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Fruits, vegetables, and yogurt pouring into a glass

Eating is Hard

Earlier this week, I started freaking out because I thought I was relapsing. I thought, “No, not now, not again please.” I had been feeling horribly fatigued, to the point where three-quarters of the day I started wanting to go straight to sleep. It didn’t matter how long I had slept the night before. I had to fight to not lie down. I was struggling to keep my eyes open past 9 pm. It was starting to feel close to the warning signs I had the last time I relapsed. I told my fiancé if it persisted, I was going to go to my doctor and get blood work done. Then he mentioned it might just be my diet.

Cancer and diet

Lately, I’ve been eating mainly carbs, which can help fuel your body, but usually works best alongside other food groups. My diet consisted mainly of rice, bread, and pasta, with a few side dishes. I had been having smoothies and protein shakes but had stopped buying them to try to save money. I have gallbladder issues so I have a limited diet most of the time, which can make it hard to have nutritious meals when I’m out and about with work. I decided I would buy the smoothies again and see how I felt. I saw an immediate difference.

It’s truly amazing how important food is for our bodies. When you have cancer of any kind, one of the things they will tell you is how important it is to keep up with your eating. It is such a basic survival instinct and yet can be so difficult. Sometimes things like nausea, irritability, and low energy can be solved by just eating something. But as we know, for a cancer patient, it isn’t always that easy. Between mouth sores, nausea, not having the energy to cook, not even having an appetite, or maybe low finances, it can be very difficult to eat. But it is so important to do so. So what can we do to help make things a bit easier?

Prep things ahead of time

If you have things ready ahead of time, it can seem less overwhelming when it’s finally time to make a meal. A meal also doesn’t have to be a 20-step process. You can literally throw some milk and fruits into a blender and voila! Smoothie! Blood-cancer.com has some wonderful recipes here, and a lot of them are pretty simple to follow.

Order in

If you can, ordering food to your door is super helpful. I love ordering in when I have a little extra income. Some apps like GrubHub will also have deals going on sometimes which is nice. A lot of apps will give you a discount the first time you use them as well.

Mix it up

Sometimes it was hard for me to eat because I had to keep eating the same things over and over again. For example, I eat a lot of rice. But that gets bland and boring after a while. So I tried something creative, I bought rice molds to shape my rice into a triangle which was easier for me to bite into. Then I filled the inside with different foods, and wrapped it all in rice paper. Finished it off with something to dip it in and had a completely new dining experience! Texture, taste and visual aesthetic can have a big impact on how we view our food.

Ask for help

Sometimes we feel bad asking others to help us eat. Maybe we feel shame, or feel like a burden. But most people would rather see us nourish our bodies than go hungry. Now, I love to make my friends' food. It’s a way of showing I love them. I know they would feel the same way. When I was going through chemo, I finally broke down and asked my roommate to make me dinner. I can’t tell you how much of a help it was. It was one less thing to do and it gave my body the energy it needed.

What do you do to help yourself eat? Is eating something you’re currently struggling with?

Warm wishes, Katelynn

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Blood-Cancer.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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