“Eat Food or Die – A Plea for Help.”

Simple. Often overlooked. And my current challenge. There’s something about the cancer, the chemo, the hormone or radiation therapy, or my 14 daily medications that screwed up my eating. I can quaff water, but when swallowing most liquids and solid food I gag and burp up the clear sticky stuff. You can’t live on water alone. The only substance I can nourish myself with is supermarket brand chicken broth and rice soup. That’s the thin cheap stuff that’s 79¢ for a small can.
I was never a health food nut, but the writing’s on the wall for me (or rather the screen). Coconut milk perhaps? I can’t do spices, dairy, citrus, any more than a sliver of meat, and all bites are bird size and extra chewed.
Before I got sick, Joey C. called me Big Fred at 250 lbs. My lowest weight from cancer was 160 lbs. The height of my recovery registered 184 lbs and my doctors were happy. Now I weigh in at 171 lbs. and nobody’s happy. Please help me with your suggestions. Nothing too crazy please.
Below is the Sugar Cane luncheon I bought for my #1 Angel Donna Ardizoni. I only ate the broth from the seafood noodle soup (R). A great deal for $14. The Sugar Cane is aChinese/Vietnamese restaurant on Main Street in Peabody. Worth a visit.


18 thoughts on ““Eat Food or Die – A Plea for Help.”

  1. What a huge challenge Fred!
    Does AGH have a nutritionist who could help you ease back into foods?
    Could the Oncology Dept assist with names of people?
    Small sips of clear broth is a great way to start.
    Keep up the Good Fight Fred! We’re pulling for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What about other soups that use bone broth as the base but then have other things puréed in it? Like squash, or potato and leek. You could start with mostly broth and up the ratio as you are able to stomach it.


  3. There are some appetite inducing meds (dexamathasone) or maybe even Zofran which would help with nausea and lack of appetite. There should be someone on your medical team that could help. I’d be great to get you to the point where you could swallow some Ensure for some vitamins and nutrients. Finding a new “favorite” is important. Sending prayers.


  4. From experience I can tell you that the few times I was so sick, couldn’t eat, and had trouble holding food down from nausea, a few puffs of cannabis did the trick. You hear so many medicinal benefits about weed lately because of the push to legalize it but I can tell you the one that really works is the one that it gets you eating and helps you hold it down. Seriously Fred, give it a try. If this isn’t the perfect situation than when is. What have you got to lose?


  5. Fred, please see a dietitian at the hospital ASAP. I just found info on Ensure Active Protein Drink online. It’s a clear liquid with the protein and carbs that you really need. Regular Ensure, which you are probably familiar with, would be ideal, the one with extra calories if you could manage to drink it. I am so sorry that you are going through this. I will be thinking of you.


  6. All the best. It stinks not to be able to eat. Our social lives revolve around food and drink. Get well soon.


  7. Hi, Fred.

    So sorry to hear about your situation, which is regrettably all too common for anyone who has undergone similar treatments.

    One relatively new aid that’s being promoted to increase one’s appetite and enjoyment of food is miracle fruit. This small berry-like fruit changes the enzymes in your mouth so that everything tastes wonderful.

    When I visited my family in March, my brother from Virginia brought some for us to try. we chewed on the miracle fruit for 2 minutes then ate some grapefruit, strawberries and other fruit. It was amazing and wonderful – I’d never tasted anything that seemed so delicious. The grapefruit was divinely sweet – all because of the miracle fruit. The effect lasts 20-40 minutes.

    But perhaps there is more to what you are going through than simply needing to have more of an appetite. I wish we had a solution for you.

    Best regards, Rebecca


  8. I make “bulletproof” broth all the time. Similar to bulletproof (or “keto”) coffee and cocoa (google for details), I place a cup of hot broth in a blender or magic bullet along with 2T chilled butter and blend for a minute – comes out tasting like cream of whatever soup, but it is very thin, fills you up and feeds your brain! I also add Great Lakes collagen powder for protein, which dissolves into the soup without thickening it. Energy and mental clarity galore, too. They have been prescribing a high fat/keto diet for epileptics for 100 years because it heals the brain, and are now finding it very promising for healing cancer as cancer cells must have sugar to survive, but humans do not! After years of low energy and brain fog on a low fat diet, I am now an energetic and craving-free believer in keto! Bon appetite and speedy recovery, Fred!


    1. No keto diet for you, Fred, they are usually weight LOSS diets. You need the carbohydrate- that’s where we get the fuel to burn to survive and gain weight.

      A cancer survivor in Vermont (where you can get medical marijuana if you can register for it) said that there are tinctures of it, so you don’t have to smoke it or bake with it. I think what is going on with you probably has multiple causes, so I hope there is a good dietitian at the hospital, and if it’s not in the stores, maybe they can provide you with the clear liquid Ensure I meantioned.

      All the best!


  9. Check out the book “One Bite at a Time” by Rebecca Katz. It’s all about food for cancer patients.
    I recommend avocados, almonds, yogurt. Get an appt. with a nutritionist.


  10. I LOVE the Pho at the Sugar Cane restaurant. Also try the new broth bowls at Panera Bread, they look good and nutricious


    1. Haven’t checked the sodium in Panera’s broth bowls, but very high in their other soups!

      Maybe if Fred would tell us what he thinks he would like, we can put our heads together ….maybe Felicia
      can help organize something. It needs to be prepared in small amounts, ’cause what looks and sounds good
      one minute, doesn’t appeal the next.

      I’ll be happy to do what I can, but living in Wayland only allows me to be a worker bee! Someone needs to be the
      queen soup bee…..


  11. Oh dear Fred, I’m so sorry you have yet another challenge.
    One of my favorite soups is a Greek lemon soup.
    A can of College Inn Chicken Broth in a small sauce pan. Add a 1/4 c of white rice – not Minute Rice!
    Simmer for 20 minutes. A stir helps…

    Crack an egg in a bowl, and add the juice of 1/2 of a lemon – whisk until pale yellow.
    When soup is done, very slowly add egg/lemon mixture, whisking steadily so your egg doesn’t scramble.

    Pour this yummyness into a bowl and get a tummy full of protein, fresh citrus and hugs!
    If you can’t tolerate the rice, leave it out….just heat soup until hot, then add the beaten egg and lemon.

    I love it anytime…..soothing, very healthy, and a beautiful pale yellow!

    God bless, and know you’re in our prayers.


  12. Fred stay strong I send some ideas in the other post and will continue to look and forward – Many on family side have dealt with this it’s can be a rough ride for sure but spirit and humor can help keep things in check!

    Of course putting in a word with your higher power is always a plus too!
    God Bless
    Dave:-) & Kim 🙂


Leaving a comment rewards the author of this post- add to the discussion here-

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s