. That individual may not realize that failing to eat well prolongs that person's fight against the illness.  

People who eat well boost their immune systems and help the treatments eliminate cancer from their bodies. Foods high in Vitamin C, for example, help the body in the production of antioxidants, which in turn attack and kill harmful agents in the blood. Likewise, foods that are high in iron help the blood remain oxygenated and full of red blood cells. Eating plenty of iron-rich fare helps people avoid becoming anemic, a condition that is marked by overwhelming fatigue, weakness, and a yellowing of the skin and eyes.  

In addition to aiding in their own recoveries, people can look at food as a reward for going through the various treatments.  They know that their therapies, surgeries, and other treatments leave them physically drained. As they recuperate, patients are sometimes advised to envision themselves enjoying their favorite treat. Some doctors speculate that this anticipation helps patients recover quicker because these people know that this treat awaits them in the coming days. When a person's stomach is strong enough, he or she is encouraged to partake of that favorite food, both as a treat and as a way to fight cancer.


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